Mrs. Fields Cookies was founded by Debbi Fields in the late 1970s. She and her husband Randy Fields opened their first store in 1977 in Palo Alto, California, selling homemade-style cookies which quickly grew in popularity. Products
Mrs. Fields Cookies came in 14 varieties.
All baked products were made on premises in the individual stores and the company especially focused on the fresh cookies. If the cookies are not sold within two hours, they were given away and discarded. Competitors
Mrs. Fields competitors included New York’s David’s Cookies, Atlanta’s Original Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Company, and the Nestle Company’s Original Cookie Co. Challenges
1. Low barriers to entry and mall locations competition
In the early 1980s, cookies were cheap to make and the barriers of sweet snack industry to entry were low. There were many cookies producers and many consumers in the market, and no business had total control over the market price. Because some 80% of Mrs. Fields outlets were in shopping malls, so the competition for the most favorable mall locations was fierce. 2. Franchising Financing and performance of exchange market
Mrs. Fields had consistently refused to franchise their stores, because “she viewed franchising as a loss of control over the end product and loss of touch with the customers”. To find bank financing and additional capital for expansion, Mrs. Fields tried to go public and made initial public offering on the London exchange in 1986, but this experience was not successful, because buyers did not know the company and did not believe that Mrs. Fields’ business could be sustained growth without franchising. The result was that the stock price rose slowly. Business Strategy
Mrs. Fields had a non-hierarchy organization with decentralized decision making. Typically, there was no official organization chart in company which means Mrs. Fields wanted to take advantage of the intelligence and...