Whsmith's Strategy Essay

Words: 2969
Pages: 12

From its humble roots as a family newspaper distribution business using horse drawn carts from the first newspaper distribution warehouse, expanding by taking advantage of the spread of the rail network for both distribution and later book stalls in the stations which, in turn spread to form the company we all now recognise as W H Smith.

The corporation is divided into W H Smith Retail (high street and travel stores), W H Smith News (distribution) and W H Smith Direct (online) businesses and for the purpose of analysis it is important to understand the division between business units as competitive advantage is achieved at the level of each strategic business unit (SBU) and understood through competitive strategy whereas achieving
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‘The disparity supports anecdotal evidence that internet booksellers and supermarkets are growing the market, borne out by the commercial flavour of the bestseller lists. Many independents also boast strong performances. Publishers are increasingly looking beyond the chain outlets to maintain topline growth.
The supermarkets have been less affected by the downturn in consumer confidence, and are being taken seriously by suppliers as major players in the book market. One publisher said: "Supermarkets are doing well because the titles being published are suited to the supermarket audience'
(Fraser, 2005)

Buyer power

There is huge range of buyer choice making buyer power high along with the lack of any switching costs. Consumers have many choices about their preferred option for purchasing, all items can be conveniently purchased while doing the weekly shopping or a wider range of books or entertainment can be found in specialist stores with coffee or listening posts respectively. As for newspapers and magazines, they can be bought for standardised cover price in a huge number of independent and larger stores. Stationary is also available from most of the same stores but the comprehensiveness of the ranges varies considerably.

Supplier power

As mentioned above, publishers are in