Little Short Stop: Creating Strategy for a Shifting Industry
In early 2019, the general manager of Little Short Stop Stores, a chain of local, family-owned convenience stores in southwestern Ontario, Canada, was projecting a loss for that year. The loss was due in part to a provincial minimum wage increase to CA$14.00 that came into effect on January 1, 2018, increased from $11.60 in 2017 and $11.40 in 2016. Before this change, the store chain had been exceeding the average industry growth rate by 5 per cent for the previous five years. The general manager had to determine how to respond to mitigate the revenue loss and to ensure the company remained competitive in the future. The company was already operating efficiently and competitively, so the focus would be on increasing revenues. The company was further constrained by its revenue mix. Two-thirds of its revenue was generated by tobacco products and lottery tickets, which had prices set by regulatory bodies. The general manager was open to considering all options for future growth. However, he was constrained by the family firm's preference to avoid long-term debt and expansion beyond its current geographic boundary. Meredith Woodwark is affiliated with Wilfrid Laurier University. Karin Schnarr is affiliated with Wilfrid Laurier University.