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Case Study 1 – Pets.com Inc.: The Rise and Decline of a Pet Supply Retailer
Directions for Case Report and Discussion:
- Think of you as a consultant brought to investigate the problem and provide recommendations.
- The report quality should mirror a briefing that you would submit to a senior officer in the company- state the problem/issue company is facing, factors that influence the situation, alternate solutions, impact of each alternative and your recommended solution with justification.
- Questions at the end of the case are provided to guide you thru the case. Do not submit the report in a Q & A format. Make sure to weave the responses to questions in the report.
- Describe the situation faced by Wainwright when she joined Pets.com as CEO.
- Should Wainwright have offered a shareholding position to Amazon.com? Assess the rationale behind this decision. What were the advantages and disadvantages of having Amazon.com as a partner?
- Pets.com’s growth strategy relied on heavy spending on market communication and low pricing. Critically appraise this strategy. What alternatives did Wainwright have?
- Do you think the creation of a brand icon, such as the sock puppet, was an effective strategy for drawing customers to the Pets.com website?
- Overall, what do you think are the main reasons for Pets.com’s failure in the market? How would you have done things differently?