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Costco: A Case Analysis
Costco has long been a retailer of lower-priced goods. Now, the company is moving toward services like insurance, credit cards, phone plans, printing, and other options that could be accessed with a specific membership level. That level would cost users $100 per year, but testing of the options has been very positive in the majority of cases. Still, Costco has much to consider when it comes to whether they want to continue on the path of services and change what they normally offer that drastically. In order to determine whether they really want to move into more services, they will need to analyze both their situation and their market. Right now, they have good market share for what they offer, but they have no market share in the services market, since they are just considering moving into it. People are not familiar with the…
Costco Warehouse Clubs
Costco Wholesale vs. Sam's Club vs. BJ's Wholesale
The main strategic issue that is faced by Costco (and by Sam's Club to a lesser extent) is the fact that it is having trouble competing with BJ's Wholesale on some key factors of customer service. Costco is a warehouse-style retailer, just like the other two companies. Typically, these companies offer lower prices, but consumers who shop there also need to buy their items in bulk (Thompson, et al., 2011). They get fewer perks, such as fixtures and decor, but that saves them money in the long run. It is a very "no frills" shopping experience which suits many people who prefer to buy their items in bulk and not have to shop as often as they otherwise would (Barrett, 2003; Thompson, et al., 2011). Mostly affluent and middle-class people shop at these kinds of stores, as well as…
Barrett, R. (2003). Vocational business: Training, developing and motivating people. Business & Economics.
Drucker, P.F. (2004). Post-capitalist society. New York, NY: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Gomez-Mejia, L.R., Balkin, D.B., & Cardy, R.L. (2008). Management: People, performance, change. (3rd ed.) New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Kleiman, L.S. (2010). Management and executive development. Reference for Business: Encyclopedia of Business.
The case notes that Costco's mission is "bringing the highest quality goods at the lowest possible prices while providing excellent customer service and adhering to a strict code of ethics…" and then the mission outlines the code of ethics. The company's operations clearly stick to this mission statement. This is possible because the mission statement is clear, and it specifically relates to what the company does. It hits upon a number of different elements of the business that essentially define what it is that Costco does.
The second element is that Costco does these things. The strategy of the company is to be a low cost provider, so a lot of what Costco does is related to that. When we examine the mission, we see that Costco is basically framing the low cost strategy against a backdrop of relatively high quality goods, good customer service and solid ethics. These…
McArdle, M. (2013). Why Wal-mart will never pay like Costco. Bloomberg. Retrieved April 4, 2014 from http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-08-27/why-walmart-will-never-pay-like-costco
MSN Moneycentral. (2014). Costco. Retrieved April 4, 2014 from http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/stock-income-statement/?symbol=cost
QuickMBA. (2010). Porter's generic strategies. QuickMBA. Retrieved April 4, 2014 from http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/generic.shtml
Costco Wholesale Corporation is one of the membership warehouse chain operators across the globe. Costco Wholesale Corporation operates under the influence of the standards and regulations of the Wholesale Club Industry. The organization focuses on the distribution of the products with reference to fresh food, soft-lines, and ancillary as well as hard-line products. Costco implements various elements of marketing model with the aim of addressing the needs and preferences of the consumers as well as stakeholders and shareholders in the market of operation. Costco focuses on the provision of quality products and services at lower costs of procurement in comparison to other competitors in the market such as Wal-Mart. This research product will focus on the identification of the two segments of the general environment and the forces of competition affecting Costco Wholesale Corporation. It will also address issues in relation to improvement in tackling the forces in the near…
Kozloff, Emme P., and Ian J. Gordon. "The Warehouse Club Industry: A Market-Based
Competitive and Saturation Analysis." White Book - The Warehouse Club Industry: A
Market-Based Competitive & Saturation Analysis (2004): 1-36.
"Costco Wholesale Corporation SWOT Analysis." Costco Wholesale Corporation SWOT
Costco's business model is to undertake a cost leadership strategy. The company operates with a warehouse store concept. The warehouse store concept focuses on offering large volumes of goods at low prices. A typical Costco warehouse has a relatively low number of SKUs available, and any given product is usually only available in a single SKU. Consumers are attracted to the low prices associated with volume buying. Each store has a set number of permanent items, with other items rotated through on a temporary or seasonal basis. This keeps the selection of goods relatively fresh for consumers.
Costco is able to achieve cost leadership through a number of different strategies. The first of these strategies is volume buying. Costco gets discounts over what other retailers get because of its ability to buy large quantities of any good. Thus, the company's size allows it efficiencies of scale in purchasing, distribution and…
Costco 2009 Annual Report. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9MjQ1ODV8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBlPTM=&t=1
MSN Moneycentral: Costco. (2010). Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://moneycentral.msn.com/detail/stock_quote?Symbol=cost&getquote=Get+Quote
Bula, F. (2006). Downtown Costco an instant hit. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=58a7c193-2c09-4d72-904f-c03f09cc1d55
Buyer power is high. Consumers are well informed and have a number of discount and warehouse options from which to choose. As such, there is a high risk of substitution or switching, lending the buyer high power on aggregate. There are high barriers to entry. Tremendous economies of scale are required in order to adequately compete in the low cost sector. Infrastructure buildout costs are high for any firm wishing to compete with Costco. Exit barriers are also high, due to fixed costs and the fact that most firms in the industry only operate in the warehouse or discount business. There is a high threat of substitutes from discount retailers and other low-cost retailers. The intensity of rivalry is moderate. With only three firms in the industry there is an inherent rivalry between the major players. However, strong growth in the market has reduced the intensity of the rivalry somewhat.…
The company's suppliers are one of the most important aspects of the microenvironment of any company, and Costco makes no exception. The company's suppliers can create a series of negative situations if they do not deliver the goods in time. This creates a chain of complaints that the company cannot resolve. Also, a good relationship between the company and its suppliers on the long-term can bring a series of benefits for the company.
Another important principle that Costco used when developing its general strategy is represented by the company's shareholders and their reward. Certain theories sustain that the shareholders are the most important part of the company and that the company's objectives must be oriented towards increasing the profits for these shareholders.
Costco Financial Position
The strategy was very successful for Costco, given the increased sales that followed. The company's sales evolution over the past five years was the following:…
Thompson, Arthur (2009). Costco Wholesale Corporation: Mission, Business Model, and Strategy. The University of Alabama. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
Annual Report (2008). Costco. Retrieved February 27, 2009 at http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/83/83830/2008_AR_Cost.pdf .
Malone, Thomas (2006). Do Some Business Models Perform Better than Others? MIT Sloan School of Management. Retrieved February 27, 2009 at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=920667 .
Prasad, V. (2009). Introduction to Business Strategy. Social Science Research Network. Retrieved February 27, 2009 at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1324532 .
Costco is a mass market retailer, focusing on a "warehouse club" business model. The company has a cost leadership strategy and this helps to characterize the firm's financial statements In terms of the critical ratios, the following table outlines the results for Costco for the 2012 and 2011 fiscal years:
Costco Financial Metrics
current assets / current liabilities
(current assets - inventory) / current liabilities
Sales / Avg Accounts Receivable
COGS / Avg inventory
Total liabilities / total assets
Long-Term debt to equity
Long-term debt / total equity
Gross profit / Revenue
Net profit / Revenue
Stock price / earnings
Price / Book
Price / shareholder's equity
These ratios tell the story of Costco. There are a number of aspects to this. The liquidity ratios…
Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) in India
Costco Wholesale Corporation started operations in 1983 in Seattle, Washington. The company is essentially engaged with the operation of membership warehouses in Canada, United States, Mexico, Puerto ico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, and via majority owned subsidiaries in Korea and Taiwan. The company's normal stock is trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the image COST (Marchetti & oy, 2009).
The company is the fifth biggest retailer globally known for its warehouse club model, which could overtake Wal-Mart in its pursuit to establish footsteps in the developing markets. The Washington-based Corporation owns a global chain of over 504 warehouses accessible as national and local brands offering prices lower than traditional retail or wholesale outlets. It competes with the wholesale entity, Sam's Club owned by Wal-Mart in the U.S. (Kim & Mauborgne, 2010).
This study examines the present retail situation…
Kim, W.C., & Mauborgne, R. (2010). Blue ocean strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.
Krugman, P. & Wells, R. (2013). Economics. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Madaan, K.V.S. (2009). Fundamentals of retailing. New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill Education Private Limited.
Marchetti, J.A., & Roy, M. (2009). Opening markets for international trade in services: Countries and sectors in bilateral and WTO negotiations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Although not my firm, I see this in a company like Palm. Once dominant in its industry, the minute the industry dynamic shifted with the introduction of a new product and a new competitor (the shift to smartphones and the entrance of Apple), Palm was unable to adapt to compete. Blackberry management was able to adapt and that company has continued to enjoy a strong market position, while Palm has all but disappeared. hile this is an extreme example, it illustrates that there are few sources of sustainable competitive advantage, so leaders must be able to constantly find new ways for their firms to excel. This can sometimes imply significant changes to the business model, so the leader should not only be flexible but should be prepared to lead the organization through the process. The organization, therefore, should be responsive to the leader's demands for changes to company culture, processes…
Boyle, M. (2006). Why Costco is so addictive. Fortune. Retrieved April 10, 2011 from http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/10/30/8391725/index.htm
Yukl, G. & Lepsinger, R. (2002). Why flexible, adaptive leadership is essential for organizational effectiveness. Retrieved April 10, 2011 from www.oks.hio.no/ou/fagseminar/artikler/Yukl-Lepsinger.doc
Statement of Ethics
Our Mission is to offer our members quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices (Data monitor, 2011). In order to realize our mission, we will execute our business with the following Code of Ethics in mind:
Code of Ethics
Our code of ethics will focus on five critical elements:
Taking care of our members
Obeying the law
Taking care of our employees
especting our suppliers
ewarding our shareholders
The achievement of the first four elements will facilitate the ability of Costco to realize its ultimate goal in relation to ewarding Shareholders.
Obeying the Law
The law is the ultimate facilitator in the execution of the business operations (Wadhwa, 2009). Our business must operate in total compliance with the laws of every community and location thus the need to pledge to:
Adhere and comply to all laws and legal requirements
Uphold all public officials…
Thomas, T., Schermerhorn Jr., J.R., & Dienhart, J.W. (2004). Strategic leadership of ethical behavior in business. Academy Of Management Executive, 18(2), 56-66.
Wadhwa, V. (2009). Why Be an Ethical Company? They're Stronger and Last Longer.
Costco Takes Long-Term View. (2009). MMR, 26(13), 31.
Rafter, M.V. (2005). Welcome to the club. Workforce Management, 84(4), 40-46.
Costco has become a familiar name in homes across the country. Costco is a membership-based discount warehouse with a range of products including; food, clothing and electronics. Costco was created in 1983 by James D. Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman. The main benefits associated with shopping at Costco include discount shopping and having the ability to buy in bulk. At Costco's members and their guest can purchase products that cost much less than products at regular retail outlets and grocery stores. The ability to buy in bulk is also a benefit being a member of Costco's. This is especially true for restaurants because they are able to purchase a large volume of products at a discounted price. Buying in bulk is also excellent for large households. (Zellner)
Costco is an excellent company for society and individual communities. Costco provides communities with jobs and low priced items. The purpose of this…
Madison Heights:. Vol. 53, Iss. 4; pg. 38
Zellner Wendy. July 16, 2001. Warehouse Clubs: When the Going Gets Tough...:The slowdown hasn't slowed down Sam's Club and Costco
Business Week. New York:., Iss. 3741; pg. 60
Costco's mission can be resumed as the willingness to offer its members a large variety of good quality products at the lowest possible price
The very philosophy of the company is a clue that the top management practices a low-cost management which allows it to save on several fixed costs, such as office supply etc. For example, the fact that senior executives use furniture purchased from the oeing Company and used ever since Costco was created is notorious, but there are other examples in this sense: no public relations department, scarce use of the company jet and sparsely decorated warehouses
As we can see, the company's strategy, at least in terms of finance, is to keep costs as low as possible, so as to be able to compete with the other players on the market in terms of overall volume sold. In this sense, the company's strategy is a low…
1. Costco asks Quebec government to rescind measures preventing a reduction of gas prices. On the Internet at http://www.canadanewswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2005/27/c7664.html
2. Costco on the Wikipedia Encyclopedia. On the Internet at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costco
Costco asks Quebec government to rescind measures preventing a reduction of gas prices. On the Internet at http://www.canadanewswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2005/27/c7664.html
Costco on the Wikipedia Encyclopedia. On the Internet at
S. Just like people, corporations can have biases and even forms of ethnocentrism inherent in their cultures, a prime example of this being WalMart (Hammond, Axelrod, 2006). Clearly further analysis is necessary to understand why Costco struggles in other regions of the world, yet the company's financial performance on a global level continues to be exceptional due to the factors cited earlier.
What is needed is for the company to concentrate on how to better understand the cultural dimensions of the nations they are operating in today and planning to sell into in the future. The Cultural Dimensions Model (Hofstede, 1998) would be an invaluable framework for the company to use in defining market entrance, market growth, and market strategy maintenance strategies throughout the individual country and region markets they hope to succeed in. The need for more of a focus on how their supply chains can scale into these…
Boyle, D.. (2008, December). Costco Wholesale Corporation. Better Investing, 58(4), 31.
Costco, Investor Relations (2009, May 29). Costco Investor Relations. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from Costco Investor Relations SEC Filings Web site: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=83830&p=irol-sec
Chu, J., & Rockwood, K.. (2008, November). Thinking Outside The Big Box. Fast Company,(130), 128-130,132.
Alan M. Field (2006, February 20). Store brands take over. Journal of Commerce, p. 1.
Costco Organizational Theory and Behavior
1. What is Costco’s competitive advantage?
Costco is incessantly outperforming corporations such as Target and Wal-Mart. The company has reported great and impressive financial results from one financial quarter to the next whereas Target and Wal-Mart are dealing with a lull in business. All of this comes down to Costco’s competitive advantages. One of these competitive advantages is the focus on driving sales (Lutz, 2014). Whereas its rivals spend significant amounts in marketing, Costco does not go to great extents in advertising but rather retails a limited number of items. In spite of the company’s massive store volume, it has been renowned for selling a fraction of the brands in rival companies. The key competitive advantage in this lies in the fact that retailing fewer items leads to an increase in sales volumes and aids in driving discounts. Furthermore, Costco’s concentration on driving sales aids…
Dyck, B., & Neubert, M. (2008). Management: Current practices and new directions. Cengage Learning.
Ingram, P. (2015). Use Costco\\\\'s supply chain best practices to save your business money. Retrieved 15 October, 2018 from: https://www.investcalgaryregion.ca/blog/use-costcos-supply-chain-best-practices-to-save-your-business-money
Kline, D. B. (2017). What Is Costco\\\\'s Competitive Advantage? The Motley Fool. Retrieved 15 October, 2018 from: https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/03/17/what-is-costcos-competitive-advantage.aspx
Lutz, A. (2014). Costco\\\\'s Simple Strategy For Outperforming Wal-Mart And Target. Business Insider. Retrieved 15 October, 2018 from: https://www.businessinsider.com/costcos-simple-strategy-2014-9?IR=T
Young, J. (2017). Costco Wholesale’s Generic and Intensive Growth Strategies. Panmore Institute. Retrieved 15 October, 2018 from: http://panmore.com/costco-wholesale-generic-intensive-growth-strategies
Ethics Unwrapped. (2018). The Costco Model. Retrieved 15 October, 2018 from: https://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/case-study/the-costco-model
Research and Report for Costco
What is Costco’s Competitive Advantage?
Costco’s competitive advantage lies in the value attained from membership. The warehouse club's members pay for the desire of shopping there and that produces a difficult to disrupt circle that profits the company. In essence, paying for membership strengthens the customer’s associations to the brand while the fundamental value proposition either gives rise to an upsurge in usage levels or creates onus on leaving. Consequently, this results in a competitive advantage for Costco that only a small number of other retailers in the market can compete with (Kline, 2017). Executive Members account for just about 30 percent of the total membership of Costco but make up approximately 66 percent of the company’s sales. This is a major aspect that sustains Costco’s competitive advantage. Notably, Costco offers consumers low prices for different products, and joining, particularly making payment for the Executive…
Gerard, J. (2018). Employee Relations Best Practices: Costco\\\\'s Approach to HR. iSight. Retrieved from: https://i-sight.com/resources/employee-relations-best-practices-costco/
Kline, D. B. (2017). What Is Costco\\\\'s Competitive Advantage? The Motley Fool. Retrieved from: https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/03/17/what-is-costcos-competitive-advantage.aspx
According to the company’s website (2019), Costco originated in 1976 by Sol Price and its basic business model was developed at that time, offering members the opportunity for efficient bulk buying at low prices. Jim Sinegal, who was an executive VP working for Price, took his knowledge and founded Costco in 1983 in Seattle. In 1993, Costco and Price Club merged, providing the fuel for an extended run of growth that the company is still experiencing today.
The warehouse business in the US is mainly competed by Costco and Sam’s Club, which is owned by Walmart. Costco is the larger of the two competitors. The industry is mature, with the major competitors having been around for a few decades each, and there being slow growth of 2.2% (IBIS, 2019) and relatively slow pace of innovation. The major innovations in this industry were more in the 80s and 90s.
Costco (2019), website, various pages. Costco. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from https://www.costco.com/
Howland, D. (2018) Walmart shuttering 63 Sam’s Club stores in shift to e-commerce. Retail Dive. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from https://www.retaildive.com/news/walmart-shuttering-63-sams-clubs-in-shift-to-e-commerce/514676/
IBIS World (2019) Warehouse clubs and supercenters industry in the US. IBIS World. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-trends/market-research-reports/retail-trade/general-merchandise-stores/warehouse-clubs-supercenters.html
Isidore, C. (2018) BJ’s Wholesale Club is going public again. CNN. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from https://money.cnn.com/2018/05/17/news/companies/bjs-wholesale-club-going-public/
Martinez, A. & Allison, M. (2010) Costco, other warehouse clubs holding their own during recession. Seattle Times. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from https://www.seattletimes.com/business/local-business/costco-other-warehouse-clubs-holding-their-own-during-recession/
Samy, S. (2019) Costco: Buy its resiliency and its dividends. Seeking Alpha. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from https://seekingalpha.com/article/4231853-costco-buy-resiliency-dividends
Costco Inventory Control:
Costco holesale Corporation has continued to use its entrepreneurial ability to constantly reinvent itself. The constant reinvention and ability has made Costco to gain a powerful global competitive advantage. Actually, the company is currently considered as a warehouse king who success continues to be a major threat to al-Mart, the largest retailer across the world. Similar to al-Mart, Costco's global competitive advantage is attributed to the firm's efficiency in managing inventory and working capital. The company usually reinvents its inventory control and management approximately 13.8 times annually. Given the nature of its business model, Costco tends to sell in bulk quantities because of discounts on certain merchandise and ability to attract bulk buyers like small businesses.
Generally, inventory turnaround is a factor that indicates the effectiveness and efficiency of a business or company. Similar to the major companies within its industry, Costco's inventory turnaround shows…
Gilbert, Josh. "Analysis of the Effectiveness of Passive Item-level RFID Tags Utilized in Inventory Counts." California Polytechnic State University Research. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2011. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. .
Llopis, Glenn. "The Costco Factor: To Win The Business Game, You Need to Change How You Think." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 31 Jan. 2011. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. .
Nelson, Emily, and Ann Zimmerman. "Minding the Store: Kimberly-Clark Keeps Costco in Diapers, Absorbing Costs Itself - Under New System, Supplier Stocks Retailer's Shelves And Boosts Bottom Lines - Averting a Huggies Squeeze." The Wall Street Journal (2000): 1. Dow Jones & Company Inc., 7 Sept. 2000. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. .
The strategy outlines clearly the ethical position of the organization in relation to interactions between consumers and various stakeholders. This is essential in the enhancement of service and products provisions. The organization focuses on the adherence to the law through development and implementation this marketing strategy. This enhances effectiveness and efficiency of the legal interaction between consumers, shareholders, and stakeholders. The organization also pledges to take quality care of its members. This is an essential aspect of motivation to the workforce in the pursuit of the organizational goals and objectives with reference to the 25-year plan. The strategy focuses on the provision of opportunities to stakeholders and shareholders. The organization also focuses on rewarding its shareholders through effective and efficient return on the capital. There are also quality programs to enhance the performance of the workforce thus essential in the aspect of increasing volume of profits and revenues. The organization…
Company Spotlight: Costco Wholesale Corporation' 2009, Marketwatch: Global Round-Up, 8, 5, pp. 99-105,
Galanti, R 2010, 'Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST)', Wall Street Transcript, 183, 9, pp. 49-51
'Costco Flourishes Throughout the Sinegal Era' 2012, Mmr, 29, 3, p. 26, Business Source Complete
'Costco Wholesale Corporation SWOT Analysis' 2012, Costco Wholesale Corporation SWOT Analysis, pp. 1-9, Business Source Complete
Strategic Management and Strategic Competitiveness
Costco Wholesale Corporation is a membership-based retailer offering private label as well as branded products in a range of merchandise categories including meat, deli, bakery, and produce; home furnishings, house wares, domestics; institutionally packaged as well as dry foods; motor vehicle and related products, seasonal items, toys, sports merchandise and items, beauty aids, and electronic products; food items, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and candy, to name but a few. The company additionally operates travel businesses, hearing aids centers, one-hour photo centers, optical dispensing centers, food courts, pharmacies, and gas stations in various local and international locations. With a total of 652 warehouses, 463 of them in the U.S., and the rest scattered across Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the UK, Mexico, and Canada; Costco is America's third largest retailer, and the largest membership-based warehouse entity in the world. The company faces fierce competition from BJ's Wholesale…
Calstalela. (n.d.). Sample Case Study: Costco -- Five-Forces Analysis of the Competition in the Wholesale Club Industry. California State University Los Angeles. Retrieved 8 July 2014 from http://web.calstatela.edu/faculty/klai/Course/497Costco.pdf
Global Business Environment. (n.d.). Part 1: Global Business Environment: Globalization. Pearson Inc. Retrieved 8 July 2014 from http://catalogue.pearsoned.co.uk/assets/hip/gb/hip_gb_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0273752634.pdf
Hitt, M.A., Ireland, R.D., & Hoskisson, R.E. (2013). Strategic management: Concept and cases: Competiveness and Globalization (10thed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
This can be seen in the case, and gaps in the product strategy at WalMart (Serpkenci, Tigert, 2006).
Costco capitalize son these WalMart weakness very well, and is attracting a very unique, affluent customer segment as a result. Using Quantcast, a free online website traffic analytics tool to measure the traffic on Costco.com, the following insights have been gained. First, Costco shoppers are in the 35 -- 44 age group (25%) followed with the 25 -- 34 age group (22%). Second, the majority of Costco shoppers don't have children (57%) which frees up greater disposable income for discretionary purchases. Third, 37% of Costco shoppers earn $150,000 a year or more, which is exceptional given their nature as a mass merchandiser. 31% earn between $100K to $150K according to the completed Quantcast analysis. 46% attended a college or university and 20% attended graduate school. 69% are Caucasian and 12% are Asian,…
Cascio, W.F. (2006). Decency means more than "always low prices": A comparison of Costco to Wal-Mart's Sam's club. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 20(3), 26-37.
Davis, M.K. (2008). Integrity and values. New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, 11(2), 9-12.
Serpkenci, R.R., & Tigert, D.J. (2006). Wal-Mart's new normal is here: Is everyone ready to accept the future? International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 34(1), 85-100.
WalMart Investor Relations (2013). Investor Relations. Retrieved July 3, 2013, from Wal-Mart Investor Relations and Filings with the SEC:
The fourth financial statement, called a "statement of shareholders' equity," shows changes in the interests of the company's shareholders over time. ("Beginners' Guide...," 2007)
To be considered profitable, a company's assets must equal, or "balance" the sum of its liabilities and shareholders' equity. Assets = Liabilities + Shareholders' Equity the following formula summarizes what a company's balance sheet pictures, followed by figure 5, which depicts this particular formula. ("Beginners' Guide...," 2007)
Figure 5: Formula Summarizing Balance Sheet (adapted from "Beginners' Guide...," 2007)
The following figure (6) presents a picture of locations of Costco's 529 warehouses, as of December 2007:
Figure 6: Locations of Costco's 529 Warehouses (Hanacek. 2008)
Financial figures presented during the course of this study relate and reinforce Costco's continuing history of making a profit from its sales. In addition, numerous publications reveal Costco's continuing growth in its number of warehouses; employee; cardholders; etc.. In turn, this researcher…
Beginners' Guide to Financial Statements." U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Modified: 02/05/2007. Retrieved July 27, 2008, at http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/begfinstmtguide.htm .
The Costco formula continues to resonate." MMR, May 5, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2008, at http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-179241204.html .
D&apos, Anne; Innocenzio. "Costco sees 4Q below estimates," AP Online, July 23, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2008, at http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1A1-D923QE800.html .
Financial Statements. (2008) Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST). Retrieved July 27, 2008, at http://finance.google.com/finance?fstype=ii&q=NASDAQ:COST .
As a result, this shift would lead to an emphasis on providing various goods and services to customers, in an effort to address changing consumer demand. This would have an impact on the Costco itself, as it would provide stability for the company and help them to be able to take advantage of the shift that was occurring. Evidence of this can be seen by examining the different financial aspects of the company. As the financial statement analysis indicates, that despite various challenges facing retailers over the last five years, Costco is continuing to see sizeable increases in net sales and net income. The different ratios indicate that the company is in strong financial condition, as they have low amounts of debt, high levels of liquidity and profitability. The only problem is that the price of the stock has become more expensive, given the fact that shares have seen such…
2009 Annual Report. (2010). Costco. Retrieved from: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9MjQ1ODV8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBlPTM=&t=1
Costco History. (2010). Price Viewer. Retrieved from: http://www.priceviewer.com/costco/costco.htm
Costco Wholesale. (2010). Yahoo Finance. Retrieved from: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/co?s=COST+Competitors
Costco Wholesale. (2010). Forbes. Retrieved from: http://finapps.forbes.com/finapps/jsp/finance/compinfo/Ratios.jsp?tkr=cost
1. Introduction: Provide a brief background of the company and description of its business.
Costco Wholesale Corporation provides wholesale goods in a variety of disparate areas including electronics, food and kitchen supplies, basic textiles, automotive parts, and many others including furniture and jewelry. Its business, therefore, is centered upon provisioning the greatest amount of quantity of goods for the most reasonable prices. This company was founded in 1976 in California and was originally known as Price Club. Today it has expanded throughout the continental United States. Its basic business model is that people must pay a membership fee in order to join the company shop in its myriad wholesale locations. There are varying forms of membership, each of which has different benefits.
2. Economy: Assess the overall economic outlook.
The overall economic outlook for Costco is fairly stable. In terms of macro factors, the global economy has considerably improved within…
Abrams, Rachel. “Target to Pay $18.5 Million to 47 States in Security Breach Settlement.” www.nytimes.com 2017. Web. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/business/target-security-breach-settlement.html
Ellis, James E. “Why Costco Is Lagging Online.” Bloomberg Businessweek. 4535(1), 14-15.
Cascio, Wayne. “Decency Means More than \\"Always Low Prices\\": A Comparison of Costco to Wal-Mart\\'s Sam\\'s Club.” Academy of Management Perspectives. Vol. 20, issue 3, 26-37.
Costco Wholesale. “Annual Report 2017”. http://investor.costco.com/ 2018. Web. http://investor.costco.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83830&p=irol-reportsannual
Macroexis. Costco wholesale Beta. https://www.macroaxis.com/ 2018 Web. https://www.macroaxis.com/invest/ratio/COST--Beta
Costco Internal Assessment
Brief Company Overview
Having commenced its operations in 1976 with the establishment of the very first retail warehouse club in San Diego by a warehouse club retailing pioneer by the name Sol Price, Costco has grown to become one of the largest retailers in the world. The company’s first location mainly served small enterprises and was located in a modified/adapted plane hangar (Costco, 2019). The name of this first establishment was Price Club. It was, however, not until 1983 that the first Costco was opened by James D. Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman in Seattle. In 1993, the two formations (Costco and Price Club) merged to become Price/Costco, and six years later, the corporation adopted its current name.
Presently, the company is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington and company has operations in not only the United States, but also Spain, Australia, the UK, and…
Programs, Budgets and Procedures
Costco's approach to financial improvement will come in the form of a two-pronged strategy. The first is to increase inventory turnover, and the second will come in the form of increasing market share. Inventory turnover is a standard ratio that refers to "how many times a company's inventory is sold and replaced over a period of time," ("Inventory Turnover," (n.d.). Increasing market share usually depends on a multifaceted process that includes "innovation, strengthening customer relationships, smart hiring practices and acquiring competitors," (Investopedia, 2015).
While it is understood that Costco has exceptional inventory turnover rates, improving these will shorten the cash conversion cycle, and thus have a positive impact on the company's bottom line. There are two potential approaches to lowering the inventory turnover rate. The first is that the company can open more stores and seek to reduce the amount of days' inventory in each…
Ingram, D. (n.d.). What Are the Seven Internal Control Procedures in Accounting? Chronicle. Retrieved online: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/seven-internal-control-procedures-accounting-76070.html
"Inventory Turnover," (n.d.). Investopedia. Retrieved online: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/inventoryturnover.asp
Investopedia (2015). What strategies do companies employ to increase market share?
Retrieved online: http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/031815/what-strategies-do-companies-employ-increase-market-share.asp
It is alleged that COSCO is not fair to female employees in promotional opportunities. Is this correct? Is this not correct? And why?
In the culture wars between retailers, Costco always seems to come out ahead of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. No one boycotts Costco because of their labor practices or because they are unfair to manufacuters, but is this the end of the story? Some women have alleged that Costco, like Wal-Mart, is not fair to female employees and doesn't offer promotional opportunities to them. In fact, a class action suit has been filed which states that from 2002-2007 a "glass ceiling" existed at Costco that limited female employees' pay and promotions. he case is still awaiting adjudication by the courts. According to the text book, women make up nearly half of Costco's workforce, but only 13% of store managers are women. By way of explanation, the…
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was landmark legislation in the United States that outlaws major forms of discrimination against blacks and women. The law affected segregation, voting requirements, and segregation and discrimination in the workplace. Ten amendments, or Titles, have been added to the Act since 1964. Title VII is especially important for employment law as is prohibits discrimination by employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or pregnancy. What seems to be missing in this day and age are specific protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. Perhaps an addition to the Civil Rights Act could be the catalyst for other legal changes, like the legalization of gay marriage. The Act could also be used to prevent discrimination in adoption and could be used to aid gay and lesbian parents in custody battles and other family matters that require legal intervention. Most relevant here is what the Civil Rights Act could provide in the way of employment law, preventing discrimination in the workplace.
Employment discrimination in the United States is usually adjudicated under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The text outlines several suits recently involving large Wall Street firms having to pay millions of dollars for being biased against women. The Act, however, is in no way complete and could use some significant improvements. Many states have enacted provisions for family leave legislation, but the federal level has not caught up. This would be a huge enhancement of the Civil Rights act and would extend protection to all U.S. employees. The Act could also be enhanced by providing for a national minimum wage that actually enables people to survive on minimum wage without living in poverty. The Act should also include provisions that protect gays and lesbians against employment discrimination and grant them other protections -- in the areas of housing, marriage, family law, etc. A new issue that could be covered by the act is ageism, since many Americans will have to work long into their 60s
Pricing and Distribution:
As an extremely important decision for a company, pricing is the only element of the marketing mix that generates revenue. The positioning of a product in the market is dependent on its pricing since customers tend to greatly resist attempts to change price once it has been set up. As compared to other elements in the marketing mix, price is the variable with which a competitive response can be quickly implemented. On the contrary, distribution basically involves the process of getting the product from the manufacturer to the intended consumer.
How Pricing and Distribution Complement each other at Costco:
Costco is a company that has itself as a means with which brides and grooms can create an unforgettable wedding day through reasonable prices. In the past few years, the warehouse store sells all wedding-related accessories including engagement rings, invitations, flowers, and trips for honeymoon. While it's difficult…
Berk, C.C. (2011, March 7). Here Comes the Bride, All Dressed by Costco. Retrieved January
17, 2012, from http://www.cnbc.com/id/41950692
Bertini, M. & Wathieu, L. (2010, May). How to Stop Consumers from Fixating on Price.
Harvard Business Review, 88. 48-91.
The U.S. Navy falls more towards the engaged end of the continuum but they are not as actively engaged as Costco. The Navy's ethics relate to its core values. In many respects, honesty and integrity are crucial to the Navy's success. This is certainly the case with respect to internal interactions. ith respect to external interactions, however, the Navy moves away from active ethical behavior towards relative indifference to the issue. To some degree this is necessitated by the work the Navy must do. Combat work and other issues relating to national security occasionally require that the Navy not treat all stakeholders equally well. Such activity, secrecy or lack of public accountability is not actively unethical; it is simply necessitated by circumstances. However, the majority of activity of the U.S. Navy is conducted according to high ethical standards, which puts them towards the engaged end of the continuum.
Goldberg, Alan B. & Ritter, Bill. (2006). Costco CEO Finds Pro-Worker Means Profitability. ABC News. Retrieved April 11, 2009 from http://abcnews.go.com/2020/business/story?id=1362779
US Navy Ethics site. (2009) Retrieved April 11, 2009 from http://ethics.navy.mil/
Brief Overview of Costco's Compensation System
Costco has a unique compensation system within its industry. The company competes as a cost leader, where it features low prices as a means of winning business. Cost leaders typically try to have rock bottom costs throughout their operations, from the supply chain to labor and everywhere in between. These competitors will use their bargaining power to get the cheapest labor possible, bargaining down wages, benefits and other perks. This often results in a poor quality labor pool with high levels of turnover, but these companies accept that as part of having a low cost labor pool and account for that is the design of the low cost business model (Lutz, 2013).
The approach that the company has to compensation is therefore counterintuitive to the way that most of its competitors run their human resources, but there is internal logic to Costco's…
Costco. (2014). Benefits. Costco. Retrieved May 31, 2014 from https://costcobenefits.com/cms/your-wealth/401k/index.shtml
Deci, E., Ryan, R. & Koestner, R. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin. Vol. 125 (6) 627-668.
Goldberg, A. & Ritter, B. (2005). Costco CEO finds pro-worker means profitability. ABC News. Retrieved May 31, 2014 from http://www.sba.pdx.edu/faculty/susanm/semaccess/BA%20385/Costco%20CEO%20Finds%20Pro-Worker%20Means%20Profitability.doc
Gray, C. (2014). Tangible benefits of reducing turnover. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 31, 2014 from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/tangible-benefits-reducing-turnover-21668.html
Transformation leadership is 'authentic' leadership which "builds genuine trust between leaders and followers." Furthermore transformational leadership "concentrates on terminal values such as integrity and fairness. They see the responsibility for their organization's development and impact on society." (Ibid)
Homig and MacGregor in the work entitled:" Transformational Leadership" state that the following ten 'tenets' are inclusive in the transformational leader's style of leading:
1. Leaders have high moral and ethical values.
2. Leaders express genuine interest in followers.
3. Leaders have an inspirational vision.
4. Genuine trust exists between leaders and led.
5. Followers share leader's values and vision.
6. Leaders and followers perform beyond self-interest.
7. Participatory decision-making is the rule.
8. Innovative thinking and action is expected.
9. Motivation is to do the right thing.
10. Leaders mentor. (nd)
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
While all of these theories were valid at some time or in relation to some…
Creating Futures (nd) Online available at http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:k13BWFbu_wIJ:u wfoundation.org/newsletter/June2005/43565Camp NewsletterFI NAL.pdf+Jeffrey+H.+Brotman,+Leadership&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=9
Costco Wholesale Investor Relations (2006) Online http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=83830&p=irol-govBio&ID=13292
Employee Motivation, the Organizational Environment and Productivity (2006) Section 2: Basic Approaches Used to Improve Productivity. Accel Team Online available at http://www.accel-team.com/human_relations/hrels_03_mcgregor.html
Costco -5th Largest Retailer in U.S. And 11th Largest in the World (2006) http://www.customer-service.com/newsletter/126E.aspx
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently ruled that Costco's policy with respect to social media usage by their employees was too broad. Specifically, the ruling stated that the wording of Costco's policy "could effectively stifle its employees' right to free speech" under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. This section "protects employees who choose to take part in grievances, on-the-job protests, picketing and strikes" (Belicove, 2012). The case was brought to the NLRB by Local 371 of the United Food and Commercial orkers, who argued that the company's policies with respect to social media usage violated worker's right to free speech under the NLRA. The NLRB panel found that Costco's provisions were too broad, failing to exclude protected speech from the speech that was subject to penalty. The NLRB also struck down a number of other rules that were in the Costco Employee Agreement…
Belicove, M. (2012). NLRB slams Costco on social media use policy: What it means for your business. Forbes. Retrieved November 7, 2012 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikalbelicove/2012/09/28/nlrb-slams-costco-on-social-media-use-policy-what-it-means-for-your-business/
National Labor Relations Act. Retrieved November 7, 2012 from http://www.nlrb.gov/national-labor-relations-act
Post, A. (2012). NLRB publishes first social media decision. Inside Counsel. Retrieved November 7, 2012 from http://www.insidecounsel.com/2012/09/18/nlrb-publishes-first-social-media-decision
Smith, A. (2012). NLRB takes sledgehammer to social media policies. Society for Human Resource Management. Retrieved November 7, 2012 from http://www.shrm.org/legalissues/federalresources/pages/nlrbsocialmediapolicies.aspx
Marketing Strategies in Costco's etail Stores
etail Store Loyalty
Besides being one of the leading U.S. retail stores, Costco has won the hearts of many customers. As a customer, I have maintained my loyalty to this retailer, thanks to their small, surprise gifts that often remind me to visit the store in a delighted manner. Often, these unexpected gifts reflect the law of reciprocity, meaning the company responds to my positive actions with a positive action (Dahmen, 2004). The gifts range from simple things like a digital card. However, I feel that Costco could improve their customer experience by offering a personalized, compelling and seamless brand experience. While seeking to satisfy consumers' demands, the retailer must focus on the degree of involvement that consumers have with their brands across channels. Therefore, Costco must deliver value to me to continue earning my loyalty. In the wake of e-.commerce boom, Costco needs…
Dahmen, P. (2004). Multi-Channel Strategies for Retail Financial Services: A Management-Framework for Designing and Implementing Multi-Channel Strategies. Wiesbaden: Deutscher Universita-tsverlag.
Gillespie, K., & Hennessey, H. D. (2011). Global marketing. Australia: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Lamb, C. W., Hair, J. F., & McDaniel, C. D. (2009). Essentials of marketing. Mason, Ohio: South-Western.
Sales Channel Comparison
Consumer Channel (Lands' End)
Land's End is a world leader in multi-channel retailing and multi-channel management, selling online, over the telephone, through its own stores, affiliate stores and through Sears' larger retail outlets. Sears Holdings acquired Lands' End in 2001 and has since then continually integrated the company's products into the Sears selling channels as well. The core focus of the company from a product standpoint is casual and customizable clothing for men, women and children including infants. In addition, the company also sells many accessory items including handbags, travel accessories and weather-related personal products. Another part of the company's channel are its 15 different Inlet and NQP-branded stores operating in Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Wisconsin. The company has made many horizontal marketing system decisions including expanded into Land's End School and Land's End Business Outfitter, in addition to Land's End International. This last venture moved…
Sue F. Abdinnour-Helm, Barbara S. Chaparro, & Steven M. Farmer. (2005). Using the End-User Computing Satisfaction (EUCS) Instrument to Measure Satisfaction with a Web Site. Decision Sciences, 36(2), 341-364.
Prabhu Aggarwal, & Ram Ganeshan. (2007). Using risk-management tools on B2Bs: An exploratory investigation. International Journal of Production Economics, 108(1/2), 2
Baker, Thomas L. (1993). Leaders in selling and sales management: An analysis of the. The Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 13(2), 91.
A GE B2B Faces Life on Its Own. (2002, June). Business Week (Online),1.
Attribute of Organizations
Autonomy at work
Autonomy at work and freedom to make decisions goes a long way to motivate the employees on achieving much beyond their targets with little or no supervision since they will be responsible for their own decisions. The most interesting job that I have done is being a picnic and tours guide for the high school vacation groups particularly during the school breaks. This involves helping the students to access the interesting sites in groups, planning their logistics, guiding their tours and putting together activities for them. In as much as there was sufficient room to make decisions on my own, there could have been more autonomy extended to me as a guide in terms of the choice of the sites to suggest to the different groups instead of the employer always dictating the sites where a particular group was to be take. There could…
A comparison between two major department stores, Nordstrom and Wal*Mart can illustrate the concepts of pricing and distribution. The research shows that both Nordstrom and Wal*Mart use pricing and distribution strategically, but with different means, methods, and end results.
Pricing and distribution are integral parts of an overall marketing strategy. Pricing refers to the cost of the item, and is related to product positioning, perceived value, and the profitability of the company. Distribution refers to the methods by which the company delivers its goods and services to the consumer, and signals how consumers first come into contact with the items for sale. A comparison between Wal*Mart and Nordstrom helps to illustrate the interrelated concepts of pricing and distribution. Nordstrom and Wal*Mart are both major department stores that depend on strategic pricing and distribution strategies. However, their pricing strategies are completely different. Nordstrom lures customers with perceived quality and status,…
Bertini, M., and Wathieu, L. (2010). How to Stop Customers from Fixating on Price. Harvard Business Review Vol. 88 (May), p. 84-91
Burnsed, B. (2009, August 3). Where Discounting Can Be Dangerous . Business Week. New York. 49.
Florissen, A., Maurer, B., Schmidt, B. & and Vahlenkamp, T. (2001, August). The race to the bottom: When industries deregulate, their managers face unfamiliar challenges. Price wars are often the unfortunate -- and unnecessary -- result. McKinsey Quarterly. McKinsey & Company.
Henricks, M. (2010 November 19). Price-Cutting Peril: Do You Know What You're Doing -- Really? The Debunker. BNet.
label slp 1 OPM 500 for session long project, analyze OM perspectives organization. You choose list: 1. Walmart Costco 2. McDonald's 3. Amazon. 4. Dell 5. United Parcel Services For SLP paper, identify introduction, discussion, conclusion section: 1) The organization's main line business, 2) How inventory managed organization, 3) How inventory management practices improve customer satisfaction / reduce costs.
SLP 1 OPM 500
Wal-Mart is the greatest retailer in the United States and it has managed to gain and consolidate its strong competitive position as a result of a well developed and implemented strategic endeavor. Nevertheless, its business model has not always been successful and the economic agent has been faced with tremendous criticism. The organization has for instance been accused of exploiting its staff members, paying minimum wages and asking them to put in long hours. Also, the company was accused of sacrificing quality and responsibility in the name…
Greenwald, R., 2005, Wal-Mart: the high cost of low price, Documentary
Kumar, S., 2006, Total Quality Management, Firewall Media
Fisher, A., Fisher, T., 2009, The data asset: how smart companies govern their data for business success, John Wiley and Sons
Toomey, J.W., 2000, Inventory management: principles, concepts and techniques, Springer
As the largest mass merchandiser in the world, Wal-Mart's work in supply chain execution, research, and policies defines best practices for the broader high volume retailing industry worldwide. Wal-Mart is comprised of three operating segments including the Wal-Mart stores, Sam's lub and the International Stores. The typical Wal-Mart discount store as 50 departments or more and a few are offering groceries in addition to apparel, fabrics, stationery and books, shoes, house wares, hardware, electronics, home furnishings, small appliances, automotive accessories, gardening accessories, sporting goods, toys, and pet food. Wal-Mart moved into the Superenter retailing concept in the 1990s and has at this point 1,700 of these Superenters worldwide (Sampson, 2008).
These Superenters range in size from slightly over 90,000 square feet to 260,000 square feet. These are substantially larger than its normal stores, ranging in size from 90,000 square feet to 261,000 square feet. Wal-Mart also runs smaller…
Concentrating on supply chain efficiencies to support is primary messaging of its Low Price Everyday (LPED) value proposition, Wal-mart is differentiating itself by concentrating on the two most critical aspects that consumers consider when purchasing more commodity like products, which are price and availability. The general marketing strategy is to concentrate on what Wal-Mart calls the price value shopper, which comprises 16% of its total customer base, followed by brand Aspirational (29%) and price-Sensitive Affluents (15%). This segmentation strategy is how the company defines its strategic objectives for creating a demand-driven supply chain as well.
The value chain for Wal-Mart is integral to its overarching marketing strategy. Only by having a high enough level of inventory turns and logistics, supply chain and operational efficiencies can Wal-Mart support is LPED value proposition. Further, the role of each SuperCenter as a Distribution Center (DC) in the supply chain also underscores the other critical elements of the LPED strategy, which is to focus on price and availability over premium product or pricing positioning. Strategic marketing planning at Wal-Mart centers on the Price Value Shopper Segment, the majority of which are women who shop for their families whose household income (HH) is $40,000 or less per year (Birchall, 2008). Wal-Mart has successfully defined itself as a shopping strategy for making ends meet in the Value-Shopper segment and as a result has been able to sustain strong customer loyalty. In the customer segmentation discussion Wal-Mart's specific approaches to managing each segments' unique requirements is discussed. Market Strategy
The Wal-Mart market strategy concentrates on the Price Value Shopper segment as its top priority followed by the Brand Aspirationals who comprise 29% of their total sales. With the primary
The Price-Sensitive Affluents, Wal-Mart has learned (Wal-Mart Annual eports) is more interested in finding an exceptionally good deal and not necessarily concerned about the shopping experience. This is particularly true as one of the strongest factors influencing the execution of their strategy, the emerging global recession during this timeframe, takes hold. Again as with the Price Value Shopper and the paradoxical purchasing patterns of the Brand Aspirational segment show, the cost savings, accuracy, and quality of products delivered with the Wal-Mart supply chain are much more important in the long run relative to store accoutrements and improvements. Admittedly nearly two dozen superstores are very dated in their decor and layout and do need to be re-vamped (Frazier, 38). Yet as this analysis of the customer segments shows based on Wal-Marts' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission over time (Wal-Mart Annual eports), the far greater contributing factor to growing same-store…
Richard Appelbaum, Nelson Lichtenstein. "A New World of Retail Supremacy: Supply Chains and Workers' Chains in the Age of Wal-Mart. " International Labor and Working Class History 70.1 (2006): 106-125.
Tom Belden. . "Big-Box Retailers Target, Wal-Mart Strike Early, Deftly in Toy Price War. " Knight Ridder Tribune Business News 10 December 2003 1.
Dave Blanchard. "RFID is off and running at Wal-Mart. " Logistics Today 1
Cherie Blanchard, Clare L. Comm, Dennis F.X. Mathaisel. "Adding value to service providers: benchmarking Wal-Mart. " Benchmarking 15.2 (2008): 166-177.
Creating ROI in a New Environment
American Express (Amex) is one of the world's largest financial services company in the world, as well as the largest provider of many travel services. The company has a long history of building value for consumers by offering many services that are often free to them. Most credit card companies charge the consumer an interest rate for the use of their services, however Amex created an innovative strategy to differentiate that model. AMEX typically does not charge interest rates and the company generates its revenue through merchant processing activities, annual fees, and various fees. However, has struggled with many of its growth initiatives in recent years and faces and increasingly competitive environment in the financial services industry as there is a high level of innovation from within the industry. This analysis will consider the company's current operations in light of the evolving…
DogFrog. (2016, April 4). KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE: MARKET SEGMENTATION AND CUSTOMER TARGETING. Retrieved from FrogDog: http://frog-dog.com/know-your-audience-market-segmentation-and-customer-targeting/
Franklin, R. (2015, March 24). American Express facing increasing challenges. Retrieved from TH Online: http://www.thonline.com/news/national_world/article_e3125662-d239-11e4-9825-db2709cb705e.html
Hempel, J. (2014, May 21). American Express CEO Ken Chenault: 'There's a $25 trillion opportunity'. Retrieved from Fortune: http://fortune.com/2014/05/21/american-express-ceo-ken-chenault-theres-a-25-trillion-opportunity/
LaMagna, M. (2016, April 5). MarketWatch. Retrieved from 5 things to know about the Costco - AmEx breakup (and the new Visa): http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-things-to-know-about-the-costco-and-amex-breakup-2016-02-11
Speech to local Chamber of Congress -- Macroeconomic vs. Microeconomic influences today
Let's take a macro view of this problem! Let's take a micro view of this problem! hen we use such expressions colloquially, we usually mean taking a large vs. A small picture perspective. It is usually assumed that having a big picture perspective is the better one, because it is more far reaching in its nature. But a critical holistic view of macro and microeconomics theory shows that decisions made on the small-scale, or microeconomic level, can critically impact average buyers and sellers in ways that often are invisible to the naked economic eye of the consumer or capitalist as well. Both micro and macro factors must be considered together when making economic decisions on a personal level.
Microeconomics, also defined as classical economics as first preached by Adam Smith in his text the ealth of Nations, or…
"Aggregate Demand." (2005) The Digital Economist. Retrieved Jul 17 at 2005
Bick, Julie. (17 Jul 2005) "Listen Kids." The New York Times. Retrieved Jul 17 at 2005 http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/17/business/yourmoney/17lemonade.html
Greenhouse, Steven. (17 Jul 2005) "How Costco became the Anti-Wal-Mart." The New York Times. Retrieved Jul 17 at 2005
Besides that, the Costco site is very much like the Omegaxl site in that any additional information is provided through clicking a link; this is unlike Amazon where all the information is presented on the same page. Costco provides no immediate facility at the primary page for checkout or purchase. Hence, to do so requires that you select the item and them you are given checkout or purchasing options.
The shopping experience on the Costco site is the dullest of the three some may say it is the simplest. While the user experience is not bad it is arduous, as you have to make one click too many to access the information you really want. The absence of testimonials or product reviews on the main page is a letdown and the site could do more to provide product reviews, which assist in decision making. When shopping online, product reviews and…
Brynjolfsson Erik & Smith Michael D. (2000). Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers Management Science, 46(4):563-585
Danaher, P.J., Wilson, I.W., & Davis, R.A. (2003). A Comparison of Online and Offline
Consumer Brand Loyalty Source: Marketing Science, 22.(4): 461-476.
Filson, D. (2004). The Impact of E-Commerce Strategies on Firm Value: Lessons
Two of the most pressing issues in corporate leadership today include gender equality and labor rights. In "Women See Slow Progress in Leadership," Gay (2013) cites numerous empirical studies showing that the glass ceiling remains nearly impenetrable at the highest levels of management. The report cites the work-life balance ideal as the most common reason offered for why many women are either opting out of the CEO lifestyle, or are not considered ready or willing to handle the challenges and pressures of senior leadership.
In "The Best etail Companies to Work for ight Now," Smith (2013) describes Costco's approach toward human resources management. The company has recently been named one of the best companies to work for in the United States because of their relatively high salaries, supportive work environment, opportunity for growth, and job security. Its ethical labor rights practices are helping gain positive publicity for Costco, showing…
Gay, M. (2013). Women see slow progress in leadership. The Wall Street Journal. 14 Nov, 2013. Retrieved online: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303289904579196123043065800
Greenleaf, R. (2013). Ten principles of servant leadership. Butler University. Retrieved online: http://www.butler.edu/volunteer/resources/principles-of-servant-leadership/
Lavinsky, D. (2013). Are you a visionary business leader? Forbes. Retrieved online: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davelavinsky/2013/04/26/are-you-a-visionary-business-leader/
Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership (2013). What is servant leadership? Retrieved online: https://greenleaf.org/what-is-servant-leadership/
Suppose you are comparing two firms within an industry. One is large and the other is small. Will relative or absolute numbers be of more value in each case? What kinds of statistics can help evaluate relative size?
Gibson, Charles H. (2012-05-10). Financial Reporting and Analysis (Page 217). Cengage Textbook. Kindle Edition.
When comparing two firms that are unequal in size, the relative financial ratios are more appropriate for any type of comparison. The advantage of using ratios is that they represent a metric that can be easily compared with industry standards or other specific companies of different sizes. The financial statement represents a snap shot of a company's performance over a given time period and the financial information that these reports provide can allow the analysis of a wide range of different ratios. These ratios can provide insights to factors such as the company's ability to repay…
control mechanism Wal-Mart: Price
Pricing controls -- Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart advertises itself as a company that provides the lowest prices, all of the time, in comparison to its generic and specialty-store competitors. It is able to deploy this low price model in a successful manner by selling at a high volume. It is also dependent upon cheaper and exploited labor in foreign nations, where many of its products are manufactured. For example, employees in China not only receive low wages but are "housed in dismal dormitories; they may choose to live elsewhere, but still have to pay the dorm rent. In Bangladesh…working hours are 8 a.m. To 10 p.m., seven days a week, for 13 to 17 cents an hour" (Gates 2011). By limiting the benefits of all of its employees, in the United States as well as abroad, and depending upon a relatively low-wage, part-time workforce, it is also able…
Gates, Anita. (2005, November 24). Review of Wal-Mart: The high cost of low price The New
York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2011 at http://www.walmartmovie.com/reviews_nytimes.php
Manners, Tim. (2005). Wal-Mart vs. Costco. Fast Company.
Retrieved April 25, 2011 at http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/tim-manners/shop-talk/wal-mart-vs.-costco
oolworth vs. al-Mart
oolworth's has a long relationship with al-Mart, and in recent years has attempted to compete with al-Mart as a low-cost provider by adopting of some al-Mart's supply chain efficiencies and pricing practices. This paper will analyze strategic decision-making at oolworth's and compare it to that at al-Mart in order to gain an understanding of how each of these companies is run. There will also be a section in this paper about the nature of decision-making at each of these companies.
According to Michael Porter's typology, al-Mart is a cost leader and this drives virtually everything that the company does in terms of its operations (QuickMBA.com, 2010). The company supports its strategy by leveraging its buying power over suppliers and by using economies of scale to win efficiencies throughout its supply chain (Alagse, 2011). oolworth's has in recent years begun to compete using that same strategy, after finding…
Alagse. (2011). Customer focused low cost leadership strategy. Alagse. Retrieved May 5, 2011 from http://www.alagse.com/strategy/s10.php
Bloomberg.com (2009). Australia's Woolworths, facing Costco, takes tips from Wal-Mart. Fresh Plaza. Retrieved May 5, 2011 from http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=48001
Greenhalgh, J. (2007, 1). Woolies against the world -- Part 3: Key strategies. The Intelligent Investor. Retrieved May 5, 2011 from http://www.intelligentinvestor.com.au/articles/Woolworths-Limited-WOW/Woolies-against-the-world-Part-3-Key-strategies-.cfm?articleID=10002883
Greemhalgh, J. (2007, 2) Woolies against the world -- Part 2: Markets, brand and culture. The Intelligent Investor. Retrieved May 5, 2011 from http://www.intelligentinvestor.com.au/articles/Woolworths-Limited-WOW/Woolies-against-the-world-Part-2-Markets-brand-and-culture-.cfm?articleID=10002882
Mission and Vision Statement Analysis
Linking Wal-Mart's Mission and Vision to Their Strategic Goals ands Objectives
Assessing the Link Between Wal-Mart's Financial Performance And Its Strategic Goals
Wal-Mart Competitive and Marketing Analysis
Wal-Mart Marketing Analysis
Selecting An Appropriate Strategy (low cost, differentiation or niche) For Maximizing Organization's eturn on Shareholders
Potential Wal-Mart Merger & Acquisition Strategy
Incentive and eward Strategies for Wal-Mart Employees
Evaluating How Current Strategies Define Ethicacy Levels at Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart atio Analysis
Income Statement Analysis, 2007 -- 2011
Wal-Mart Capstone Analysis
Mission and Vision Statement Analysis
The foundations of the Wal-Mart value chain and its global success is predicated on how well this company aligns every internal system and strategy to their unique value proposition of Low Price Everyday (LPED) leadership. This unique value proposition galvanizes the mission and vision statement of Wal-Mart and is one of the foundations of their success and continued growth.…
Nabil Alghalith (2005). Competing with IT: The UPS Case. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 7(2), 7-15.
Jonathan Birchall. (2009, October 23). Walmart set to focus on growth outside U.S.. Financial Times,16.
Susan Christopherson 2007. Barriers to 'U.S. style' lean retailing: the case of Wal-Mart's failure in Germany. Journal of Economic Geography: Transnational Retail, Supply Networks, and the Global 7, no. 4 (July 1): 451-469.
Richard De Santa. (1998, January). Technology. Supermarket Business, 53(1), 18.
Irrational consumption: more is more 'More is more.' Consumers tend to associate 'more' -- as in more volume, larger amounts of a product, and even simply bigger products -- with greater value. Companies have capitalized upon this by using super-sized portions to convey a sense of value, or even charging consumers for the privilege of buying in bulk from so-called 'big box' stores. To encourage sales, companies may keep their packaging the same size while shrinking the actual amount of food within the boxes.
The perception of 'more' being good is particularly manifest in the irrational consumption patterns exhibited by consumers who eat fast food. Fast food is attractive because it offers predictable food, quickly, at an apparently bargain price for its volume. Fast food restaurants emphasize their cheapness by having 'dollar menus' and creating the perception of value. But this 'value' hides many hidden facts, including the cost of…
Study: Costco Customers Are Irrational. (2007). U.S. News and World Report.
Analysis of the faulty perception of 'value' derived from paid, warehouse shopping. Consumers spend more, even when items bought in bulk are discounted.
Study: Fast-food consumption rises with income. (2011). LA Times. Retrieved November
Capital Structure Decision and Cost of Capital
My SLP Company of choice is Wal-Mart Stores. The other two companies I will be relying on for purposes of this discussion are Target Corp. And Costco Wholesale Corporation. Both companies happen to be in the same industry as Wal-Mart Stores. Most specifically, this text will compute the debt ratio and the debt-to-equity ratio of Wal-Mart Stores and discuss whether or not these ratios could be regarded too large or too small. Further, comparisons will be made between the debt-to-equity ratio of Wal-Mart Stores and that of its two competitors - Target and Costco.
The debt ratio in the words of Graham and Smart (2011, p. 44) is "a measure of the proportion of total assets financed by a firm's creditors." It is computed by dividing the total debt figure with the summation of equity and total liabilities. All the dollar figures below…
Borowski, A. (2010). Financial Management: The Role and Importance of Capital Markets and EMH. Norderstedt Germany: GRIN Verlag.
Graham, J. & Smart, S.B. (2011). Introduction to Corporate Finance (3rd ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Porter, G.A. & Norton, C.L. (2010). Financial Accounting: The Impact on Decision Makers (7th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Quiry, P., Fur, Y.L., Salvi, A., Dallochio, M. & Vernimmen, P. (2011). Corporate Finance: Theory and Practice (3rd ed.). Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.
The beta for al-Mart, according to MSN Moneycentral, is 0.29. According to Yahoo! Finance the yield to maturity on a Treasury bond that is due 15-Mar-12 is 0.296%. e will assume a market risk premium of 7%. ith these figures, the cost of equity for al-Mart can be calculated using the capital asset pricing model (CAPM):
Ra = RF + ? (Rm -- Rf)
Ra = 0.296 + (.29)(7)
Ra = 2.326%
This cost of equity is lower than I had expected. In general, the cost of equity for a firm is fairly high. The reason why al-Mart has such a low cost of equity is that the company's beta is so low. al-Mart has very little correlation with the broad market, and is not very volatile. As a result, al-Mart's cost of equity is low, because it is much less risky than the market as a whole.…
MSN Moneycentral: Wal-Mart Stores. (2011). Retrieved March 7, 2011 from http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/stock-price?Symbol=U.S.%3aWMT
Yahoo! Finance bond screener. Retrieved March 7, 2011 from http://reports.finance.yahoo.com/z1?b=2&cpl=-1.000000&cpu=-1.000000&mtl=6&mtu=24&pr=0&rl=-1&ru=-1&sf=m&so=a&stt=-&tt=1&yl=-1.000000&ytl=-1.000000&ytu=-1.000000&yu=-1.
Investopedia. (2011). Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). Investopedia. Retrieved March 7, 2011 from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/apt.asp
al-Mart faces an industry that is generally challenging, but its strength in the industry results in the industry being favorable. al-Mart's success is predicated on excellence execution of key components of the discount retail value chain -- procurement, logistics and merchandising. al-Mart has numerous strengths, but as befits the world's largest company it has relatively few weaknesses. In its intensely competitive businesses, al-Mart sees many threats, but there are still tremendous opportunities that al-Mart can take advantage of. In general, the external environment is favorable for al-Mart to continue to use its strengths to capitalize on its opportunities.
Porter's Five Forces. al-Mart's industry is intensely competitive, but the five forces work differently on al-Mart as an established, dominant player than they would on a new entrant. The five forces are power of suppliers, power of buyers, threat of substitutes, threat of new entrants and intensity of rivalry (QuickMBA.com, 2010). Supplier…
Iwata, E. (2008). Some companies (like Wal-Mart) thrive despite recession. USA Today. Retrieved March 20, 2011 from http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2008-12-03-recession-proof-companies_N.htm
MSN Moneycentral: Wal-Mart. Retrieved March 20, 2011 from http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/stock-price?Symbol=wmt&s=qbeb
QuickMBA.com (2010). Porter's five forces. QuickMBA.com. Retrieved March 20, 2011 from http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/porter.shtml
Schmitt, E. (2009). The profits and perils of supplying to Wal-Mart. Business Week. Retrieved March 20, 2011 from http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jul2009/sb20090714_270767.htm
The proposed location for a new BJ's would ideally be situated some distance from the Costco, in order to lure customers that find the Costco out of their way. BJ's Wholesale can therefore take advantage of an already existing market demographic: consumers who already make their purchases at wholesale clubs and who are used to our method of shopping.
Location X is therefore ideal for the new BJ's Wholesale Club outlet in the Bellingham area. It is located closer to the Canadian border than the Costco is, and can therefore take advantage of that burgeoning market. The value of the Canadian dollar has risen considerably and continues to rise against the United States dollar. Therefore, Canadian consumers will be making more purchases south of the border. Moreover, the BJ's Wholesale Club in location X in Bellingham will be situated in a location visible from Interstate 5 and easy to get…
Tesco, the largest UK company, employs 260,000 people. This corporation has global aspirations and has come a long way in a relatively short period of time" (2003, p. 3).
According to the company's promotional literature, the employment figure for 2003 has almost doubled today, as shown in Table 1 below.
Current Key Figures for Tesco
Staff in the UK
Total stores in the UK
Number of markets
China, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Japan, Malaysia, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, UK, USA
Note: Facts correct October 2010
Source: Tesco Quick Facts 2010
Figure 1. Respective Number of Tesco Retail Formats in the U.K.
Source: Based on tabular data in Tesco Quick Facts 2010
A brief summary of the company's guiding corporate strategy is provided in…
There are a number of threats that al-Mart faces in the external environment. These include intellectual property rights, rising cost of production in China, and the threat that is posed by intense competition in its many spaces.
As al-Mart expands its retail footprint in emerging markets, especially China, it must take into account that the intellectual property protections are different in other parts of the world. In China, for example, one of the major competitors is u-Mart, where name confusion is not only evident but deliberate. Such knock-offs can not only siphon business away from al-Mart, but can also reduce consumer impressions of al-Mart as well, particularly if the knock-off is inferior. Other countries that have potentially high growth also have weak intellectual property protections.
Another threat that al-Mart has is its dependence on China as a source for its goods. al-Mart typically deals with third-party suppliers, but…
Ketchen, D. & Hult, G. (2007). Bridging organization theory and supply chain management: The case of the best value supply chains. Journal of Operations Management. Vol 25 (2007) 573-580.
Liu, Y.; Li, W. & Yang, Y. (2008). The influence of RMB exchange rate on China's inflation: The view of exchange rate pass-through. Journal of Financial Research. Vol. 3 (2008).
Palmeri, C. (2008). Wal-Mart wins big during downturn. Business Week. Retrieved November 3, 2012 from http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2008-10-29/wal-mart-wins-big-during-downturn
Willcocks, L. & Plant, R. (2001). Pathways to e-business leadership: Getting from bricks to clicks. MIT Sloan Management Review. Retrieved November 3, 2012 from http://www.carig.co.uk/pages/userdata/carig/articlesmrwillcocksplanpathwaysebusiness.pdf
Demand and Supply
There are a number of different factors that Edgar needs to take into consideration with his idea to invest in the gas station business. Let's pretend for a minute that he is not just paying the fair market value for the gas station -- he is -- and simply discuss his theory about the economics of the gas market. If the market for gas stations is even remotely efficient, the price of that gas station will be the present value of expected future cash flows, meaning that all of the knowledge about the determinants of the gas market are already priced into what Edgar is going to pay. His profit comes from the value that he can add to the station through his own management. But let us digress and get Edgar up to speed with what the market has already priced into that gas station.
AP. (2008). Stations hope you fill up with more than gas. NBC News. Retrieved May 23, 2014 from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/23904590/ns/business-retail/t/stations-hope-you-fill-more-gas/
Energy Information Administration. (2014). Gasoline and Diesel fuel update. Energy Information Administration. Retrieved May 23, 2014 from http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel
Feldman, A. (2011). The tiger in Costco's tank. Fast Company. Retrieved May 23, 2014 from http://www.fastcompany.com/60019/tiger-costcos-tank
Haab, T. (2008). The long run elasticity of demand for gas. Environmental Economics. Retrieved May 23, 2014 from http://www.env-econ.net/2008/06/the-long-run-el.html
Of course, they can use Microsoft and other search engines, but this will force them out of their 'comfort zones' and they will see the degree to which corporations have shaped their access to information and their social and work lives.
The final brands that will be featured will be the popular discount merchandizes Costco and Target. Because of their advertised cheapness, which is paradoxically fused with an aura of exclusivity due to Costco's membership fees and Target's attractive store designs, many consumers view shopping at these stores as 'experiences' rather than as chores. Consumers may buy all of their household's items in bulk from Costco; Target markets itself as offering beautiful items at bargain-basement prices to consumers. The close relationship of consumers to these brands will make it all the more difficult for frequent patrons to abandon their favorite shopping locations.
This reality show, rather than promoting brands, will…
Matthews, J. "An introduction to the situationists." The Anarchist's Library. 7 May 2009.
[10 Jun 2013] http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/jan-d-matthews-an-introduction-to-the-situationists
There are a number of career paths within SHM. These include the human resource generalists, but also a growing number of specialists. Some of the specialties where the strategic human resources practitioner can contribute to the company's success are workforce planning, workforce development/onboarding, total rewards/compensation, labor and employee relations, training and risk management.
Organizations have begun to recognize that these specialized roles can be an important part in meeting the organization's strategic objectives. In the knowledge economy in particular, it is the skills, knowledge and experience of the employees that will often give a company its competitive advantage. Systems can be replicated by competitors fairly easily, but a superior workforce is much harder to duplicate. It begins with recruitment and onboarding, where finding the right candidates to execute the company's strategy is critical. Even with good people, they typically need to be trained. Then the company needs to…
Beer, M. & Eisenstat, R. (1996). Developing an organization capable of implementing strategy and learning. Human Relations. Vol. 49 (5) 597-619.
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Huselid, M. (1995). The impact of human resource management practices on turnover, productivity, and corporate financial performance. Academy of Management Journal. Vol. 38 (3) 635-672.
SHRM. (2014). Careers in human resource management. SHRM.org. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from http://www.shrm.org/Communities/StudentPrograms/Pages/careersinHRM.aspx
Programmatic marketing is as some will say the next best way to advertise. In digital marketing, new techniques are being developed to effectively and efficiently target a broader audience through online and the web. The amount of smartphone and tablet users are growing by the day which means companies and organizations need a more cost-effective and faster way to advertise to them. Any types of events can trigger programmatic marketing. Accordingly, it can also be deployed through the use of a set of rules applied by algorithms and software. Human skills are not needed to deploy the marketing aspect of this innovative technique, however human skills are still necessary for software and algorithm development as well as programmatic campaigns since the rules necessary to start the automated process require pre-planning beforehand and proven by marketers. This means that although human labor will be to some extent lessened, it still requires…
Cable, Courtney. \"THE AKRON CIVIC THEATRE: A DIGITAL PRESENCE.\" ETD. The Graduate Faculty of the University of Akron, n.d. Web. 8 May 2014. .
Cameron, Nadia. \"Reports highlight rise and challenges of programmatic video advertising.\" CMO. CMO, 12 May 2014. Web. 13 May 2014. .
De Lombaerde, Veerle . \"Six things to consider before choosing a programmatic advertising partner.\" theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 8 May 2014.
Incentive Pay: Strategic Compensation and Its Impact on Human esource Management in the United States
Compensation refers to a wide array of benefits and pay that a company uses to reward employees for performance. Strategic compensation refers to any type of compensation strategy that is aimed at rewarding good performance. Because the variety of companies and their internal structure varies wildly, strategic compensation strategies can vary wildly. For example, many direct sales companies where employees are actually independent contractors use strategic compensation strategies, giving prizes for hitting certain sales goals and increasing compensation percentages with sales. On the other end of the spectrum, large corporations almost always include stock options in higher-level compensation strategies, which directly ties the degree of financial reward to overall corporate performance. Individual companies can tailor their compensation strategies to what their firm does, the number of employees, and what is likely to motivate those employees.…
Berrone, P. & Gomez-Meija, L.R. (2009). Environmental performance and executive compensation: an integrated agency-institutional perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 52(1), 103-126.
Chen, C. & Huang, J. (2009). Strategic human resource practices and innovation performance:
the mediating role of knowledge management capacity. Journal of Business Research, 62(1), 104-114.
Chenevert, D. & Tremblay, M. (2009). Fits in strategic human resource management and methodological challenge: Empirical evidence of influence of empowerment and compensation practices on human resource performance in Canadian firms. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(4), 738-770. doi:10.1080/09585190902770547
Such deep discounts on a type of product responsible for such a large percentage of the company's profits will clearly have a negative effect on the company's profit margin.
Thus one of the corporation's key vulnerabilities at the present time is the competition that it faces for bestselling titles from big box retail stores like Wal-Mart. It shold be noted, however, that this race-to-the-bottom-of-the-price war for bestselling books carries risk for other companies as well, as Surowiecki (2009) describes:
Wal-Mart began by marking down the prices of ten best-sellers -- including the new Stephen King and the upcoming Sarah Palin -- to ten bucks. When Amazon, predictably, matched that price, Wal-Mart went to nine dollars, and, when Amazon matched again, Wal-Mart went to $8.99, at which point Amazon rested. (Target, too, jumped in, leading Wal-Mart to drop to $8.98.) Since wholesale book prices are traditionally around fifty per cent off…
Barnes & Noble, retrieved 22 March 2010 from www.bn.com.
Barnes & Noble corporate website, retrieved 23 March 2010 from
/ & Noble plans e-book reader. The Wall Street journal. Retrieved 24 March 2010 fromhttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703746604574461502390635462.html