Lately, Bolthouse farms appears to have entered into some kind of price and packaging war with Naked – often sharing shelf space (in Shaws, Star Market, and Whole Foods) and priced nearly identically. Both companies launched the fad ‘green juices’ at the same time, and even though Bolthouse appears to have the lower sugar, better healthy product, Naked’s version seems to have sustained itself. I wonder how Bolthouse can differentiate themselves with their growing product mix – should they just stick to carrot-based juices?
Do you have any concerns with the longevity of TJ’s supplier relationships? While I agree that they continue to serve customers well with their seasonal and unique SKU offerings, they often seem to introduce and remove products quickly. When a customer sees a product there, and can’t find it the next time, they might go to another grocery store, which has many more SKU’s and may offer a suitable replacement for the product. Furthermore, they seem to have supply shortages often, and hide them by filling in the shelves with other products. At times, two versions of “Trader Joe’s” branded products are clearly made by different manufacturers. I wonder if their flexibility makes them a difficult customer for their suppliers, and whether these suppliers are able to capture any of TJ’s value.
It seems like Second Cup is making some strong efforts to redesign behind the scenes, in terms of their supply chain and relationships with customers.
However, I’m failing to see how they will attract new customers that are already familiar with their brand to a store with a new look. I also wonder how the store redesigns will affect their current customers, many of whom rely on the location as a bustling and homey study location and/or are regulars for their current menu. Could they benefit from offering new types of products (juices, perhaps?) that also fit with the new look, in order to attract new customers that may not be willing to enter and re-try coffee?
In terms of store operational performance, it seems like they may need to start standardizing their equipment in order to standardize the experience. However, I am not sure whether they have the power do so with their franchise model.