Target

First Mover Status a Winner in True North

First Mover Status a Winner in True North

This summer, a frequent Global Marketing course topic was ‘First Mover advantage’. I taught Pepsi’s countertrade tactic to win 1st-to-market access in the USSR. You read that right- the USSR, not Russia. Pepsi entered a still-Soviet Union long before comrades embraced Capitalism. They gained access to that market, in exchange for exporting the USSR’s vodka- which became [...]

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June in Retail: Lots of NEWS Traffic!

June in Retail: Lots of NEWS Traffic!

June was stunningly busy in retail. In terms of news, at least. If  you follow retail (why wouldn’t you? It’s a terrific forum for battles of strategy & execution!), fyi some links: WINNERS: Sobeys buys Safeway Canada. In any acquisition, the ‘culture fit’ is a huge issue- and that certainly remains unresolved. But the geographic fit is exquisite [...]

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Experience the WalMart Irony

Experience the WalMart Irony

WalMart is saying it will wow shoppers with an amazing new ‘in-store experience’. Boy- things change! WalMart rose to prominence as the retailer that removed virtually every facet of the ‘experience’ provided by traditional stores. Stores that helped you find items, special ordered items for you, gave workers a living wage & full time benefits, supported local [...]

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Target Makes Plus-Size Apology for Oversight

Target Makes Plus-Size Apology for Oversight

Target gets mixed marks for their Canadian store openings (great print/outdoor ad creative, smart media placement but poor stock levels and a poorly defended USA-Canada price gap policy) but I give them high marks for fessing up to a recent faux pas. A sizable one. Last week a customer noticed the chain offered a dress [...]

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Know Thy Enemy (and Their Weaknesses)

Know Thy Enemy (and Their Weaknesses)

2,347 years. That’s how long ago we learned a very cool lesson in competitive business strategy. In 334 BC at River Granicus, the Macedonian with Moxie, Alexander the Great, waits to cross the river Granicus in a conquest of the World. He faces the Western satraps of the Persian empire. Troop numbers for Alex & [...]

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Warlike Strategy #4: Scorched Earth

Warlike Strategy #4: Scorched Earth

Generals Sherman, Ewing & Sheridan in The American Civil War. Kitchener vs the Boers in the Boer War. Russian Generals vs Napoleon. Stalin’s Generals vs WWII Germany.  One illegal but oft-practised war method is to remove any resources that might benefit an incoming enemy. The retreating / defending army does it, even though it brings [...]

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Warlike Strategy #3: Head On

Warlike Strategy #3: Head On

#3 of 4 major competitive strategies I’m covering in class is ‘Head-On’. If you won’t hunker down or flank, and if you’re willing to meet an enemy head on, then you had better meet some of these criteria: superior troop strength and supplies; and/or knowing the enemy’s resources and tactics very well and are confident [...]

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Warlike Strategy #2: Flanking

Warlike Strategy #2: Flanking

Napoleon, Stonewall Jackson, Hannibal. Masters of the flanking manouevre. When does one flank? Often it’s a suitable strategy if one has fewer yet more mobile troops- in the Business world, the analogy might be having the humility, money & flexibility to adjust/ change positions. Face it- you admit there are chunks of consumers/ shopping occasions [...]

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Warlike Strategy #1 for Canadian Retail: Hunkering Down

Warlike Strategy #1 for Canadian Retail: Hunkering Down

This week I made my students to back up a step to see the big picture- macro competitive strategies. As a ‘list guy’ I’m a tad obsessed with categorizing. Following is my list of the Sun Tzu / Von Clausewitz war strategies that best apply to business competitive methods: Hunker Down & Defend/Enhance the core: [...]

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Why Couldn’t Future Shop See the Future?

Why Couldn’t Future Shop See the Future?

At Thursday’s Best Buy/ Future Shop layoff announcement, the media was aflutter how online shopping & Target’s entry have forced the closure of dozens of big Canadian stores. Look closer. Newscasts love the ‘new’, but often fail to cite inexorable, slow building, predictable factors. Such as demographics & geography. Oversized Best Buy / Future Shop [...]

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