Gome: Bidding for China Paradise
Gome, China's largest electronics retailer, has the opportunity to acquire China Paradise, the number three player in the Chinese electronic retailer industry. This happened in the general context of a great market development and potential consolidation of the household electronic appliance retailing sector. Gome, Suning, and China Paradise, the three largest players in the market, all experienced phenomenal growth, but Gome is slowly losing steam and risks being overtaken by the current number two, Suning. In addition, following China's entry into the WTO and the end of its five-year protection period, foreign competition, such as Best Buy, has entered the market and is bound to change the competitive landscape. Gome needs to decide what to do, and if it proceeds, it needs to move very fast. The decision will hinge on answering a few important questions. Why did China Paradise want to sell? If China Paradise failed, how could Gome guarantee that it would not follow suit? Is this the best time to snap up China Paradise? Should it focus on fixing it's per store performance measure or should it still rely on the growth of the total size of the operation in terms of the total number of stores? Does the acquisition of China Paradise put Gome in a position that it would again be very high in total number of stores but falling behind in the per store performance? This might be a big concern, especially if the acquired operation has a different culture than its existing operation. How can Gome remedy that? How does the acquisition, if it happens, fit the overall corporate strategy of relying on thin margin and volume? How would this strengthen or hurt Gome in its positioning when competition with both domestic and international players is expected to intensify?