Fannie May is a Midwestern candy icon. Yet even icons sometimes do not work and, when the family-owned confectionary struggled in the early 1990s, it was sold to private investors. A decade later, the company was in bankruptcy (twice) and stores and manufacturing operations closed. The company was purchased by Alpine Confections and sales resumed in a limited number of retail stores. Now, under the ownership of 1-800-Flowers.com, the company is looking once again to expand.
- What is(are) the competitive advantage(s) of Fannie May? Is this sustainable? When you consider the intense loyalty of Fannie May customers, why do you think the company struggled?
- In addition to customer loyalty, what contributed to Alpine Confections’ success in resurrecting Fannie May?
- Conduct a quick SWOT analysis for Fannie May (note: be sure to consider that it is now owned by 1-800-Flowers.com).
- Identify the restructuring strategy at Fannie May. What web-based model is now part of this restructuring effort?
SOURCE: Associated Press, “Sweet Success: Fannie May Back After Bankruptcy,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2010-11-27-fannie-may-turnaround_N.htm)