Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Are big box stores too big for new strategies?

This week's readings focused on strategy development to come out ahead in a number of areas, as well as the main areas of failure, and why.

I think it's interesting how we've been seeing in the news recently that places like Best Buy and other big box companies are changing their tactics, due to both the rise of online shopping, but also because of the monopoly Walmart and Target have over the market. Best Buy is trying to change into a small kiosks idea inside the larger store--with the idea that customers can go right to what they need--with the hope of increasing customer loyalty and relationships. As the "Types of Strategy: Which Fits Your Business," says, there are multiple elements to make a customer relationship strong: simplification for customers, ongoing benefits, personalized service, customized solutions, personal contact, and continuous learning. If Best Buy wants to win out against places like Amazon in a majorly red ocean (also mentioned in the reading), they may need to find a blue ocean without competition.

It's been interesting to me to see this move in recent years to in store shopping and online buying. Amazon has exploded in recent years, as have companies like eBay. Traditional stores are scrambling for some way to deal with a saturated market. I don't know what the solution is, but I do think that places like Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, and others need to re-invent themselves to counter this online attack.

Do you think it will be through customer service? One of a kind customer service to each individual? Do you think it will be technology advances? Partnerships with other companies? Whatever it is, I'm curious to see if this idea of online vs. traditional stores remains competitive, or if traditional will just die. As the article "Seven Ways to Fail Big" says, staying the course is a dangerous position to be in for Best Buy. It's already losing, and it may be too late to save it. Perhaps there will be some way for Best Buy to back entrepreneurs at tech start-ups, and then Best Buy reaps the rewards, or perhaps Best Buy engages in a massive overhaul of the Geek Squad (Best Buy's computer help gurus) to a system that is large enough and capable enough to handle any computer glitch? Or what about helping Apple solve the Flashback virus problem?

What do you think the solution is?

Sources:
Jones, Roland. "Best Buy Should Act Urgently to Repair Company." Market Day. MSNBC, 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2012. act-urgently-to-repair-company?lite>.

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