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Competing in Tough Times: Business Lessons from L.L.Bean, Trader Joe's, Costco, and Other World-Class Retailers, Safari

By Barry R. Berman

Published by FT Press

Published Date: Dec 8, 2010

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Competing in Tough Times brings together the powerful new strategies that world-class retailers, like Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Nordstrom, are using today to survive--and thrive--in a brutally unforgiving retail environment. Internationally respected retail management expert Barry Berman shows retailers and their suppliers exactly how to build effective strategies based on cost and differentiation, plan and implement those strategies, and measure the results.


Berman offers detailed coverage of implementing strategies based on becoming the low-cost provider and minimizing product proliferation; enhancing the service experience; developing and maintaining a strong private label program; and more.


To support each approach, he presents full-length examples from retailers covering every market sector, from consumer goods to apparel to technology. He thoroughly examines top retailers such as Aldi,, L.L. Bean, Publix, Stew Leonard's, Wegman's, and Whole Foods, and shares powerful insights drawn from the experiences of other leaders--from Au Bon Pain to Best Buy, Family Dollar to Target, Tesco to Walgreen.

Table of Contents

Preface    xii

Introduction    1

Chapter 1: The Questionable Future Facing Global Retailers    5

Chapter 2: Low-Cost Strategies I: Key Elements of a Low-Cost Provider Strategy    27

Chapter 3: Low-Cost Strategies II: Delivering Low Costs Through Minimizing Product Proliferation    49

Chapter 4: Differentiation Strategies I: Effective Human Resource Strategies    81

Chapter 5: Differentiation Strategies II: Enhancing the Service Experience    111

Chapter 6: Differentiation Strategies III: Developing and Maintaining a Strong Private Label Program    141

Chapter 7: Implementing Cost-, Differentiation-, and Value-Based Retail Strategies    173

Appendix: Individual and Composite Financial Performance, Customer Service, and Worker Satisfaction Metrics of the Best-Practice Retailers    203

Index    229