Case 3: Oliver’s Market
1) One key element of Oliver’s Market strategy is to be the finest local gourmet and natural food store in the marketplace, which takes the respective customer base into consideration. That is why the store in Santa Rosa has been set up differently so as to match the more upscale clientele. Another important element of their strategy is the emphasis on delivering value to their customers amongst the perception of quality. In order to stay competitive, Oliver’s Market adopted a plan to beat local competitor Safeway’s prices by 8 to 10% on everyday goods. A similar strategy was used to compete with the prices on ‘natural foods’ found at Whole Foods Market. Although to stay in line with their overall strategy, Oliver’s Market tended to focus more on uniqueness and quality than on price. Besides, the emphasis on customer service is an important element. Oliver’s Market prides itself on the ability to try to get any product a customer requests. Therefore, each store had a special-request kiosk near the check-out counters. Regarding growth, the idea is to deliberate possible expansions very thoughtfully.
2) With only two store locations, the competition arises from market rivals and new market participants. The problem is that more and more competitors like Wal-Mart or Costco beginning to expand their selections of natural, organic and gourmet products. Furthermore, other rival stores such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have entered the sales territory of Oliver’s Market with new stores. Moreover, changing shopping patterns and a chronic overcapacity in the supermarket industry added additional pressure.
3) The main key success for competing in the supermarket industry in Sonoma County was the price matching strategy which Oliver’s Market pursued. Furthermore, the use of promotion and advertising helped the company to stay competitive amongst their rivals. After having tried different programs, the “Direct to You” project...
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