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Industry Analysis Case Study

Case Title:

China's Retail Industry (C): The Competitive Strategies

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Abdul Samad, Saradhi

Industry: Retailing


Case Code: INA0091

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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This is the last case in China's retail industry series. While case (A) looks at the competitive landscape of China's retail industry, case (B) helps analyse the competitive responses to Chinese consumer behavior. Case (C) presents a a gallery of competitive strategies. From what has been learnt in cases A and B, C helps know which company stands a better chance to carve a niche for itself. What is their unique advantage? If not, what should they still do - immediately, remotely or forever? If strategy is all about creating unique advantages, this case is much more than how companies deploy different strategies to become unique. Should companies enter China with their time-tested business models? Or should they go for new business practices? How the local players (incumbents) adjust their game plans to the moves of bigger and better competitors (new entrants)? Can both co-exist? Or would they exit with the entry of foreign players? The big picture would be how intensified competition can catapult an industry.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand and analyse various competitive strategies of creating unique positions in China's retail industry
  • To compare and contrast competitive strategies of foreign players (the new entrants) with local players (the incumbents); who is better equipped to tap China's retailing potential?; can foreign players leverage on their experience and learning curves from other markets?; should they work on their strengths or create new ones to operate in China's market?; what are the strengths of incumbents as well as the new entrants?
  • To debate on the co-existence of new entrants and the incumbents; what happens to the local players as a result of increased and intensified competition from multi-national retailers?.

Keywords : Wal-Mart in China; Carrefour in China; Metro AG in China; Tesco PLC in China; Wumart Stores, Inc.; Lianhua Supermarket Holdings Co. Ltd.; Competitive strategies of retailing companies; Protectionism in China in retailing; Territorial restrictions in China; China's traditional retail industry; Competitive Strategies Case Study; Chinese retailing in the new era; Profitability in Chinese retailing; Sustainability Chinese retailing

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