Everything For Your Kitchen is in a unique position in Evansville. The store has very little direct competition and operates in an oligopoly. The most dominant competitor is Kitchen Affairs which, coincidentally, is located across the street from Great Mall. Kitchen Affairs is owned and operated by Mike and Shelly Sackett, who started the business in 1986 (Kaufman & Lloyd, 2006, p. 6). Their motto is “Kitchen Affairs – for the serious cook.” At that time, they were the first to offer high quality kitchen supplies in Evansville (Kaufman & Lloyd, 2006, p. 7). Even though both stores sell similar items, there are distinctive differences between the two. Kitchen Affairs has a much more limited selection of cooking accessories. They have entered the age of technology by instituting a web page. The primary objective in doing so was to protect the name of Kitchen Affairs and to introduce the store to those moving to the Evansville area. They do little media advertising; 80% of their advertising budget is spent on direct mail catalogs. They have a mailing list with over 6600 addresses. Occasionally they place ads on radio, television, or in the programs of cultural events. Additionally, Kitchen Affairs has two prominent strengths: the owners Mike and Shelly Sackett are extremely knowledgeable about their products, and the store offers a full schedule of cooking classes, which are held in a large, customized kitchen inside the store.
There are a few other competitors in the tri-state area, but they only compete on a very limited basis. Within the mall, Famous Barr and Macy’s sell some cooking accessories, but these are primarily the high quality cookware, some of the same small appliances, chef quality knives and name brand bakeware. The department stores also have a limited selection.
Pampered Chef is a kitchen accessory company that markets their products through a home party system, much like Tupperware. They carry many of the most popular kitchen gadgets, almost all of which can be found at Everything For Your Kitchen for a lower price and without shipping charges.
The Evansville area is in a state of prosperity (Bruce, 2009, p. A1). Toyota has become a major employer with the opening of its new plant; plans for expansion are already underway (Carlin, 2009, p. 19). AK Steel is also in the midst of expanding(Carlin, 2009, p. 21). Shopko, a new retail chain, opened two new stores in Evansville recently (Bruce, 2009, p. A12).. Since the economy is thriving, consumers have substantial buying power. Eating is one of life’s necessities; however, cooking with all the latest accessories is not. The customers who visit Everything For Your Kitchen use discretionary income when making their purchases.
The management has no reason to be concerned about the interference of political forces. There currently are not any political issues that face the corporation or the industry. There are no legal issues affecting cooking accessories. There are a few regulatory issues the employees need to be aware of. First, the staff must routinely check the food items for expiration dates, and state laws require that food items may not be returned. Additionally, many of the suppliers restrict the pricing of their products, so that their retailers who purchase in large quantities will not have their prices undercut.
The age of technology is just beginning to make its presence known in the cooking accessory industry both directly and indirectly. However, its presence in retail has been around for several years.
The technological advances that directly influence the industry are taking outdated products and making them new again. An excellent example of this is pressure cookers that our parents and grandparents used. Pressure cookers had gone the way of the...