please talk about the downsizing/closing of major chain stores (ex. Sears, JC Penney, Best Buy, Gander Mountain, etc.) and provide support as to why you think this is occurring. Discuss the emerging online piece of strategy for all of these firms as well as for WalMart and Target (ex. Walmart recently purchased JET–why did they do that? Amazon recently purchased Whole Foods–why did they do that?). Take this discussion any direction you wish but do bring out what is happening from a strategic point of view.
An age-old question is “Does structure follow strategy or does strategy follow structure?” The new, successful firms appear to be on-line driven and not really interested in brick and mortar. Amazon is the obvious example. Does the rapid growth of Amazon and similar firms put pressure on Walmart and Target, etc. to change or can they still survive (can anyone still survive) without creating online revenue streams to go along with their traditional strategy of storefronts? Is Amazon a true Technology company? They never really developed or wanted to develop a brick and mortar strategy. Is ecommerce, in all its forms, the Blue Ocean of today (soon to become Red)? Is this truly the future, the destiny of retail and many other industries? These are just examples of threads/directions that you can discuss along with the many others that you all will develop over the time frame this board is open.
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