Competing in Tough Times: Business Lessons from L.L.Bean, Trader Joe's, Costco, and Other World-Class Retailers

Competing in Tough Times: Business Lessons from L.L.Bean, Trader Joe's, Costco, and Other World-Class Retailers

by Barry Berman
Pub. Date:
FT Press
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Competing in Tough Times: Business Lessons from L.L.Bean, Trader Joe's, Costco, and Other World-Class Retailers

Competing in Tough Times brings together the powerful new strategies that world-class retailers, like Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Nordstrom, are using today to survive--and thrive--in a brutally unforgiving retail environment. Internationally respected retail management expert Barry Berman shows retailers and their suppliers exactly how to build effective strategies based on cost and differentiation, plan and implement those strategies, and measure the results.

Berman offers detailed coverage of implementing strategies based on becoming the low-cost provider and minimizing product proliferation; enhancing the service experience; developing and maintaining a strong private label program; and more.

To support each approach, he presents full-length examples from retailers covering every market sector, from consumer goods to apparel to technology. He thoroughly examines top retailers such as Aldi,, L.L. Bean, Publix, Stew Leonard's, Wegman's, and Whole Foods, and shares powerful insights drawn from the experiences of other leaders--from Au Bon Pain to Best Buy, Family Dollar to Target, Tesco to Walgreen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780132459198
Publisher: FT Press
Publication date: 12/22/2010
Pages: 239
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xiv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Questionable Future Facing Global Retailers 5

Increased Competition Across Retail Formats 8

Retail Store Positioning and Competitive Strategy 16

Takeaway Points 21

Endnotes 23

Chapter 2 Low-Cost Strategies I: Key Elements of a Low-Cost Provider Strategy 27

Implementing Low-Cost/Low-Price Strategies 28

Advantages of Being a Low-Cost Provider 31

Key Elements of a Low-Cost Retailer Strategy 31

Takeaway Points 44

Endnotes 46

Chapter 3 Low-Cost Strategies II: Delivering Low Costs Through Minimizing Product Proliferation 49

Managerial Concerns Related to Product Proliferation 52

Causes of Product Proliferation 64

Reducing Product Proliferation: The Experience of Aldi, Costco, Stew Leonard's, and Trader Joe's 68

Takeaway Points 75

Endnotes 76

Chapter 4 Differentiation Strategies I: Effective Human Resource Strategies 81

Strategic Benefits of Effective Human Resource Strategies 82

The Human Resource Strategies of Best-Practice Firms 86

Takeaway Points 103

Endnotes 105

Chapter 5 Differentiation Strategies II: Enhancing the Service Experience 111

Consumer Satisfaction Studies and Analyst Reviews of the Benchmark Retailers 113

Employee Dimensions of the Service Experience 117

Nonemployee Dimensions of the Service Experience 122

Optimizing Customers' Web-Based Service Experience 133

Takeaway Points 135

Endnotes 137

Chapter 6 Differentiation Strategies III: Developing and Maintaining a Strong Private Label Program 141

Advantages of a Strong Private Label Program to Retailers 143

Private Label Strategies of Successful Retailers 148

Takeaway Points 166

Endnotes 167

Chapter 7 Implementing Cost-, Differentiation-, and Value-Based Retail Strategies 173

Cost-Based Strategies 173

Differentiation-Based Strategies 179

Value-Based Strategies 188

Auditing a Store's Cost, Differentiation, and Value Strategies 195

Takeaway Points 198

Endnotes 200

Appendix: Individual and Composite Financial Performance, Customer Service, and Worker Satisfaction Metrics of the Best-Practice Retailers 203

Introduction 203

Individual Performance Metrics of the Best-Practice Retailers 205

Composite Data on Best-Practice Retailers 214

Employee Satisfaction Measures of Best-Practice Retailers 223

Takeaway Points 224

Endnotes 225

Index 229

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