Warren Buffett: Competitive position

“Generally speaking, if you lose your competitive position — the Packard Motor Company had the premier car in the mid-’30s. The Cadillac was not the premier — it was the Packard. 

And then they went downscale one year and they never came back. They jumped their sales that one year because everybody wanted to own a Packard, and now you could own one a little cheaper. But they never regained that upscale image again. 

And certain department stores have done that, too. They’ve had a upscale image. And you can always juice up your sales, particularly if you’ve got a great upscale image, by having, you know, this sale or that sale, and going downmarket.  

It’s very hard to back upmarket again, and you’ve seen some great department stores that have had that — or specialty stores — that had that problem.”

—Warren Buffett. 

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