Last Min.Com Strategy

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Europe and International Business Strategy

LIST OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION3
PART 1: CURRENT STRATEGIC ANALYSIS AND INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIC EVALUATION4 1.GENERAL STRATEGY & ORIENTATION4
2.COMPETITIVE POSITIONING4
OBJECTIVES AND INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES6
1.OBJECTIVES6
2.INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES6
ENTRY MODES7
1.WHOLLY-OWNED SUBSIDIARIES7
2.ACQUISITIONS7
3.JOINT VENTURES7
EVALUATION OF INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES8
Advantages of lastminute.com's global strategy9
Disadvantages of lastminute.com's global strategy9
PART 2: STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT FOR FUTURE EXPANSION10
MARKET SCREENING & CHOICE10
STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT16
External Environment Analysis - PEST analysis16
Internal Environment Analysis18
STRATEGIC SELECTION19
STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION19
STRATEGIC ISSUES21
REFERENCES25
APPENDIX26

INTRODUCTION
Lastminute.com is a Europe's leading travel and leisure website. Based on the idea of matching supply and demand, it offers consumers last minute opportunities to acquire airline tickets, hotel rooms, package holidays, entertainment tickets, restaurant reservations and home delivery, speciality services, gifts and auctions. Due to the diversification of sectors the company is operating in, it was decided that the main focus should be on the travel sector. This report includes two parts. The first part will focus on the lastminute.com's current strategic analysis and its international strategic evaluation. The second part will concentrate on the strategic development for future expansion.

PART 1: CURRENT STRATEGIC ANALYSIS AND INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIC EVALUATION

1. General Strategy & Orientation
Using Porter's Generic Strategies, one would argue lastminute.com pursues a broad Differentiation, which involves producing a range of well-differentiated products that meet the specific needs of customer segments as well as there are high cost pressures. 'The company selling position is to offer the best deal at the last minute, rather than the worst deal as is sometimes the case with flight operators. The company positioned itself at the upper end of the mass market in the goods and services it offers. Therefore, it could be argued that to certain extent the company is also pursuing a low cost strategy by offering the good and affordable deals and simultaneously create a reliable brand name. Although it is 'stuck in the middle', this is the only strategy that the company can follow in order to be successful since it is difficult to differentiate its offerings from other competitors, due to the nature of the industry, and maintaining low costs is essential in order to be able to offer the 'best deals' as is part of its objectives. It is very important in the future for lastminute.com t o be able to match its Cost-related assets and Differentiation-related assets with the competitive drivers in the EU and foreign markets in general. This will be considered in greater detail in the main part of this report (Part 2).

2. Competitive Positioning
Lastminute.com is the leading online travel and tourism specialist in the UK. The company bolstered its position by expanding the number and type of its suppliers, which allowed for an improved offering. The company's strong position is not without threat from other operators. Lastminute.com is especially aware of competition from low-cost flight operators, such as RyanAir, as flights make up an estimated 30% of lastminute.com's sales. Globally, in terms of the number of unique visitors, Expedia.com was by far the world's leading travel website in January 2002, with a total of 16.1 million visitors. This was followed by Orbitz.com and Travelocity, with some 11.8 million and 10.9 million visitors respectively. The only other on-line travel sites to register more than five million unique visitors in January 2002 were travelzoo.com and Priceline.com (GMID II). Although the available information on competitors and lastminute.com's position in relation to them is from 2002 and...
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