There are major developments and trends in the global market that pose opportunities and challenges for the company. Amid the increasing cultural migration, interpenetration and resurgence of ethnic identity politics and regionalism, the demographics in numerous countries have changed. The emergence of new processes and spaces is increasingly becoming a major determinant of the characterization of today’s society. Although the daily interactions of individuals continue to take place at a level that is local, the flows of money, information, images and symbols in networks, which form a network of nodes that are interconnected, become elements that are essential in social action. Demographics can provide such opportunities as new customers, increased sales, and increased variety of customers, which all point to the increase of sales and productivity. Threats can also occur such as customers moving away, and customers developing other tastes,because of interaction(Cayla & Arnould, 2008).
The economy has increasingly become weak, and, as a result, margins keep on falling and so does asset values. Because of these economic difficulties, the company has faced number financial challenges though it remains profitable. To deal with these financial problems, the company is planning to close about 20 of its stores that are underperforming so as o cut costs and save money(Fortune 500 List of Best Companies, 2009).
It is clear that with the current financial problems and challenges with the environment, the availability of the company’s raw materials is going to go down with costs increasing. The costs of energy are also likely to increase because of the same challenges. There have been few, if any, complains about the role of the company in conservation and pollution. In fact, the company has been widely recognized for its initiatives in taking care of the environment and in sustainability. The company has come up with a number of goals to fulfill by the end of 2012 to ensure conservation and sustainability. In addition to this, the company also utilizes a carbon footprint, sustainable foods, reusable bags, zero waste, and conservation initiatives to ensure that the company does little damage to the environment(Fortune 500 List of Best Companies, 2009).
There have been major technological innovations in today’s global market, and in the grocery industry. For example, there are new technologies for packaging, for eliminating waste, for ensuring green initiatives, and for production and manufacturing. The company strived not to be left behind as it has adopted new technologies in production and manufacturing processes, and in supply and delivery services(Fortune 500 List of Best Companies, 2009).
There other trends that might affect the company’s business other than demographics and culture, like politics. For example, there are numerous rules, regulations and policies that the government has come with that can affect the profitability of the company. These changes might have to do with trade regulations, regulation of raw material, and environment policies that require large amounts of money for sustenance(Fortune 500 List of Best Companies, 2009). For example, there have been policies that the government has developed to control and regulate pollution. These require complex and expensive technologies and initiatives that might affect the profitability of the company. Additionally, other policies such as equal opportunities of employment might lead the company to employing unskilled workers leading to less productivity. Product safety might also affect the productivity cost of the product. Advertising might lead to reduced exposure of a product while price controls can lead to loses. Generally, all these regulations and policies affect the productivity of a company and its profitability.
The consumers of the company fell that the goods and products it produces are safe for consumption. This has resulted to a large customer base for the company. However, as customers travel more and experience different lifestyles and attitudes in other countries, their preferences change and their perceptions of usual products might change, shifting their preferences. The consumers, for instance, might experience organic foods and green house foods and make them change their preferences, and require the products of the company to change to match to the new preferences of the company(Nijssen & Douglas, 2008).
Cayla, J. & Arnould, E. J. (2008). A cultural approach to branding in the global marketplace. Journal of International marketing 16 (4), 86- 112.
Fortune 500 List of Best Companies (2009). Money Magazine. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2009/companies/S.html
Nijssen, E. J. & Douglas, S. P. (2008). Consumer world- mindedness, social- mindedness, and store image. Journal of International marketing 16 (3), 84- 107.
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