Case 4: Costco Wholesale in 2016 Business analysis

Thompson, A. A., Peteraf, M. A., Gamble, J. E., & Strickland, A. J. III (2018). Crafting and executing strategy: The quest for competitive advantage, concepts and cases (21st ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
ISBN-13: 978-1259732782

The case study assignment for Module 1 draws on the following case study in your textbook:

Case 4: Costco Wholesale in 2016: Mission, Business Model, and Strategy, by Arthur A. Thompson (page C-26)

Read the case and then respond to the case questions provided below. (See Guide to Case Analysis for further guidance on writing a case analysis.)

In addition to reading the case study provided in the textbook, research the company further to find any relevant events that have transpired since the writing of the case study. Use the company’s website, Internet search engines such as Google, online data services, or other sources to locate the latest articles about the company including press releases and current financial information. Be sure to cite all sources according to APA guidelines.

Note: For assistance with analyzing any financial data in this case, Table 4-1 (Key Financial Ratios: How to Calculate Them and What They Mean) in your textbook is a useful reference.

Please limit your analysis to 4 pages (1000 to 1100 words), double-spaced.

Students please note: Feel free to bring in any recent news or current events concerning this company into your answer.

Case Questions
[1] The first chapter of your textbook begins with a quote from Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric: “Strategy means making clear-cut choices about how to compete.” Do the efforts, actions, and practices of Costco support Welch’s statement? Explain your answer. Be specific, and provide examples to support your views in your response.
[2] One of the planks in Costco’s principles and operational approaches states that the firm “take[s] care of our employees.” Do Costco’s compensation and workforce practices align with this principle? Explain your answer.
[3] Does Costco enjoy a competitive advantage over BJ’s Wholesale? If so, what is the nature of its competitive advantage? Does Costco have a winning strategy? Support your answer.
[4] For a set of organizational strategies, goals, and objectives to have a chance of success there must be pervasive support by/from the organizational culture. Which of the practices of Costco do you feel has the most direct influence on its business culture? Explain the foundation for your response. Is the nature of that influence positive or negative for Costco’s organizational culture? Support your position.
[5] Which revenue stream do you think is most important to the Costco business model and strategy? Provide details of your selection as well as the rationale for your choice.

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