Go to the selected company’s website and look at their annual report (10k). If you prefer, you may also go to the Securities Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database and download the annual report. In researching the company, determine the company’s critical success factors. In a thread of at least 400 words, explain what you believe the critical success factors are, and what the company needs to do to either gain a competitive advantage, or maintain their competitive advantage. Your thread must include 2 peer-reviewed references.
In the next module, reply to 2 other students. Each reply must include at least 2 peer-reviewed references and be 200 words.
#1. Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a national home improvement store with over 1800 stores in North America and total revenues over $56 billion dollars. Lowe’s employs approximately 265,000 employees and serves 16 million customers weekly. Direct competitors for Lowe’s includes Home Depot and smaller regional home improvement chains such as Menard’s. “In 1994 Lowe’s felt that it had evolved a better big box model than Depot’s with brighter lighting, better looking decor and signage and more emphasis on home decorating that appealed much more to women than the tough guy, dim lit format of Depot. They went into the big cities head to head with Depot stores and measurably took away a good 20 percent of a Depot store volume pretty quickly (Merrifield, 2003).”
Lowe’s has a strong emphasis on community relations and social corporate responsibility. “An example of this is shown in Lowe’s commitment to Habitat for Humanity. The company recently committed $20 million of building materials over five years to construct housing for those in need, and it has donated nearly $40 million to this organization and has helped build or renovate almost 1,500 homes in the last few years (Creel, 2012).” Lowe’s also hosts children’s clinic through their stores and emphasizes on employee volunteerism. Lowe’s is also one of the few national chain stores left that offers discounts to Active Duty Military and Veterans.
Lowe’s has total revenues over $56.223 billion dollars. There total net earnings equals 4.80%. The present value of cash and equivalent for Lowe’s is $4.929 billion dollars. Short term investments equals $591 million and total assets equals $10.080 billion dollars. After comparing the total sales revenues and present cash value for Lowe’s versus their competitors, it is evident that Lowe’s has strong sales, cash reserves and solid market growth. One of the advantages of Lowe’s is their future ability for growth into areas there competitors are in. Lowe’s is able to take a product category, home improvement, and market that product to every member of the household, to contractors and other business services.
The financial peformance and outlook of Direct TV seems to be positive. Their company is currently in competition with Netflix, Comcast, and Time Warner along with some other companies. However, Direct TV prices are about the same as their competitors. Customers are diverse and companies cannot cater to all, but instead focus on identifying a specific target or demographic. There are certain rural areas and groups of people who like the satellite and may not ever change over to Netflix and the other companies because of their location and proximity to the city/business areas. Therefore, Direct TV may not have large numbers like over 44.3 million, instead more like 15 to 20 million customers, but it is enough for the company to survive. However, (Williams, 2014) reports that consumers make purchases or choices based on emotions.The emotional state of a person can influence their decisions, evaluations, and judgments when it comes to purchasing and consumption. According to the work of ( Jerath, Liye, & Young, 2014) Direct TV marketing department needs to find why and consumers are purchasing on order to keep up with the other service providers. The commercial success of search engines like: Yahoo or Google, can help companies like Direct TV figure out what consumers want from their business.
Williams, P.( 2014). Emotions & Consumer Behavior. Journal of Consumer Research. 40 (5), 205-309. DOI: 10.00093-5301.93666742.
Jearth, K. Liye, M., & Young, P. (2014). Consumer click behavior at a search engine: The role of keyword popularity. Journal of Marketing Research. 51 (4), 480-486. DOI: 10.0822-2437. 98572190.