Characterise the competitive strategy of a department store of your choice? What are the key customer needs that a department store aims to fill?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The strategies are (1) overall cost leadership; (2) differentiation; and (3) focus on a particular market niche. The generic strategies provide direction for firms in designing incentive systems, control procedures, and organizational arrangements."

When it comes to competitive strategies, a business has to pick a focus in order to best use its resources and achieve results in its target market.  When a business chooses to be an overall cost leader, like say Walmart, the operation leads on price. 

The store has the lowest prices available on a variety of items.  This strategy works for Walmart, but is most successful when they do not have to compete with malls.  Walmart likes to operate in remote areas where customers depends on them for everything from groceries to high end appliances. 

A store like Lord & Taylor uses a focus on a particular market niche, accepting that they are a high-end establishment not suited to every customer's needs.  In doing this, they can focus on higher priced merchandise that their target market, wealthy people, will look to buy, maintaining an atmosphere that allows people to feel the exclusivity of the environment.

Other strategies are a combination of both, this often leads to difficulties because stores like Macy's do not have a clear objective, but chooses to appeal to everyone, hoping to secure enough sales from a diverse customer base to be successful.