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Bus599 Case 1

In: Business and Management

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The range of competitors within the overall industry include chain and independent supermarkets (Krogers, Safeway, others); mass merchandisers and super centers (Wal-mart,Target); convenience stores; wholesale clubs (Sam’s); restaurants and fast food chains and natural food stores (Whole Foods, Wild Oats). Generally the concentration of competitors has been fragmented by geography. However, through recent consolidations, the emergence of regional and national chains has started to prevail along with the decline of the independent/local shops. This consolidation activity has allowed many companies to spread their fixed costs over a wider range of output, thus creating more efficiency in operations. Often, it is cheaper for a company to acquire an incumbent due to the location of their stores and access to customers rather than to raise the capital for entirely new stores, which is how Whole Foods has been able to expand following their growth model strategy. Whole Foods acquisition growth plan has helped them to gain enough economies of scale to better compete with the Wal-marts and Sam’s Clubs.


Price of substitutes plays a role in determining a company’s profitability. Organic food is priced at a premium to conventional food reflecting the high labor costs in cultivating the product. The price premium may be one reason why organic food has not become main stream. Another reason is that consumers either lack education about its benefits (or don’t care) so that the price premium does not appear to be justified. However, when comparing upscale organic and prepared foods to competitors such as restaurants, the benefit/cost ratio appears more justified. Market research conducted shows that “20 percent of shoppers as dedicated to healthy eating” (PR Newswire, 2013). These shoppers tend to be better educated, more affluent, couples or...

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