Wal Mart 's Competitive Strategy

1439 Words Sep 11th, 2016 6 Pages
A company’s competitive strategy defines, relative to its competitors, the set of customer needs that it seeks to satisfy through its products and services. For example, Wal-Mart aims to provide high availability of a variety of products of reasonable quality at low prices. Most products sold at Wal-Mart are commonplace (everything from home appliances to clothing) and can be purchased elsewhere. What Wal-Mart provides is a low price and product availability. McMaster-Carr sells maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products. It offers more than 400,000 different products through both a catalog and a Web site. Its competitive strategy is built around providing the customer with convenience, availability, and responsiveness. With this focus on responsiveness, McMaster does not compete based on low price. Clearly, the competitive strategy at Wal-Mart is different from that at McMaster.

We can also contrast Dell, with its build-to-order model, with a firm like Gateway selling eMachines PCs through retailers. Dell has stressed customization and variety at a reasonable cost, with customers having to wait approximately one week to get their product. In contrast, a customer can walk into a computer retailer, be helped by a salesperson, and leave the same day with an eMachines computer. The amount of variety and customization available at the retailer, however, is limited. In each case, the competitive strategy is defined based on how the customer prioritizes product cost,…
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