Department Store and Supply Chain

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CHAPTER TWO Discussion Questions 1. How would you characterize the competitive strategy of a high-end department store chain such as Nordstrom? What are the key customer needs that Nordstrom aims to fill? The Nordstrom web site states the following. Over the years, the Nordstrom family of employees built a thriving business on the principles of quality, value, selection, and service. Today, Nordstrom is one of the nation’s leading fashion retailers, offering a wide variety of high-quality apparel, shoes, and accessories for men, women, and children at stores across the country. We remain committed to the simple idea our company was founded on, earning our customers’ trust one at a time. Nordstrom fills customer…show more content…
A supermarket chain focuses on cost and quality, with some specialty chains adding flexibility by carrying a broader range of products that may be targeted towards customers interested in organic products or ethnic cuisine. Implied demand uncertainty for a supermarket chain tends to be low; shoppers are typically repeat customers and have a constant demand level. The supermarket supply chain must be responsive by receiving produce quickly to ensure freshness and have a high service level. Supermarket supply chains tend to be well-established and can improve strategic fit by emphasizing speed to maintain freshness, hence perceived quality. Auto manufacturers have extremely complicated supply chains that are increasingly focused on flexibility and lean operations. Implied demand uncertainty for auto manufacturers varies considerably by target market and manufacturer. Automotive supply chains among the big three in the United States have made great progress in the last decade and recognize that they must be responsive from a time and flexibility standpoint. Wal-Mart’s supply chain is obsessed with cost and is facilitated by a low implied demand uncertainty, their impressive logistics system and their management information systems. Their supply chain is able to respond quickly to fill a wide variety of products to keep merchandise on Wal-Mart’s shelves. Wal-Mart’s level of coordination along the supply chain is excellent; it would

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