Competition among the North American Warehouse Clubs:
Costco Wholesale versus Sam’s Club versus BJ’s Wholesale (BSG Case 4, 2010)
The competitive environment has changed drastically since the BSG case was originally written. The United States (US) continues to decline in the market as opposed to several years ago, but due to certain qualities it continues to remain very competitive in the market. One factor which gives the US a competitive edge is innovation. US companies are highly sophisticated and innovative. For the purposes of this analysis, the focus will be on innovation. Modern technology with information systems and applications with state of the art information and communication technologies are leading factors in the success of businesses today. Many newer businesses use e-technologies as a tool that not only improves efficiency, but gives them the competitive edge against those companies which are still running operations with outdated technology. Companies who have been around for decades are forced to implement new systems depending on their business needs. Changing technology is an initiative that is generally high cost, taking time to implement. There are numerous options available today that if the implementation of a new system is not strategically planned it could ultimately place a business in a financial deficit forcing businesses to reduce operations and sometimes shut down. It is important for businesses to invest in research and development (R&D) when deciding to develop new processes to maintain a competitive edge. Looking at the case, it is apparent that Costco was the leader in modern technology compared to the other two competitors. Costco began to grow its business with two websites in 2004 in the US and in Canada. Costco’s e-commerce sales more than tripled over several years, reaching sales of over $1.2B in 2007. BJ’s began upgrading technology in 2007 which was fully implemented in 2009. Although net sales...
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