Westlake Bowling Lanes is a small business in downtown Raleigh. It was founded by late Dane Sugar and is currently owned by Sugar’s Raleigh-based son, along with a pair of his close friends. During Sugar’s lifetime, he managed every aspect of the business, but after his death in October, 2008, the new board of directors failed in hiring a suitable business manager, until 2009, when they hired Shelby Givens (Sugar’s granddaughter).
The company currently faces serious financial challenges. It was struggling with declining sales and increasing costs. Since 2004, revenues had fallen by more than 40% while costs especially for employees health insurance, maintenance, and utilities climbed. Credits and loans had been borrowed to
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| Inimitable and non-substitutable | Westlake’s customer loyalty cannot be imitated. Westlake’s capability to organize bowling leagues and birthday parties is not inimitable or non-substitutable. Any bowling centre can do that. Also, its sale of food and beverages can be overtaken by close-by restaurants that may offer varieties or sell at a cheaper rate or even offers combinations. | Valuable resources and capabilities which are difficult to imitate or substitute provide the potential for sustained competitive advantage. | A sustained competitive advantage conveys the potential to achieve above normal profits for extended periods of time (until competitors eventually find ways to imitate or substitute or the environment changes in ways that nullify the value of the resources). | Exploitable | Givens should use the past business information and her business skills to remodel the business strategy. It should use its reputation to gain advantages from customers and creditors. Get loans elongated, to allow them more time to pay back, and get penalties removed. Incentives should also be put in place for loyal customers. | Resources and capabilities that satisfy the other VRINE requirements but which the firm is unable to exploit actually result in significant opportunity costs (other firms would likely pay large sums to purchase the