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    Creating e business

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    Fred Elliot started Hometown Foods; a "mom/pop" grocery store in 1975 in the small town of Prescott, Arizona. Fred and his wife Wilma worked together as owners in developing this grocery store. In 1980 they had grown to such an extent that they opened another location on the opposite side of town. Prescott's population continued to grow over the years. In the 90's, some of the large chain grocery stores started moving into town creating major threats for Hometown Foods. The community was very supportive to Fred and Wilma and they continued to be successful despite the conglomerates that moved into the area.

    In 2002, the giant Wal-Mart Superstore moved in to town. Wal-Mart offered low prices and the advantage of one stop shopping. Fred and Wilma slowly saw their business decreasing. Since less people were coming into their store, their income was decreasing. They had never had to lay off an employee due to the reduction of business, but for the first time; they were unable to make payroll and knew some major changes had to be made. They laid off three employees; two cashiers and a stock clerk.

    That night Fred and Wilma sat down and did a SWOT analysis on their business. It was obvious that some major changes had to be made in order to remain competitive and sustainable in the community. One of the strengths that the Elliot's discovered in doing their SWOT was that they really know their community in addition to having built relationships with several people in the community. Prescott is a small town, even with the growth; there are many families that live outside of city limits and commute in each week to do their shopping. The threat they found was that these large companies were offering lower prices and more items; hair supplies, clothing, sheets and towels, even furniture. Their weakness was that they had not adjusted to the times. They were still running a small mom/pop grocery store and not taking into account that the world around them continued to develop. Margie Olsen, a good friend of the family suggested they create a branch off of their grocery store in creating an eBusiness organization. Fred and Wilma knew there were great opportunities with eBusiness. They were not computer literate and really did not know if this really was the answer to keep their business operating both on-ground and now online.

    Discussion Questions:

    Fred and Wilma have hired you to be their eBusiness consultant. They are looking to you for answers. They already have an established business that is failing in the Prescott community. What ideas can you recommend for them in creating their eBuisness site that will help them develop a competitive advantage? What can they offer that would set them apart from the rest? What do they need to do in the form of marketing to create an awareness of this online site? Consider what their business model should look like and respond with a proposal of what ideas you have to help them with this adventure.

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    Solution Preview

    1. Fred and Wilma should create an e business that has well known brands.
    2. Fred and Wilma should create an e business that sells premium products.
    3. Their grocery should be fresh and exceptional; their goods should be of higher quality than Wal-Mart.
    4. The site should meet the needs of people from other areas than Prescott. They should send deliveries at least of non perishables to any part of the USA.
    5. They should enter into an agreement will premium brands in apparel and groceries to sell through their stores/ site.


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