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timer Asked: Aug 30th, 2015

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Weaknesses for Black Canyon, Strengths for Blue Nile - Johnston


Please listweaknesses for Black Canyon and strengths for Blue Nile.

Black Canyon Weaknesses

-International Venues:

  • Black Canyon Coffee’s international market is flawed in various ways. The founders wish to send preexisting employees to these new locations for three months, to help get things off the ground and to be sure the new location reflects the original locations. The biggest problems with this is that very few employees speak English. With a limited number of English-speaking employees, the company can only open a limited number of new locations at a time.

  • Another weakness in the international market involves the supply chain. All the coffee and Thai food ingredients come from Bangkok. While shipping locally there is little problem, greater difficulties come with shipping product internationally. Problems can arise anywhere from the length of time it takes to ship to issues with customs.

  • A third weakness internationally is that Black Canyon Coffee is unable to internally fund all of their international locations. This leads the company to franchising some international locations. Though there are positive aspects to international franchising, the company will have less control over their manage and other employees (especially because they are an internationally located store) and quality of food, service, and atmosphere cannot be controlled as well (again, also due to internationally located).

  • A final problem that could arise with the opening of international locations is that the economic market of the country could experience major economic issues which could potentially affect the company. Anywhere from a stagnating economy to a declining GDP.

(Kaiser, 2012)

-Competition: Black Canyon Coffee originally started up in a low-competition market; however, now there are many more competitors including local chains, international chains, and independent coffee shops. There is no way that Black Canyon is able to directly compete with the coffee giants such as Starbucks, so that poses a different challenge to the company as far as how they operate, market, all the way down to how they present their product to the customer.

Blue Nile strengths


Blue Nile offers a large variety of rings and other jewelry that are high quality but at a competitive price. They also offer excellent customer service and 30-day return policy. All the while, all these services are offered online only. Blue Nile does not have store front locations. While this presents other challenges, their online store offers convenience to its customers in that the customers do not have to go to multiple jewelry stores to pick out the “perfect” item. Additionally, Blue Nile offers excellent information on all their stones so to help assure the customer that they understand what item they’re purchasing.

(The Blue.., n.d.)

-International: Blue Nile offers internatinal websites to several countries. International sales makes up 13% of Blue Nile’s sales (as of 2010), and their international sales are growing every year. In addition to growing sales internationally, Blue Nile claims that they “ethically source” their diamonds from a conflict-free area which is in support of the diamond countries who want to avoid the turmoil involving their diamond mines.

(The Blue.., n.d.)

-Inventory: Blue Nile holds very little inventory. This keeps Blue Nile’s capital liquid and available if there were a crash in the market. Their “just in time” inventory method prevents the potential to lose money in out-of-date or no longer desired inventory. Though this method requires a high amount of coordination between the Blue Nile and its suppliers and manufacturers, just in time inventory helps lower Blue Nile’s costs and waste and helps increase its efficiency.

(Kokemuller, n.d.)

-Ability to customize jewelry: Through their website, Blue Nile offers a “Build Your Own” feature that allows customers to design the ring, necklace, etc, that they desire and the program can give them a preview of what their piece would look like. The other option is to design an item in store, however, the customer will not really know what the item will look like until it arrives. The “Build Your Own” option gives consumers a more personal feel to their item, which would make the item more special to them personally.


Kaiser, D. (2012, July 19). Six Elements to Starting a Business Overseas. Retrieved August 26, 2015, from

Kokemuller, N. (n.d.). Advantages & Disadvantages of Just-in-Time Inventory. Retrieved August 26, 2015, from

The Blue Nile Advantage. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2015, from

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