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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.

QUESTIONS:

  1. 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?
  2. In addition to customer loyalty, what contributed to Alpine Confections’ success in resurrecting Fannie May?
  3. Conduct a quick SWOT analysis for Fannie May (note: be sure to consider that it is now owned by 1-800-Flowers.com).
  4. 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)

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