The author of this report is asked to do a few things within this report. First, the author is to look at and assess the Grand Strategy Selection Matrix. Second, the author is to review and assess the general business model and strategy of Overstock.com. The author of this report is to then select which of the quadrants that Overstock falls within. While it may be a little difficult to pin them down as they are like other online companies in many ways and they are also different in many ways, the choice is pretty clear to the author of this report which one applies to them.
There are, of course, four cells in the Grand Strategy matrix and they are numbered I, II, III and IV. The first cell is for companies that are in turnarounds or re-entrenchment status, are divesting or are liquidating. Examples of firms who have been in this situation are Nokia, RIM (Blackberry), Sony and Yahoo. Cell two is for those that are undergoing vertical integration and conglomerate diversification. Example of this cell would include Delta (circa 2012). Cell three is for firms with horizontal integration, concentric diversification and joint ventures. Examples of the third sell would include Apple. The fourth cell is for firms with concentrated growth, market development, product development and innovation. Firms in this sphere would be smartphone and social media game-maker Zynga (Ning, 2014).
In terms of where Overstock fits into this quadrant, there are a few factors to consider. In looking at the stock trends for Overstock over the recent years, there is not a lot of good to report on. Indeed, Overstock is essentially flat over the last ten years but they have swung all over the place in the interim. The started at about twelve dollars and spiked all the way up to more than seventy bucks a share at the end of 2004. However, they quickly plummeted down to ten bucks as of January 2008 and they’ve been dancing back and forth between ten and thirty dollars since then. Their revenue is fairly small and their profit, while consistent, is even smaller. Over the last four fiscal years, they’ve arced between $300 million and $397 million with the last complete year (ending June 2014) being $332 million. Gross profit over that same time frame has hovered between the $60 million and $71 million mark. They’re not losing money but they are not breaking any records either. However, they are beloved and enjoyed by the people that do use their site. Two stages that can quickly be ruled out are stages one and four. They are not growing consistently but they are not on the verge of collapse either. This would leave two and three. In the grand scheme of things, it is pretty clear that Overstock is in stage three. They are on the cusp of making some strides and perhaps entering the fourth stage somewhere in the future, but they really do need to diversify and focus their business on what can make them money. They are a bit limited in that online giants like Wayfair, Amazon and even Wal-Mart’s online division are ubiquitous and dominant. However, Overstock’s ventures and collaboration with PayPal, Bitcoin and others show they are stage three (Yahoo, 2014; Ning, 2014).
Overstock is doing fairly good for now but they need to find their own unique niche and identity. If they do not, they will potentially end up as a mark for acquisition or even liquidation at some point. Circuit City really only had Best Buy as a direct competitor, for example, but they couldn’t even get a company to buy them. This is not imminent with Overstock, but the clock is ticking and Overstock needs to make some strides soon.
Ning. (2014, October 2). Grand Strategy Choice. Mastering Business Strategy.
Retrieved October 2, 2014, from http://strategycapstone.ning.com/page/grand-strategy-choice
Yahoo. (2014, October 2). Yahoo Finance – Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes,
News. Yahoo Finance. Retrieved October 2, 2014, from http://finance.yahoo.com/
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