Costco Wholesale Corp. in 2020: Mission, Business Model, and Strategy
1. What is Costco’s business model? Is the company’s business model appealing? Why or why not?
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2. What are the chief elements of Costco’s strategy? How good is the strategy?
3. Do you think Jim Sinegal was an effective CEO? What grade would you give him in leading the process of crafting and executing Costco’s strategy? How well is Craig Jelinek performing as Sinegal’s successor; what grade would you give him so far in leading the process of crafting and executing strategy? What support can you offer for these grades? Refer to Figure 2.1 in Chapter 2 in developing your answers.
4. What core values or business principles did Jim Sinegal stress at Costco?
5. (In the event you have covered Chapter 3) What is competition like in the North American wholesale club industry? Which of the five competitive forces is strongest and why? Use the information in Figures 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8 (and the related discussions) in Chapter 3 to do a complete five-forces analysis of competition in the North American wholesale club industry.
6. How well is Costco performing from a financial perspective? Do some number-crunching using the data in case Exhibit 1 to support your answer. Use the financial ratios presented in Table 4.1 of Chapter 4 to help you diagnose Costco’s financial performance.
7. Based on the data in case Exhibits 1, 5, and 6, is Costco’s financial performance superior to that at Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale?
8. Does the data in case Exhibit 4 indicate that Costco’s expansion outside the U.S. is financially successful? Why or why not?
9. How well is Costco performing from a strategic perspective? Does Costco enjoy a competitive advantage over Sam’s Club? Over BJ’s Wholesale? If so, what is the nature of its competitive advantage? Does Costco have a winning strategy? Why or why not?
10. Are Costco’s prices too low? Why or why not?
11. What do you think of Costco’s compensation practices? Does it surprise you that Costco employees apparently are rather well-compensated?
12. What recommendations would you make to Costco top management regarding how best to sustain the company’s growth and improve its financial performance?
First, I strongly suggest that you answer the case questions. These questions should assist you in proper use of tools of strategic analysis. DO NOT USE THEM AS A CRUTCH. You are provided with a series of questions that once properly addressed will allow you to provide an in-depth case analysis. Note that I have made this a group assignment. Therefore, my expectation is that you will provide a solid submission.
Please use the format below;
1. Major problems and issues
Your approach should be to use the questions to expand your case analysis. In other words, after you answer the questions you need to put them into the context of the outline above. As each of you do your individual analyses, when you come together to combine your individual efforts into a finalized single submission.
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