Role Of Retailers In Shaping A Firm's Strategic Direction
The article traces the development of core competence as a key driver for competitive advantage. It also focuses on the role of retailers as the final link between consumers and manufacturers. Retailers add value to products by making it easier for manufactures to sell and consumers to buy. By bringing multitudes of manufacturers and consumers together at a single point, retailers make it possible for products to be sold, and, consequently, business to be done. Retailers also provide services that make it less risky and more fun to buy products. In the field of retailing, it is evident that traditional strategies will not be adequate to cope with trends such as unprecedented customer diversity, market polarization and dominant mega-retailers. This paper explains what capabilities retailers will need to remain relevant to demanding customers. It also suggests how retail executives should begin preparing to embrace fundamental change and become truly customer-centric. To keep up, let alone take market leadership, retailers will need to break through today's organizational constraints to respond to customer needs with speed and agility. Everyday newspapers display messages showing how the retailing world is brutally competitive. Even if a retailer is exceeding shopper expectations its management inust not rest. For those expectations are changing. As shoppers come to experience more retailers above the value line, their expectations - and the value line - will rise. Retailers once on the line will find themselves below it. Retailers once above the line may find themselves only on the line or even worse. They must therefore devise new ways of doing things as times change. The failure to understand the mistakes of the past is causing many retailers not to commit sufficient resources to monitoring how changes in the demographic, technological, political, and economic environments have affected and will continue to affect their businesses and that of their suppliers. This paper seeks to address some of these changing trends in the retailing, consumer, and regulatory sectors and the impact of retailing on the competitiveness of manufacturers. In addition, the article examines how these current trends will affect retailing and product branding in the future.
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