I helgen läste jag boken Competition Demystified skriven av Bruce Greenwald och Judd Kahn. Det jag tyckte var intressantast är bokens resonemang om lokala konkurrensfördelar. Det har nämligen relevans för ett bolag jag spanar på (mer om detta bolag i senare inlägg).
Citat från boken:
"In four decades, the Wal-Mart juggernaut rolled out of small towns in Arkansas to become the largest retailer in the world. [...] Wal-Mart began as a small and regionally focused discounter in a part of the country where it had little competition. [...] It expanded incrementally outward from this geographic base, adding new stores and distribution centers at theperiphery of its existing territory. The market that it dominated and in which it first enjoyed competitive advantages was not discount retailing in the United States, but discount retailing within a clearly circumscribed region. As it pushed the boundaries of this region outward, it consolidated its position in the newly entered territory before continuing its expansion. As we shall see, when it moved too far beyond its base, its results deteriorated.
[...] Its margins exceeded Kmart’s starting in 1980, when it was only about one-tenth the size of its older rival. Wal-Mart’s most profitable years, measured by return on sales and on invested capital, ended sometime in the mid 1980s. [...] The years of truly high returns on investment ended in the early 1990s. [...]
Wal-Mart in the 1980s
In these years Wal-Mart was a regional powerhouse.[...] More than 80 percent of the stores were located in eleven states radiating from its Arkansas headquarters. Wal-Mart serviced them from five warehouses; few of the stores were more than three hundred miles from any distribution center. [...] The system was efficient. The concentration of stores allowed one truck to serve several of them on the same trip, and to pick up new merchandise from vendors while returning to the warehouse.
[...] The same strategy of concentration that served Wal-Mart well by keeping down its inbound logistics costs also worked to contain advertising expenses. [...] For retailers, advertising is local.[...] The television station running a thirty-second spot in Nashville charges the same whether there are three Wal-Mart stores in the area or thirty. The same arithmetic holds true for newspaper ads or circulars sent to all residents in the vicinity.