Experienced management, target market – small businesses – has not been targeted before, strong brand name, smart inventory system (financed by vendors), advanced information system, marketing strategy (direct marketing, red “easy” button), low cost, delivery service (Staples Direct), outstanding customer service (Staples Easy Tech) Weaknesses
Easy to imitate, needs a local partner for business ventures in European countries Opportunities
As a low priced company – it does not have to fight so hard for market share; the start of developing its own products; Eastern Europe needs office supplies since there is a boom in small business nowadays. Threats
Competitors (price wars); might be growing too fast; In 2008, Staples was caught out supplying Huntingdon Life Sciences(HLS), a large animal testing lab that has been exposed 6 times in undercover investigations for animal cruelty and falsifying research data. There has been a global campaign against HLS for years and Staples has now become one of the largest protest targets in the campaign. They have received dozens of protests at their stores in the United States by activists who are asking consumers to boycott Staples until they stop doing business with such a lab. Recommendations
In 2005, Staples Inc. has invented the "easy" buttons. It started manufacturing them after customers started asking to buy them. Staples management thinks that it is exactly what people wanted in life - simplify and make things direct and easy, and they are very successful with it. Strong advertising campaign made Staples Inc. well-known throughout the U.S.A. and Canada, and next to conquer was the European market. This brought to the plate another issue because Staples needed some local partners since the culture is not the same in European countries as in the US. Staples rapidly gained a great share of the office supplies industry in the U.K., Portugal, and the Netherlands and now should focus on Eastern Europe because...