Response strategies of Supermarkets in Nairobi central business District to competition
Industry growth in Kenya has made the environment conducive to competition. Changes that accompany this growth have made the environment even more hostile to the firms and industries within. This hostility represents rivalry among firms and in such a situation firms will always compete in order to achieve their objectives efficiently and effectively. The goal of every individual firm is to have an advantage over their rivals in every aspect and dimension of the competition. To achieve this they have to adopt strategies to effectively and efficiently respond to competition within their industry. Effective response is inevitable among firms as a resolute to counter the effects of change and competition in their environment. This study therefore sought to establish the various Response Strategies that Supermarkets within the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD) adopt to address the issue and effects of competition in their industry. A census study was conducted in this research. The population of study comprised of 26 supermarkets licensed as large retailers operating within the Nairobi Central Business District. A semi structured questionnaire was used to collect primary data for this study. The questionnaire was administered through personal interview to the respondent who was the manager in charge of the supermarket. 18 supermarkets responded. This represents 69.2% response rate. The data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics and represented in the form of percentages of the total respondents observed, and also bar graphs were used to represent a multiple response results observed in various sections in this study. The study revealed that supermarkets within the NCBD are aware of the existence of competition in their industry, it has affected them in various ways and they adopt strategies in response to those effects. These strategies they adopt are common and they have managed to survive and differentiate themselves by the way they implement those strategies. However, some of them face difficulties in developing, adapting or implementation of those strategies due to various reasons, mainly internal but nevertheless, they still manage to overcome this shortfall to ensure that they remain competitive in their industry. All the supermarkets observed are active players in their industry, or consider themselves to be, and despite their awareness to this issue and effects of competition, they are not giving up or plan to, but they are all optimistic and confident to continually respond and wade through those issue and effects of competition, to achieve their goals and objectives. In view of their common strategic approach in response to the effects of competition, the study recommends the development of ‘unique strategies’ among the supermarkets in order to boost their effectiveness and efficiency in this course and gain a comparative advantage in their industry. Their strategies should also be shaped to reflect and accommodate changes associated with the dynamics, diversities and demands of modern lifestyle. The study had some limitations, one of them being the lack of response from some of the supermarkets targeted for this study and also the much clarification that the study had to seek from the respondents in order to establish a meaningful response on the issues examined in this study. In light of these limitations, the study has made suggestions for a case study on the supermarkets in order to effectively establish through quantitative means, the effects of competition and the effectiveness of the adopted strategies.