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Olivers Market

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Oliver’s Markets’ loyal customer base has grown by leaps and bounds due to its philanthropic frequent shopper program. This program has helped it retain customer loyalty. Oliver’s Markets’ was purchased in 1988 by Steve Oliver Maass. Organized as a Subchapter S corporation in 1988, when Steve and Ruth Maass were president and vice president. Its original store is located in Cotati, California. Currently Oliver’s Markets’

driving force is the decision of expansion. For this expansion to be effective, Oliver’s Markets’ must take a close look at the five competitive forces and demographic data for future locations.

Oliver’s Markets’ strategic plan is based around its deli, gourmet foods, and being a major player in the natural foods industry. Oliver’s Markets prides itself as being unique. Within its deli department there is a clear picture of its strategic intent. It has shown customer loyalty by continuing to introduce new imported cheeses as well as fine wines. Oliver’s Markets’ competitive advantage is in its wine department. This competitive advantage is sustained by offering variety of wines that other stores are unable to get and by its bi-weekly wine-tasting for customers. It is clear that Oliver’s Markets’ main objectives are to provide the best service, atmosphere, and products to all customers.

Oliver’s Markets’ business approach is visible through its mission statement. It clearly states that “ Our mission is to provide the communities we serve with the finest grocery store in the marketplaceвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚¦we seek out our customer’s specific needs and tailor our product and services to meet those needs.” All employees and its top management department have shared values. All in all, Oliver’s Markets’ culture is to assure that employees receive adequate wages and care, that it continues to be a part of the community, and to provide customers with a diverse line of products and unique services to make customers feel like they are part of the Oliver’s Markets’ family.

Oliver’s Markets’ has strength within its human resource department, its outstanding and abundant wine and deli selection, and its customer loyalty. Managers are given autonomy to decide exactly what products to carry and how to price them. Rocky, who is an employee of Oliver’s Markets and former deli manager of Safeway stated, “It enables me to use my brains, and still get behind the counter and help customers.” Oliver’s Markets has a few key success factors. One is in its sales of wine, where two full-time employees operate its 3,000 square foot wine department. On a daily basis its wine department can bring in $16,000 (Cotati Store). Oliver’s Markets’ showed the use of guerilla offensives when it noticed that Safeway took out its salad bar. It then put a salad bar, taqueria, and seating area within its own deli. Oliver’s Markets imports cheeses from France, Spain, Italy and England, to provide its customers with a wide selection of exotic cheeses. This department generates sales in between $15,000-$20,000 (Cotati Store).

A major weakness that is seen throughout Oliver’s Markets’ is that the stores do not contain the same layout. This is vital to customers who know exactly where products are but when they shop at one of Oliver’s Markets’ other stores they are unable to find what they need. The lack of stores in different geographical areas causes a strain for those who shop by word of mouth.

Oliver’s Markets has the opportunity to expand. It has a plan to look at older buildings with leases that are below the current market value ($350,000 per year) This expansion is based on certain criteria which is growing population with at least 10,000 of the households have to be making over $75,000 per year and that 25 percent of population has to be college educated and the most significant is that there has to be no Whole Foods in the area.

Although the expansion decisions of Oliver’s Markets are opportunities, they are also threats. If it decides not to expand, then other rivals will decide to take advantage of opportunities left behind. Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Whole Foods have already entered Oliver’s Markets’ sales territory. Now if Oliver’s Markets decide not go forward with its expansion, it will cause Wal-Mart and Target to inquire about such locations, since it was already announced that Wal-Mart and Target had plans to open supercenters.

For Oliver’s Markets to continue to be able to serve its customers and provide outstanding in-store service, it must take advantage of these expansion opportunities. Instead of focusing on the rent cost, it should be more concerned with the amount of customers it will lose if a rival steps in. These expansion opportunities should be addressed and have a decision made within 60 days. Oliver’s Markets should implement a once-a-week on site live cooking demonstration. With all the imports of cheese and wine that it has, this live cooking will be great for customers who do not know what wine goes with what, and what could they make with this particular cheese. This addition will draw a whole new customer base into the store and provide frequenting customers and employees with new ideas.




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