SWOT ANALYSIS – STAPLES
SWOT Analysis – Staples
Staples, Inc. became incorporated in 1985 by founders Thomas G. Stemberg and Leo Kahn. 25 years later, Staples, Inc. is the world's largest office products company. The company primarily operates in the United States but also has locations in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia serving businesses of all sizes and consumers. Their mission statement is, “We're committed to making it easy for our customers around the globe to buy a wide range of office products, supplies, technology, furniture, and business services, including computer repair and copying and printing, to help our customers run their offices efficiently” (Staples Inc., 2010). The company believes its corporate responsibility is to “CARE,” which is an acronym that stands for the following; customers, associates, real communications, and execution. Value every customer, support them as valuable resources, share information with people when they need it, and achieve our business goals (Staples Inc., 2010). In 1998 Staples established their online superstore staples.com, and is now ranked 2nd worldwide in e-commerce sales. As of 2009 the company employs 91,000 associates and reported $24 billion sales. Strengths and Weaknesses, as their names imply, are internal characteristics of an organization; things that your company does well or does poorly (Griffin, R. W., 2008, pages 239-241).Opportunities and Threats are external environmental forces that have an effect on an organization. They stem from the dimensions in the General Environment (Political/Legal, Sociocultural, International, Economic, and Technological) (Griffin, R. W., 2008, pages 241-243). Strategies for attaining competitive advantages emphasize developing and configuring existing resource strengths into a valuable and unique resource base. If the firm's resources are unique, rare, valuable, and inimitable, they can be a source of core capabilities and ultimately a competitive advantage, provided there is an appropriate strategy for deployment (Brush, C. G., et. al., 2001). Strengths
Staples, Inc. has a vast geographic presence with over 2,200 stores in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company expanded into the international market 18 years ago and is still thriving. International sales show sequential improvement giving Staples a competitive advantage. International sales amount to almost 22% of the company’s overall revenues. The international segment recorded revenue growth rates of 70% in FY2008 over FY2007 and 12% in FY2008 compared to FY2009 (The Wall Street Journal, 2010). Its closest competition, Office Max, Inc. is still only found in the United States and U.S. territories (Office Max, Inc., 2010).Office Depot, Inc., another competitor, is found internationally in 53 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America (Office Depot, Inc., 2010). Its international sales are not on the same playing field as Staples, Inc., therefore it is only a minor threat, if one at all. Staples, Inc. is recognized globally for its low prices and price guarantee. The company’s vast geographic presence is considered a distinctive competence because it operates internationally exceptionally well, especially compared to its competitors. Staples, Inc. customer service is one of its biggest strengths. There are many in-store and online customer interviews and comments that available for anyone to view that highlight the company’s superior customer service. Also, and possibly more important are the numerous customer service excellence awards the company has received through the years. Staples received the CIO – 100 award in 1993, and from 1998-2005. The award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest levels of operational and strategic excellence. The focus of the CIO – 100 award is on excellence, innovation and improving...
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