Effective strategy is developed first by identifying and understanding the implications of the changing events in the business environment. Many of the events occurring currently have a wide international impact, and they may be seen to be influencing the results and responses of large supermarket retailers. The changes, or issues, that we see as important from a strategic planning perspective are: The growth of global companies
Changing customer characteristics
Innovation, format changes
The impact of information sciences and technology(David Walters & Jack Hanrahan 2002)
1.The growth of global companies
The international expansion is a main trend in supermarket industry. After the fully development in European countries, the retailers begin to move their eyes on Asian countries. During the globalization, retailers should pay more attention to the government policies of the host countries. Planning permission is increasingly difficult to obtain, as Government declared policy is to maintain the viability of existing retailer. For example, Wal-Mart¡¯s entry into the UK has been made easier by the acquisition with ASDA (Wal-Mart).
2.Changing customer characteristics
Salmon (1996) suggests five attributes that customers have always required: Good assortment of quality merchandise
It requires retailers widen the range of product.
It considers accessibility, ease of transaction and possibly home delivery. Reassurance
It has become reliance on retailer brand building. The stronger the brand, the more reliable the product and the less needs for reassurance. Service
Make sure the transactions supports not get the level causing considerable customer dissatisfaction. Competitive price
It requires retailers lower costs by means of advanced technologies and enhancing bargain power over suppliers.
3. Innovation, format changes
Recent years have witnessed significant developments in retail format design and size to meet different demands of customers, such as Tesco¡¯ four formats. And the latest trend in UK supermarket is convenience stores. Meanwhile, in the UK, Tesco and ASDA (Wal-Mart) have increased space productivity and profitability by adjusting the merchandise mix to include high-margin non-food items. 4. Customer loyalty
Potter (1998) suggests that because the top 5% of most retailers¡¯ customers account for 20% of total transactions and 30% of profits generated, they warrant special treatment. So, many supermarket retailers use computer memory capacity to identify, track and respond to customer purchase behaviors, such as Tesco¡¯s loyalty card. 5. People
O¡¯Connor (1996) concludes that senior management needs to have regular contact with staff at all level in supermarket industry. There also is a trend of enhancing employee involvement, development, communication and empowerment to solve the high level of employee turnover.
6. The impact of information sciences and technology
The reduction of large areas of cost, the decrease of lead times, and the increase in accuracy throughout the supply chain, have been based upon IT development, such as EDI and EPOS system, and applications such as SCM, ECR ,OR, CMI and many other systems. (David Walters & Jack Hanrahan 2002)
Part two: ASDA (Wal-Mart) analysis
The largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart, has begun to make it self a world brand, which has conquered Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Asia, Germany and UK. The Wal-Mart formula: ¡°¡a ruthlessly efficient computerized inventory and distribution system, no-frills marketing, and prices to beat anyone¡± (Cornwell, 1999) Cornwell also argues that Wal-Mart needs a ¡°strategic fit¡± to be available for a successful geographical diversification because of the different macro and micro...