An Overview of Strategic Retail Management
Welcome to Retail Management: A Strategic Approach. We hope you find this book to be as informative and reader-friendly as possible. Please visit our Web site (www.pearsoned.ca/bermanevans) for interactive, useful, and up-to-date features that complement the text—including chapter-by-chapter hot links, a study guide, and a whole lot more! In Part 1, we explore the field of retailing, the establishment and maintainance of relationships, and the basic principles of strategic planning and the decisions made in owning or managing a retail business.
Chapter 1 describes retailing, shows why it should be studied, and examines its special characteristics. We note the value of strategic planning and include a detailed review of Loblaw’s. We then present the retailing concept, along with the total retail experience, customer service, and relationship retailing. The focus and format of the text are detailed. Chapter 2 looks at the complexities of retailers’ relationships—with both customers and other channel members. We examine value and the value chain, customer relationships and channel relationships, the differences in relationship-building between goods and service retailers, the impact of technology on retailing relationships, and the interplay between ethical performance and relationships in retailing. The chapter ends with Appendix 2A, on planning for the unique aspects of service retailing. Chapter 3 shows the usefulness of strategic planning for all kinds of retailers. We focus on the planning process: situation analysis, objectives, identifying consumers, overall strategy, specific activities, control, and feedback. We also look at the controllable and uncontrollable parts of a retail strategy. Strategic planning is shown as a series of interrelated steps that are continuously reviewed. At the end of the chapter, Appendix 3A discusses the strategic implications of international retailing.
An Introduction to Retailing
A perfect example of a dream come true is the story of Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart (www.walmart.com). From a single store, Wal-Mart has grown to become the world’s largest retailer (in terms of revenues). As a store owner in Bentonville, Arkansas, Sam Walton had a simple strategy: to take his retail stores to rural areas of the United States and then sell goods at the lowest prices around. Sam was convinced that a large discount format would work in rural communities. Walton’s first discount store opened in 1962 and used such slogans as “We sell for less” and “Satisfaction guaranteed,” two of the current hallmarks of the company. By the end of 1969, Wal-Mart had expanded to 31 locations. Within a year, Wal-Mart became a public corporation and rapidly grew on Reprinted by permission. the basis of additional discount stores, its supercentre format, and global expansion to more than 1,300 stores and clubs in nine countries, employing more than 300,000 associates. Canada has played a key role in this expansion, with the founding of Wal-Mart Canada in March of 1994. Today, Wal-Mart Canada has more than 230 stores and five Sam’s Clubs, employing more than 60,000 Canadians from coast to coast. Wal-Mart has become a true textbook example of how a retailer can maintain growth without losing sight of its original core values of low overhead, the use of innovative distribution systems, and customer orientation—whereby employees swear to serve the customer. “So help me, Sam.”1 The road hasn’t been entirely smooth, though. Opposition to Wal-Mart’s business practices has been growing, and the company has been criticized for its employment practices related to illegal immigrants. Residents of many communities have attempted to block Wal-Mart from opening new stores, and Wal-Mart has closed a store in Quebec that was threatening to unionize. Competing on price, and therefore on costs, has its own price. Time will tell how much...