1. How are stores, catalogue, and Internet-based distribution channels alike or different in terms of the channel functions they perform?
The distribution channel is different for the stores than it is for catalogue and internet-based distribution. The customer receives its goods from the store itself. In contrast, the "North American Delivery" segment which includes the catalog and internet operations all bypass the stores.
2. Do you see any potential for conflict among Staple's different channels? Why or why not?
The only conflict I see is in between the operations conducted with Stapleslink and the additional 100 sales force personnel. It seems there is some redundancy in that both operations are targeting the needs of the same type of customers. While one provides a computer program that links the companies with Staple's computer system facilitating and expediting orders. On the other hand, the additional 100 sales staff members worked exclusively with corporate and small-business accounts by taking their orders through its catalog or website system.
3. Is the Staples/FleetBoston horizontal marketing effort a good idea? Why or why not?
I think this is an excellent idea. A one stop shop. Staples can use the Fleet as another reason the targeted customer small-business comes through their doors. The odds are that if someone needs a business loan they are probably going to need office supplies. This is similar to a new car customer needing a car loan.
4. What are the advantages of more intensive development of individual market areas versus the advantages of putting more stores in new markets?
The advantage of more intensive development of individual market areas rather than developing stores in new market areas is operating proficiency. It is more expensive to get a new customer than to attend to the needs of an established customer. Here the customer life time value is more important and easier to manage.
5. How can Staples...
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