It’s been interesting to watch Uber’s success (and slip-ups) play out over the last few years. As the first-mover into the industry, they were well positioned to succeed but also well positioned to be threatened by other entrants who could observe their processes and “do them better”. Personally, I have started to use Lyft more often now because it utilizes fewer and lower surge pricing – one of it’s competitive advantages over Uber. Lyft has also been able to capitalize on Uber’s poor public relations as of late. After reading your post, I now wonder if Uber will win out through the development of its surge pricing algorithm. While annoying to me personally as I mentioned, if Uber is able to optimize its service and revenue in a way that Lyft or another ride-sharing company is not, it may triumph after all. Without sustainable operations, other ride-sharing services could just end up being a flash in the pan.
You’re right, I’ve never heard of this convenience store before! It’s interesting that Couche-Tard’s strategy is focused both on increasing the volume of the stores and improving it’s merchandising. The supply chain network to support this must be phenomenal – or if not, Couche-Tard may have difficultly expanding. Not only is distributing to over 10,000 stores complex, but so is offering private label and food prepared on-site. Prepared food usually requires both refrigerated and freezer space within distribution centers (not your standard dry DC) and private label not only needs distribution, but manufacturing as well. I would be interested to know how Couche-Tard develops its acquisition strategy. Are newly acquired brands co-located to their existing distribution centers so Couche-Tard can reap economies of scale or are they also acquiring these brands’ existing distribution network? As Wal-mart starts to expand into convenience stores and gas stations through its Wal-mart To Go brand, Couche-Tard may face competition without the proper supply network serving as a solid foundation to the company. I hope to see a Couche-Tard around soon!
Interesting post! I’m happy to see that an activity with such rich history and tradition has been able to survive in some form to date against technological advances and disruption within the industry. This practice reminds me of music record stores where the end-product/process is now outdated but appreciated by people as unique and nostalgic – almost revitalizing the industry in a new form. I’m interested to know if the small town of Oiso adopted more advanced processes to fish in lieu of Daifune or if the fishing industry within the town has been mostly abandoned with the exception of the tourism you mentioned. If fishing has been mostly abandoned, how has the town fared over this transition? Transition is not always successful and failure has occurred across the US to different small, rural towns as the economic activity that supported them failed (e.g. mining, other natural resources) or shifted elsewhere or advances in technology replaced the need.