Identify critical gaps in the skills, competencies, and capabilities that Trader Joes currently has versus what you think they will need in the future.

Trader Joe’s and the Food Retailing Sector Revisited


You examined the present skills, competencies, and capabilities along the Trader Joe’s value chain, which included supplier- and customer-related activities, in Week 3 using the case study “Trader Joe’s” (Ager & Roberto, 2013). The skills, competencies, and capabilities of Trader Joe’s will be used in this week’s case analysis, but you will now re-analyze your findings in light of the implications of a quick review of both general force (P.E.S.T.) and competitive force (five-force) analysis of the food retail sector in the United States.

This week’s analysis compares Trader Joe’s current skill, competency, and capability analyses with what you predict will be the company’s future Key Success Factors (KSFs), using information from your market research.

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Think about the fundamental competencies and talents that Trader Joe’s now possesses (based on your previous analysis) while you develop the KSFs. Determine the crucial skills, talents, and capabilities Trader Joe’s must develop or acquire in order to succeed over the next five years using a short and less formal general P.E.S.T. and competitive ecosystem five-forces analysis.

You must, for the first time, combine strategic analysis of external challenges with an appraisal of internal skills and capabilities in order to follow the logic of the KSF analysis. Remember that every plan boils down to two things: (1) how you use your current talents, competencies, and capabilities; (2) how you develop or redevelop them; and (3) how you add to them through more investment, training, purchase, or acquisition.

Thus, you are putting yourself in “future thinking” gear this week and thinking about “what are the key success factors for the future?”

To get ready for this conversation:

Examine all of the required texts, including the Weekly Briefing, which offers more tips on how to do the task.
Review your initial study on the business and sector, as well as your analysis of Trader Joe’s from Week 3.
To learn more about the potential challenges and possibilities facing the U.S. food retailing industry, conduct additional studies on it.
Decide which readings from the Capstone Program Bibliography are pertinent and go over them all.
Post a well-crafted Key Success Factor analysis by Day 3 in response to each of the questions below:

What fundamental skills, competencies, and capabilities will be crucial for Trader Joe’s to survive or thrive in the future, according to your projections for the effects of the future five forces of competition, P.E.S.T. (general environment), and stakeholder support (or stakeholder challenges)? Why? Your assessment should be backed up by arguments that are based on relevant knowledge.

Note: These crucial regions might still apply today, but they might not. Use your analytical, creative, and economic thinking abilities from earlier coursework to thoroughly consider this. To be effective strategists, you must become futurists, which means that there will be some uncertainty surrounding the wagers you make (this is one of the duties of senior leadership).
Determine any significant gaps between Trader Joe’s existing skill set and what you believe they will require in the future in terms of skills, competencies, and capabilities. Consider how Trader Joe’s might close that gap. Which specific talents, competencies, and capabilities would you emphasize as being crucial, and why would Trader Joe’s appoint you as a consultant to provide strategic direction on what the company should invest in or acquire (and how), and which would you do so?
Be sure to incorporate ideas from this week’s readings as well as quotes from them. You must also incorporate at least one reference from the Walden MBA Program Capstone Bibliography in order to receive an excellent grade.

General Instructions: Your initial discussion post for the Capstone Forum should be one to one and a half single-spaced pages long.


Ager, D. L., & Roberto, M. A. (2013). Trader Joe’s (Harvard Business School Case No. 9-714-419). Retrieved from


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