Case Synopsis: This case describes a hypothetical situation faced by a fictitious international conglomerate, ICL, that intends to enter the retail grocery market in Hong Kong. The conglomerate’s interest in the Hong Kong supermarket industry was initially kindled by the plan of Hutchison Whampoa, Ltd. (HWL) to sell its leading supermarket chain PARKnSHOP in August 2013. However, in October 2013, HWL reversed course and decided not to sell PARKnSHOP, saying that the sale would not deliver maximum value to its shareholders. Before embarking into new territory, ICL wanted an in-depth understanding of the Hong Kong grocery market environment, competitors, and potential barriers to entry. The conglomerate was aware that the new Competition Law, which was expected to take effect in 2015, might have profound implications on the grocery market landscape in Hong Kong.Learning ObjectiveThis case provides students with an understanding of the competitive behavior of dominant players in an oligopolistic industry and the importance of competition laws to counteract certain anticompetitive conduct. Drawing on the experience of failed and successful entrants, students can explore various business strategies and formulate a strategy for a new supermarket entrant in Hong Kong to maximize its chances of success.
Case Study Question
- Analyze the competitive environment of the supermarket industry in Hong Kong and the competitive response of the two leading supermarket chains. Does the competition of the two leading chains’ parent companies in multiple market segments have an impact on the competitive environment?
- Analyze the strategic positions of PARKnSHOP and Wellcome in the market, and in particular, their bargaining power vis-a-vis suppliers and consumers. What are their keys to sustaining leadership in the market?
- What strategies did PARKnSHOP and Wellcome use to overcome the challenges posed by their competitors? Are there legal risks in pursuing such strategies with the Competition Ordinance in place? What is the impact to consumers when the supermarkets try to defend their market share?
- Should the international conglomerate enter the retail grocery market in Hong Kong? If so, what could it do to increase the chance of a successful and profitable entry?
- There is no minimum or maximum required number of pages. Your analysis will be considered complete, if it addresses each of the 4 components outlined above.
- Be sure that the paper has an overview, a concise conclusion/recommendation and addresses all the questions asked in the case questions.
- Use of proper APA formatting and citations – If supporting evidence from outside resources is used those must be properly cited. A minimum of 7 sources (excluding the course textbook) from scholarly articles or business periodicals is required.
- Include your best critical thinking and analysis to arrive at your justification.
- Approach the assignment from the perspective of the senior executive leadership of the company.