Staples Case Study Questions 1-6
In 1985, the office supplies industry was highly fragmented with many companies manufacturing unique products rather than a broader based catalog. Larger wholesalers were few, so consumers had to order supplies from several companies rather than from one immediate location. New technologies were also finding their place into businesses such as personal computers, fax machines and copiers. This created a demand for a wider variety of office supplies. Economically, the country was turning itself out of a recession and many small businesses were born from major layoffs in the early eighties. These companies needed a quick and reliable way of purchasing supplies. 2.
The general retailing industry was looking for new ways to cut costs and consolidate a typically fragmented system. Rather than deal in specialties and niche markets, manufactures as well as retailers were looking for ways to increase economic value. This value could be measured in such factors as customer satisfaction as well as increased market share. 3.
What was Staples target market? What was the unmet need in this target market?
Staples target market was small businesses. New technology was driving demand for office supplies and the rate of new business formation was the highest it had been in years. Many new jobs were in the service sector, which was also the biggest consumer of office supplies. The smaller firms were being ignored by the big companies and were receiving minimal discounts, if at all for purchasing their supplies.
What was the basic value proposition and business model of the staples startup? What was required to make this a reality? What were some of the factors for a successful implementation? Staples chose to offer a low priced product and did not engage in much product differentiation and no market segmentation. To make this a reality they had to decide where to locate, size of population needed to support the store,...
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