Skadurz Pro is a family owned and operated retail business which specializes in skateboarding and snowboarding equipment. Owner and manger Joel St. Marseille has built his company from the ground up in the community of Sudbury, Ontario which is the largest city in Northern Ontario with a population of around 150,000 people. Skadurz was the first retailer that specialized in skateboarding and snowboarding equipment in the area, and provided top level service and knowledge because of Joel’s personal knowledge and expertise in both sports. At a time when there were not many options for purchasing the new shorter board skateboarding equipment in Ontario, Joel provided many options and price points, as well as offering to custom order any items he might not carry. His attention to customer service grew a presence in the surrounding communities for those involved in skateboarding and for those looking to try out this increasingly popular sport.
Skadurz Pro is facing several challenges to its successful retail model all at the same time. West 49 is a chain sporting goods store that is opening in a location in New Sudbury across the street from Skadurz flagship store. Unlike the Pinnacle Sports, the only local competitor to date, West 49 specializes in skateboarding and snowboarding gear and apparel, directly competing in Skadurz product line and target demographic. With the purchasing power of a chain store, Skadurz stands to have problems with competing with the low prices of West 49. Joel’s business needs to prepare a strategy to try to remain competitive by means other than pricing in order to remain profitable.
The second challenge facing Skadurz Pro is that the building that houses one of their two locations, is being put up for sale. The owner of the business has given Joel the option of purchasing the property. Joel must consider if a large investment such as this is feasible, and in the best financial interest of the company. With the coming challenge to its market share, can Skadurz afford to take on the debt of purchasing the building and taking on all the costs of maintaining it.
The third challenge is that Joel’s mother, and only other full-time employee, is going to either fully retire from the business, or take on a greatly reduced roll. Joel’s mother managed the second location, and Joel has no readily available options for her succession. His lack of a strategy for human resources has left him in a situation where there is no established growth within the organization, and therefore no viable management options which have been trained within the company.
These three challenges together have left Joel with several watershed decisions that will change the course of his business. In some ways, all three occurring at one time could be to Joel’s benefit. With any one challenge by itself, Joel could come up with a patchwork solution to maintain the status quo as best he can. With all three together, a more comprehensive, thought out strategy is necessary to move forward successfully.
Joel has little formal schooling in business planning or management, and is currently facing several challenges and decisions on the direction of Skadurz Pro. From the information given, Joel does not have a solid idea of goals for the business. He states that he does not have any idea of the valuation of the company, and mentions that he might want to sell it off and move on to other pursuits in his life. I believe the lack of a sense of direction and goals for the business are making his current challenges increasingly tough to face.
I feel it is important for Joel to 1) Identify the core competencies of Skadurz. What does it do well, and what is important to the company’s identity. And 2) Looking at the core competencies of the company and determining a overall goal and direction for the company.
Skadurz must focus on what it does well to if it hopes to compete against West 49 which will...
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