Essay, 3 pages (600 words)


The Board of Directors, Waterstones Xx 12 November, Strategic initiatives of Waterstones that add value to its business goals
Waterstones is a leading retailer of bookstores with major mission to provide readers with wide choice of reading material constantly motivate them to read. In the current environment of highly competitive global business and advancing technology, the strategic initiatives of the firm are important factors that help the firms to gain leverage in the market and maintain their position. Bateman and Snell (2004) have described strategic planning as systematic process of making decisions about goals and operations of firms which they intend to pursue in future. Waterstones’ current market position faces huge challenges from various external and internal elements. Indeed, the way it responds to the adverse market conditions becomes the key enabling factor of the firm to gain competitive advantage. The recent changes in trading environment with increasing popularity of e-commerce and online shopping, Waterstones needs to evolve and compete on new dimensions.
Advent of computers and internet has considerably widened the area of business. While it has provided the firms with huge opportunities worldwide, the new cyber platform has also made it hugely competitive. The companies must evolve and develop strategic initiatives to compete on unique capabilities that meet the challenges of time. Waterstones has already introduced online shopping and provide online customers with huge choice of books. At the same time, its various outlets across the globe have facilitating environment that encourages reading. Porter (1996) believes that leadership initiatives are major facilitators that help sustain a firm’s success through hard times. Through strong leadership, Waterstones was quick to embrace technology and make its online presence. The technology has helped it to expand its customer base across wider geographical areas and at the same time, facilitated easier access to books to its customers.
Strategic action plans need to be dynamic to encompass micro and macro environment changes to maintain competitive advantage (Montgomery, 2008). They not only encourage speed and flexibility but also ensure that customers’ requirements are met timely and efficiently through evolving process of developing effective linkages. Indeed, on an average, Waterstones bookshops keeps a minimum of 30,000 individual books and help the customer to get his/her preferred product through online search and ensure availability of the same within defined time limit. This is key element of the firm’s value proposition that has enabled it to maintain leverages against its rivals like Amazon. Indeed, its ability to search from the massive collection of its books on myriad topics from across its various outlets has lent it unique market credibility that is difficult to imitate.
In the current times, environment conservation and preservation has emerged as critical issue amongst the various stakeholders. Hence, sustainable business practices have become hugely important agenda for firms to maintain their credibility amongst the stakeholders. They must promote products and services that corroborate environment conservation. At the same time, they must also become proactive in community development and contribute to socio-economic development of the society within which they operate. These are vital ingredients of corporate social responsibility that inculcate trust amongst the stakeholders and help create good image. Waterstones bookshops across the globe, therefore, need to align their goals with the wider objectives of sustainability of resources.
(words: 527)
Bateman, T. & Snell, S. (2009). Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World. 8th edition, London: McGraw hill.
Montgomery, C. A. (2008). Putting Leadership Back into Strategy’, Special Issue on HBS Centennial. Harvard Business Review vol.86, no.1 (January 2008): 54–60.
Porter, M. E. (1996). What is Strategy? Harvard Business Review. Vol.74 Issue 6, (Nov/Dec.): 61-68.

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