Gaining a Competitive Edge Through Knowledge: Strategies for Retailers - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1021 Words
Date:  2023-03-27


Competitive advantage acquisition through knowledge may be achieved through a variety of strategies that the retailer may need to take. One of these means may include reading through various platforms to include the internet, journals, and other business-related articles, which may contain information on how to be the best retailer than the competitors, among additional details that might be useful (McAuly, Russell, & Sims, 1997). Additionally, sustainable competitive advantage through knowledge can be acquired by employing knowledgeable employees to work for the retail firm. These employees who have experience from various fields will carry on their knowledge to the firm, and this would make it outstanding among the competitor firms.

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Other methods of acquiring knowledge, such as through welcoming complaints and feedback from the customers, would also be an excellent source of information that gives the retail operator or proprietor knowledge about what the firm needs to do and what the customers need from the firm (McAuly et al. 1997). As a result, the retail owner can deliver goods and services as per the requirements of the clients, which makes them develop loyalty with the firm, which in turn makes the firm different from others and this way. The firm gets a competitive advantage it requires from having a variety of knowledge about the field, the clients, and the products they need (McAuly et al. 1997).

Apart from knowledge in the retail industry, other aspects help in providing a retail firm with the necessary elements to sustain its competitive advantage. Resources are among the integral elements that dictate the sustainability of a specific retail firm by giving it a competitive edge against the competitors (Barney, 1991). A retail firm that has an excellent inventory is likely to withstand the competition that is coming from other retail firms dealing with the same products and services. Resources, in this case, may range from the inventories, human resources, machinery that a firm has as well as other assets. The human resource is an integral aspect when it comes to competitive advantage as it ensures with the delivery of quality services and goods, customer care services, among other elements. An excellent human resource in the retail industry provides that the customers are treated well, quality goods and services are delivered as well as efficiency in handling the clients without delays.

A retail organization that has such a type of human resource would be able to withstand the stiff competition from the opponents, and this offers the organization a competitive advantage. Automation of services in local entities is also an excellent way of enhancing competitive advantage (Barney, 1991). A retail facility that has the automation of assistance is likely to thrive well amid the competition from competitors as compared to those firms that operate manually as they tend to be slow, considering the fact that nobody wants to waste their time when shopping as they have other issues they may need to take care of. Additionally, the use of technology is also an aspect of ensuring that there is a competitive advantage in a retail firm. For example, the use of computers in making payments and calculating the total charges is an advantage to a retail shop. Proper storage facilities for vegetables and other perishable goods are crucial in ensuring the sale of fresh and quality products (Barney, 1991). Thus, customers would want to shop more in such a facility compared to a facility that does not have adequate storage facilities.

I would use a case study of a supermarket to evaluate the competitive advantage through knowledge acquisition and resources to ensure sustainability and relevance in the business. A majority of supermarkets in the world have put into use these aspects to enhance their durability and survival in the company as it is now evident that supermarkets are looming every day hence increasing the competition. In knowledge acquisition to boost their competitive advantages, mast supermarkets are now having suggestion boxes and feedback channels to facilitate the reception of feedback and complaints from their clients (Fleming, 1991). Additionally, these firms are also employing educated employees ranging from the attendants to cashiers to supervisors and various managers to ensure they offer quality services and client care in a particular way that would make the clients feel appreciated.

On the aspect of resources, supermarkets have useful inventories such that they are now one-stop shops where a customer can get all that they needed, including groceries, and animal products such as meat. This gives them a competitive advantage against the smaller retail outlets where one is likely to get limited products, thus moving from shop to shop as this makes the customer prefer supermarkets to such shops. Moreover, there is the use of high-level technologies such as the use of computer scanners to tell the prices of various commodities, as well as in payment, and this gives these retail facilities a competitive advantage against smaller retail shops that do not have these technologies in place (Fleming, 1991). The availability of storage facilities such as refrigerators is also an advantage to these businesses as they can store perishable goods such as meat, vegetables, and milk products and sell them while still fresh as compared to those retailers who do not have such storage facilities (Fleming, 1991).

Overall, the competition that is experienced in the retail facilities is on the rise, and only those entities that can offer services differently are surviving the competition. Therefore, the owners of these businesses should be proactive in getting ways to assist in competitive advantage against the opponents to sustain their businesses. Adequate knowledge is critical in ensuring that a retailer remains relevant in the industry as it increases the competitive advantage. Sufficient resources also give retailers a better competitive advantage, which makes them sustainable amidst the stiff competition in the industry.


Barney, J. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of management, 17(1), 99-120.

Barney, J. B., & Hesterly, W. S. (2010). Strategic management and competitive advantage: Concepts and cases (pp. 4-25). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Fleming, S. C. (1991). Using technology for competitive advantage. Research-Technology Management, 34(5), 38-41.

McAuly, L., Russell, G., & Sims, J. (1997). Tacit knowledge for competitive advantage. Management Accounting, 75(11), 36-37.

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