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Table of Contents

TOC o “1-3” h z u 1.Introduction PAGEREF _Toc43024538 h 21.1.Purpose of the study PAGEREF _Toc43024539 h 22.Research Problem and Questions PAGEREF _Toc43024540 h 23.Literature review PAGEREF _Toc43024541 h 34.Methodology PAGEREF _Toc43024542 h 44.1.Data Collection PAGEREF _Toc43024543 h 44.2.Research Design PAGEREF _Toc43024544 h 44.3.The sampling Plan PAGEREF _Toc43024545 h 45.Analysis And Statistical Methods PAGEREF _Toc43024546 h 56.Timing PAGEREF _Toc43024547 h 5

IntroductionCompetition in an economy is a good thing as it reduces inefficiencies, provides incentives for structured organization and improves innovations (Nickell, 1996). However, for an individual company, competition is a threat that requires a company to develop strategies that could help them have a competitive advantage. Woolworths is a chain of companies in the retail industry, which deals in groceries and beauty products. It also sells health and household products across Australia and other countries. It has its headquarters in Bella Vista Australia, with more than 900 stores all over the country. The retail industry keeps growing, hence increasing competition, which makes the company develop strategies to have an advantage over the competitors, to allow it to attract and retain consumers. Therefore, the research aims to determine the methods that can be used by the company to have a competitive advantage and obtain sustainability.

Purpose of the studyWoolworths is one of the best companies in the retail industry in Australia. However, there have been emerging retail companies in the region, which highly competes with the company in the market. Therefore, Woolworths require to have an advantage over them to retain their position in the market. The purpose of the study is to determine the company’s development methods to maintain this position. Also, it will provide suggestions for actions to implement to have a competitive advantage.

Research Problem and QuestionsThe research aims to find Woolworth’s competitive advantage over its rival firms that will enable it to retain its performance. The research questions include:

Who are the companies direct and indirect competitors in the retail industry?

What strategies are the rival farms using that threatens the performance of Woolworths company?

What purpose does Woolworth want to achieve in the retail industry?

What are the most appropriate methods and theories that can be applied by the company to ensure they have an advantage over competitors?

Literature reviewCompetitive advantage is acquired when a firm accomplishes actions that surpasses the competitors’ activities (Wang, 2014). The execution is a process as it requires an analysis of the competitor’s strategies and methods of operations. The review is followed by the development of unique strategies compared to the competitors’. According to a study conducted on competitive advantage, the author states that the main task in strategic management is to develop and have an advantage that makes it possible for a firm to achieve higher results compared to the other firms (Kolinski, 2017). This observation shows that competitive advantage and performance of the company are connected. However, competitive advantage is not an undifferentiated overall determinant of performance. It is a relational score of a company towards other companies in the same industry that will enable it to have better performance (Ma, 2000). Therefore, it is just an added advantage to a company.

According to a study, competitive advantage is characterized by multi-level structure and a unique position that makes it more productive than the rival firms (Stonehouse and Snowdon, 2007). According to Michael Porter, firms can gain an advantage through the five forces to achieve attractiveness. He identifies increased competition as a negative influence on the profitability of a firm (Porter, 2004). Competitive advantage can either be market bases, resource-based or knowledge-based. These frameworks determine the type of theories that a firm should implement to have an advantage over the competitors in the industry. Determination of the business drivers in the firm is what leads to the identification of the theory and strategy to apply (Halawi, Aronson and McCarthy, 2005). Also, the purpose of the organisation along with its capabilities indicates strategic character, which in turn determine the strong relationship with the competitive advantage (Wójcik, 2015). Therefore, the purpose of a firm is essential in identifying the competitive advantage strategy to apply.

MethodologyData CollectionThe data to be used in the research will include Woolworth’s current performance position in the retail industry, the emerging rival firms in the industry, the consumers’ preferences for goods and services and existing strategies for competitive advantage. The data collection will be achieved through both primary and secondary methods.

The primary data will be acquired through an online survey done on the consumers of the company, through social media platforms. Participants will be invited to give their responses. The survey will involve structured questions on the retail companies frequently used; the satisfaction received, the preferences they have and the value they wish to pay to Woolworth compared to the competitors.

Secondary data will be acquired from Woolworth’s website and published articles on the performance of the company as well as strategies applied to retain its consumers. From the published works, suggestions will be developed to find the best plan for the company to use to remain competitive.

Research DesignThe research will be conducted in a descriptive design where consumers attitudes and preferences will be analysed to determine the methods in which Woolworth company should improve on and develop strategies to satisfy consumers and have an advantage. It applies both qualitative and quantitative research methods. A qualitative approach will involve a review of existing information and data from website and articles. In contrast, the quantitative method will include an online survey, with structured questions, on randomly selected consumers.

The sampling PlanDue to the large consumer population of Woolworths products and services, sampling of the consumers will be done randomly. The people should be frequent consumers of Woolworths products and have at one time tried using the competitor products, for example, Coles company. The sample size will be of 30 individuals randomly invited to participate in the survey. Also, competitor organisations will be sampled by determining their performances.

Analysis And Statistical MethodsThe data acquired from the survey and articles will be analysed and evaluated by applying the Michael Porters competitive advantage theory. The technique will determine the variances for the company to consider while identifying the competitive strategies that will enable them to stay competitive. Also, from the survey, analysis of the survey responses will apply the quantitative method to determine the percentages of satisfied consumers and those. They prefer the competitors’ services along with their reasons.

TimingThe research will take one month, where data from the Woolworth company and published articles will be collected. This activity will take one week. After collection of the qualitative data, the survey will then be done. It will utilise the social media platforms hence will take a week to invite and have the participants respond to the questions. It would be easier to answer the questions as they are structured questions, hence during the third week; the analysis will be conducted. The analysis and evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative data will take a week. Lastly, the compilation of the data and findings will be done to develop some suggestions that will ensure Woolworth gains a competitive advantage over its competitors.


Cegliński, P., 2017. THE CONCEPT OF COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES. LOGIC, SOURCES AND DURABILITY. Journal of Positive Management, 7(3), p.57.

Halawi, L., Aronson, J. and McCarthy, R., 2005. Resource-Based View of Knowledge Management for Competitive Advantage. The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, 3(2), p.77.

Ma, H., 2000. COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE AND FIRM PERFORMANCE. Competitiveness Review, 10(2), pp.15-32.

Nickell, S., 1996. Competition and Corporate Performance. Journal of Political Economy, 104(4), pp.724-746.

Porter, M., 2004. Competitive Advantage. New York: Free.

Stonehouse, G. and Snowdon, B., 2007. Competitive Advantage Revisited: Michael Porter on Strategy and Competitiveness. Journal of Management Inquiry, 16(3), pp.256-273.

Wang, H., 2014. Theories for competitive advantage. Being Practical with Theory: A Window into Business Research, 33-43.

Wójcik, P., 2015. Exploring Links Between Dynamic Capabilities Perspective and Resource-Based View: A Literature Overview. International Journal of Management and Economics, 45(1), pp.83-107.