Pets.com Case analysis

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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:

  1. Think of you as a consultant brought to investigate the problem and provide recommendations.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Case Question:

  1. Describe the situation faced by Wainwright when she joined Pets.com as CEO.
  2. 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?
  3. Pets.com’s growth strategy relied on heavy spending on market communication and low pricing. Critically appraise this strategy. What alternatives did Wainwright have?
  4. 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?
  5. Overall, what do you think are the main reasons for Pets.com’s failure in the market? How would you have done things differently?

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