International Business & Strategy

Introduction

Carrefour is one of the most leading retailing companies that have its subsidiaries in about 30 countries. They operate by means of contributing their knowledge, skills and experience as well as the strong power of the company towards the improvements of the habits that can help boost sales and create a better marketing cap for the business ventures (Chunawalla 2009).

In other words, the Carrefour Group is a multinational retailer that holds the second position in the world and is considered to be one of the major retailing companies in Europe. Such a holding employs about 400,000 people around the world. These employees work in about 10,000 stores for the last 50 years (Carrefour Group 2013).

The Carrefour Group Holding serves around 30 million people all over the world, including the United States of America, Europe, and Asia. The Carrefour Group operates within a variety of environments for various customers globally, including the great array of hyper-markets and super-markets as well as other suitability stores along with the cash and carry channels that are offering goods and services that are created for the most sophisticated customers by both quality and price approach of products (Yip 1995).

In addition, the Carrefour Group has about 3 billion trade relations every year, including the actions that have a relation to the “economic, social and environmental responsibility”, which defines the quality of the goods and / or services that are offered to the customers all over the world (Daniels, Radebaugh & Sulivan 2011).

Therefore, the research will address the aspects of the Carrefour Group in terms of the potential target market strategy, including the SWOT analysis and strategic international market expansion. The paper will analyse the position of the company in the industry based on the perceptions of today as well as address the further implications of the growth on the global market place (Stern & Stalk 1998).

Russia – Potential Target Market Strategy

It is difficult to consider the new target market for the reason that it is not possible to know whether it would be beneficial for the company or not. At the same time, for the research, Russia was considered to be projected as the future market to target for the company. The reason for such a decision is that in 2009, the company did go for the Russian market, but failed to become the most powerful retailing store in the country and decided to move to other markets (Chunawalla 2009).

For the research, it is considered that the Russian market is going to be of a better value for the market share of the company since it has grown during the last several years and could be more challenging for the company to pursue. Perhaps, it would make more sense to test its performance in Saint Petersburg and/or Moscow for a second time.

One of the most challenging concerns is to try to approach the strategy based on the existing retailing stores and other malls in Moscow and in Saint Petersburg. In other words, the retailing stores could be the same for the people, but they will represent the products that are traded through the Carrefour Group (Carrefour Group 2013).

In the past, the consideration towards leaving the Russian market was driven by the fact of the insufficient growth and achievement prospects in the future, and since the overall idea was to occupy the whole market of Russia, the company did not agree to continue its operations and quit any means of their retailing in Russia (Chunawalla 2009).

This time, the company is going to challenge the fact that Russia has changed in its market offerings, and in this case, their experience is going to be different towards the more profitable market. In all, based on the revealing of the Carrefour, the major reasons of their failure were not to obtain the grocery chain called the Seventh Continent, the one that today holds the most challenging position on the Russian market since it represents more than 140 stores in the whole country (Daniels, Radebaugh & Sulivan 2011).

Moreover, it is expected that this time the sales of the Carrefour Group stores as well as with the help of the partnerships with other retailing store giants of Russia will have a better contribution to the budget of the company compared to the world market share. At least, there should be minor changes in the volume of their sales; however, the percentage should be positive through the time difference (Carrefour Group 2013).

The other reasons of the Carrefour Group misfortune were addressed towards the lack of growth of their market as well as the favour towards the food retailing in the country. In addition, the situation was made worse due to the straight relation to the legal issues, bureaucracy and corruption in the country on both local and regional levels of growth for the Carrefour Group retailing share (Chunawalla 2009).

At the same time, this time, the strategy aims to address the company marketing perspectives towards the expansion of the retailing stores by means of the leadership position on the market, which has become more important towards the means of profitability of the company on the Russian market (Stern & Stalk 1998).

The partners that could be helpful for the new strategy of the company are those retailing companies that can help to find the potential customers for the Carrefour by means of the franchising stores. Today, the company has similar experience on the retailing markers of Africa, Middle East, and Japan (Carrefour Group 2013).

Most importantly, the Carrefour is going to promote its marketing strategy through the domestic retailing channels of the Russian brands. Such approach to franchising would bring more benefits to both partners on the market. Therefore, the position of the Carrefour could be compared to the strategy of the Wal-Mart corporation by means of searching for the alternative ways of entering the market of Russian retailing companies as a competitor (Stern & Stalk 1998).

Based on the findings of both companies, the Russian market could be considered as a challenge towards the fact of facing the risk, under which the company could repeat the same experience again. However, since the fact that several years passed by while developing the market; therefore, such a strategy can have an alternative outcomes towards the proper planning of implementing the strategy of getting back to the Russian retailing market (Chunawalla 2009).

In fact, for the last couple of years the market has shown a more favourable position towards the international retailers, which means that the Carrefour has more opportunities to pursue this time. Besides, there were many reforms applied to the overall infrastructure of the market, which makes the Carrefour heads think that they will have a positive impact on its strategy along with the retailing goals for the next several years (Bartels & Christopher 2000).

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis could help to manage the variety of objectives in relation to the internal and external factors that play an important role in the achievement of the target goals of the company. The graphical representation below will help to have a more detailed perception of the SWOT analysis:

The SWOT analysis can be helpful to understand the situation around the company in terms of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In other words, this is a means of planning that the head of the company should adhere to in order to remain sustainable on the marketplace.

The SWOT analysis model is useful for the overall analysis of both the company and its relation to the industry, depending on the purpose of the evaluation that the company performs using the analysis tool. In other words, the SWOT model analysis applies to an organization in a completely different perspective.

In addition, this kind of analysis could be used in order to understand the situation of the company in more depth and consequently, make a decision based on the high-quality information analysis. Thus, the SWOT Analysis for the Carrefour Group within the retailing industry will look the following way as it is illustrated below:

Table 1.

Strengths

Weaknesses

Internal

  • Broaden market share
  • Multiple marketing strategies
  • Planned acquisitions
  • A huge chain of hypermarket chains around the world
  • Unlimited number of brands under the same location of Carrefour stores ;
  • Local and International product lines
  • Significant rebates on goods and services
  • High-quality product care
  • Constantly growing number of employees and stores all over the world
 

  • Failure in operational boundary
  • Low sales in the local market
  • Incomplete worldwide infiltration associated with the global retailing brands
  • Claims of untruthful public relations
  • Exaggerated public image of the company

External

 

  • Re-branded campaign stores
  • Entrance to the developing markets
  • Emphasis on the improvement of the non-food transactions
  • Respectable branding for the future leverage
  • Growing convenience stores with refining supply chains
  • Worldwide connections
  • Transnational occurrence
  • Low consumer confidence
  • Rising labour costs
  • Aggregate rivalry in France and internationally
  • Poor Structure of the compliant hyper- and super-markets, as well as other subdivision stores

It comes to the fact that there was no direct impact on Carrefour Group and its reputation towards the overall industry matters so this does not make any significant difference for the company as a whole. Though, there is still a huge need in the constant development perfection as it was presented by the stakeholders of the company on the crisis issue (Bartels & Christopher 2000).

Carrefour Group Marketing Mix

The power in any of these stakeholder relationships is in the interaction with the customers on a regular basis with the one and only aim to improve it every single day of the existence of the Carrefour Group and its industry. After the thorough analysis of the key aspects of the company perspectives, it is possible to draw a conclusion that they have taken a rather different view towards the so-called “Marketing Mix”, which is as follows (Carrefour Group 2013):

  • Product: ; the characteristics of the retailing goods and services of the company should address the core needs of the target audience. ;
  • Price: ;defiles the price that will match the retailing product. It allows to see the reflections of the target customer in terms of the stated market price of the retailing product. However, in case the retailing product is awesome, but the price is set too high, it could have the problems to be sold on the market.
  • Place: the perspectives of the economic scale have a huge impact on the quality of the retailing goods and services on the market, especially in case the business overlooks descent retailing services as means of the buying power.
  • Promotion: Communicated target market is a convincing one in both retailing product and services offered. They are concerned about improving the quality of their retailing products that will result in a better customer satisfaction.

Therefore, the world retailing companies do not share the common strategies for outreaching to subsidiaries, however, they are usually among the first to contact when setting up the Carrefour Group networks. The subsidiaries often take leadership and development, leading by examples and thus great mentors (Johnson & Turner 2006).

Recommendations on Strategic International Market Expansion

Business strategy needs to be of the same calibre of that used in a war room for executing pivotal moves that take the upper hand and result in winning. For those businesses that accept loosing or being second then the harsh reality will come when they are taken out of the game as a competitor due to poor strategy (Bartels & Christopher 2000).

How is it then in the immerging competitive global market that some companies get ahead and stay ahead while others do not? The answer is business strategy. Strategy is about looking to the future and developing tactics that will ensure a business the ability to survive, thrive and develop into a market-leading and world-beating organization (Stern & Stalk 1998).

Business strategy has evolved from many success stories of those businesses that have become the innovators and have kept the gap between them and their competitors. ; For instance, businesses like Southwest Airlines, Microsoft, General Electric, Federal Express, and Toyota have taken the correct steps to being leaders (Griffin & Pustay 2010).

One common thread amongst these businesses is that they have beaten the odds and stayed in the innovator or market leader category. Many businesses have tried the poor strategy of thinking that just because of their name or because they are an American company and that is enough to maintain their place in the market (Johnson & Turner 2006).

If this mind set does not change then real world scenarios like lay-offs, cutbacks and closings will occur. This brings up the questions of how to stay ahead in the market through business strategy. Businesses need to think to the future and figure out what strategy will take them to the next level and give them the competitive edge (Griffin & Pustay 2010).

Business strategy is a very intriguing and interesting subject that has an enormous amount of information to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed the research involved and have realized that the surface has just only been scrapped. Businesses can get side-tracked and think too much about a certain process and how to push it onto their people. Without the success of people you will never have the true success of business strategy. ; ;

Marketing is quite an interesting subject of any research and many different companies all over the world spend enormous amount of money on the research studying all kinds of products or brands, pricing and promotion technique, etc. Since this is a research on the marketing analysis and its improvement, I would like to pay special attention to such a conventional thing as global branding in terms of multinational enterprises that will fit any application of marketing (Gilbert 2003).

An advantage a company has over its competitors is a key factor to generate more sales, margins and retain more customers. Today every manager is in charge of selling the goods and services companies offer. The ability to offer cheaper products of the same quality is possible due to the ability to utilize resources used in the production chain (Terpstra 1994).

There are four blocks of competitive advantage that help a manager to introduce strong competition, and they are efficiency, quality, innovation and customer responsiveness; please, see below for more details Press (Ha, Park & Cho 2011):

Efficiency is one of the main aspects in building a competitive advantage as it is what allows companies to produce the same number of goods and services with fewer resources. Efficiency defines the chain between manufactures and customers.

Quality is what makes a customer purchase the same goods and services from the same manufacturer on a regular basis. This is when a customer does not want to buy in other places and prefers to use a particular one with the highest quality and at a favourable price.

Innovation is a way to keep both efficiency and quality at the same level as it allows doing the same amount of job while utilizing a variety of resources such as labour cost, transportation, and other secondary costs, which leads to a good customer response.

Customer responsiveness is the final step that makes it possible to identify how valuable the goods and services are for the customer and make sure one agrees to pay money to continue using the same high-quality and cheap products.

The role of a manager in gaining a competitive advantage is to make sure the overall process from manufacturing till sales is of the highest quality while allocating fewer resources in the production chain.

A manager should be able to identify a company’s distinctive competencies and use them to carefully manage both resources and capabilities during the manufacturing process. The next step is to identify the end cost in order to take advantage of sales among the competitors and make sure a company continues to offer the goods of the highest quality at the most favourable price; this forms the value it brings to the customer.

Sales and promotion are working in the context of the marketing communication mix such as degree of control and personal influence in the directions of advertising, sales, promotion, public relations, and personal selling. With this, the aspects grow from long-term to short-term and from low to high level of communications.

There is a Flow of sales and sales promotion chart that addresses the relations in the form of business to business and this of core importance for the success of the company. This addresses different kind of marketing strategies such as B2B push strategies, B2C pull strategies, B2C push/pull strategies, R2C push/pull strategies, and R2C push/pull strategies (Griffin & Pustay 2010).

There is a huge impact on the sales-force selling in the place of the wholesalers, distributors, marketing teams, management, retailing and customers that work with the model of businesses, manufacturers and other companies (Gilbert 2003).

A close collaboration between the discussed relationships with the selling techniques and sales promotional activities that are grounded on the action-based elements of the marketing communications mix (Gilbert 2003).

Conclusion

Today there is a great amount of unpredictability and uncertainty on the marketplace and if you are performing with dignity, you will be the one with a deep value for quality and will put your supply chain management practice on a very high level among others (Hasty & Reardon 1997).

Every single organization in the world needs to mind the capacity and demand for the production quality, the area of services and the amount of goods. With this there is always going to be a competition and managers need to be sure that in case they are running their business with ease and understanding of why they are doing this, then they will proclaim that it is done for the sake of the customers worldwide and will be pleased with the products.

If you are responsible for what you do and try to perfect your business all the time, it means that you care for your people and work for their good. We always see the quality and deeply value the providers of goods and / or services that are of a high excellence and that is the reason why we have a strong purchasing power in response (Johnson & Turner, 2006).

As a matter of fact, it is not right to think about anything that is hard to implement, the best solution is most often the one that is the easiest for the client. That is what measures fulfilment in logistics management; this is what should be aimed at the customer (Cooper, Browne & Peters 1994).

Recommendations are to address the respect to structure the purchasing and inventory functions. The atmosphere is reached through the communication methods offered to the client. Communication is a huge part of any business and the management of any company should think of how to make it the most strong against the demand and thus form a successful supply chain from the manufactures to the end customers (Hasty & Reardon 1997).

The application of management in all meanings is the act of gathering people in order to manage the required tasks and reach the desired goals on the road to mission, vision and objectives of any company (Hasty & Reardon 1997).

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