Wawa, Inc. is a US-based chain of convenience stores which sell convenience products such as food, gasoline, and beverages (Wawa). Since Taiwan majorly relies on the production and consumption of cash crops such as rice, fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, tea, and corn, a company like Wawa can join the industry. Given Wawa's growing innovative strategies such as mobile phone apps and online ordering functionalities, the agile Taiwanese families will like such their new products such as small-batch coffee, kale salads, and hot breakfast sandwiches (Infoplease). This paper discusses Wawa's odd at tapping the demand, resources and the cultural, legal, political environment in Taiwan were they to start operating there.
Demand and Resources
Wawa's current strategy is to offer more of cheap convenience products and make them accessible for as many customers as possible (Wawa). They aim at providing diet-conscious options for all customers and expanding across cities to earn long-term loyal customers. In Taiwan, most small families prefer to eat in restaurants than to cook at home (Valery, 2011). Because the number of families is increasing, Wawa can find this pattern compatible with their strategy and tap into the opportunity. Statistically, Taiwan per capita consumption rates (102 kilograms) is the highest in the world for fresh food products (Infoplease). The local production only caters for 88 percent of the fruits demand and Wawa can come in to fill up this gap.
Taiwan imports the deficit for the Unite states mostly as the most significant supplier (Infoplease) and, being an American company, Wawa has a better chance of understanding the specific tastes and patterns of consumption of fresh foods in Taiwan. In Taiwan, the most prominent competitors will be Carrefour, PX Mart, 7-Eleven, and Costco (Int'L, B. P. U. 2015). and since the backbone models of these outlets are nearly similar to Wawa's the joining strategy will be easy to draft and implement. The existing convenient stores record increasing profits every year, with the total retail stores' earing standing at 29 billion USD in 2018 (Int'L, B. P. U., 2015). The density of the retail shops' location is also increasing, standing at one store to 2300 residents in 2018, proving the industry's enormous potential.
The international firms like Carrefour in Taiwan capitalize on Taiwan's high population density (650 people per square kilometre) (Infoplease), convenient geographical location, and high disposable personal Income (8956900 Million TWD in 2018) (Int'L, B. P. U., 2015) to do business seamlessly. The farmers are hardworking and produce enough raw materials for food processing. Since about 24 percent of the land in Taiwan is under cultivation, agriculture accounts for 2 percent of the country's GDP, thus always maintaining a stable supply of raw materials (Infoplease). Taiwan has a well-functioning labor market because universities and tertiary institutions producing averagely 320,000 graduates yearly (Yu, 2012). At 98.87% (Yu), the high literacy level means that Wawa will have easy access to raw materials and labor in Taiwan.
Yes, I would advise Wawa to enter the Taiwanese market. This is because the legal, social, and cultural environment is compatible with Wawa's food products. The first step in starting a business in Taiwan is getting the necessary credentials, including residence and business permits. After that, the company must fully understand the tax system and legal environment in the country. The next step is to conduct thorough market research to determine the actual market size and general customer expectations. It will involve consulting Taiwanese professionals about the circumstances and mechanics of doing fresh food business ion the country. Defining the agreements and partnerships with landlords, locals, and local suppliers is also an important step. These agreements would help in tendering, hiring employees, and revenue collection. As a CSR, the employees need to be balanced between US-imported staff and Taiwanese citizens (Int'L, B. P. U., 2015).
The recruits must understand the language fragility in Taiwan and know how to use Taiwanese English or Taiwanese language with customers. On choosing the recruitment model, I would recommend that Wawa use their usual recruitment portal to accept applications or source employees from HiRecruit Services, which is an official government jobs website. The most critical component of the business strategy execution is to understand how to win the hearts of the country's customers. Taiwanese are civilized and digital people (with 81% smartphone penetration and 92.8% internet usage) with updated information on global trends about products (Yu, 2012). They are globalized and love technology, and Wawa can tap on this with social media and their phone app innovations. Coupled with excellent customer experiences, the business can build a strong brand and earn customer trust by connecting the strategy to Taiwan's unique culture. Conclusion
So generally, the population size, patent protection laws, availability of raw materials and workforce, and a robustly expanding economy are all compatible with Wawa's aggressive expansion strategy. Its success with, however, be dependent on the appropriate use of technology, recruitment of qualified staff, following the law, and winning the customers' hearts with reliable products and excellent customer experience. This approach means that the company must sell functional products in a simple language, transparent sales process, and an honest approach to sales.
Int'L, B. P. U. (2015). Taiwan business law handbook: Strategic information and basic laws. Place of publication not identified: Intl Business Pubns Usa.
Taiwan Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/places/asia/taiwan/taiwanValery, B. J. (2011, May 4). Doing Business in Taiwan: A Day in Taipei [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyIlsMjIEWg&pbjreload=10Wawa, 2020, https://www.wawa.com/. Accessed 19 Mar 2020.
Yu, F.-L. T. (2012). Entrepreneurship and Taiwan's economic dynamics. Berlin: Springer.
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