This past weekend, I was in four very different stores buying groceries. First stop was Costco, because I needed paper products and soaps and detergents, plus it’s always interesting to see what special items they might have. Next stop was Trader Joe’s because my husband likes a few of their products that don’t seem to be available anywhere else—a mixture of Gruyere and Swiss cheese, a peppermint soap and some organic snacks. Later on that day, I stopped at Jeannotte’s Market, the corner store, where I ordered subs for dinner and picked up a few emergency items…milk, dog bones, and bread. Then Sunday noon, I was at the regular supermarket, where I still spent more than $225 even after all of those other stops at other stores.
Each store offers its own experience and has its own pluses and minuses….but some make better use of their competitive advantages than others. Costco is clear on what it’s about—good prices on staple items, treasure finds, sampling, a fun shopping experience; Trader Joe’s has interesting products, a small friendly footprint and it is a little bit quirky and has a hip vibe; Jeannotte’s offers convenience—quick in and out, very friendly service and great sandwiches; and the supermarket chain offers huge variety, great produce and decent prices.
Of all of the venues, which does the best job of capitalizing on its competitive advantage?
Which has the opportunity to create more competitive advantage or to do more with its current competitive advantage?