Growth Strategies and Corporate Competitiveness 1990-2007
This case describes and compares the growth strategies, the concrete growth initiatives and the resulting corporate competitiveness of the two main British grocery businesses; Sainsbury’s and Tesco. It starts in 1990, when Sainsbury’s was the clear market leader way ahead of Tesco and ends in 2008, when Tesco reached a market share of about 30% in the UK, roughly the same as its rivals Sainsbury’s and ASDA (a Wal-Mart subsidiary) combined. Today, Tesco is no longer a mere UK retailer but an international business providing telephony, financial services, legal services, books, music and electrical goods. This case is designed to serve the following teaching objectives: (1) to discuss the appropriateness of different growth initiatives, based on the comprehensive description of the competitive growth strategies and the resulting corporate competitiveness of the two competitors; (2) to analyse possible reasons for more or less successful growth strategies; (3) to see how firms can combine different growth strategies and growth mechanisms in a successful portfolio, or bundle of growth initiatives; and (4) to learn about the retail sector, specifically food retailing in the UK. This case is aimed at MBA students and is intended to be part of the strategic management curriculum. A detailed teaching note is available.
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