Silver competitor

A Standard Leader who holds the third largest or lower unit market share in its industry, gains share and enjoys above industry average returns.
(See also Standard Leader, Gold Competitor)

Example 1:

World Carpets has limited distribution, so the retailers who carry its products never compete head-to-head with other retailers in the same town. World sells to retailers who don't go head-to-head with the big chains. When World took over WundaWeve, it eliminated 65 products and aimed the remaining at the medium-to-high end market, right between its two other product lines' price points. (Year 1996- SIC 2273)

Explanation:The carpet business is dominated by Shaw and Mohawk. World Carpets is a Silver Competitor in this market, gaining share with both market growth and acquisitions and creating attractive returns by avoiding direct competition with the Gold Competitors.

Example 2:

From 1986 to 1991, the 3 leading manufacturers did poorly. Fruehauf's production declined by 64% Great Dane and Strick were down 25%. Wabash's output rose by 150% and its market share rose from 3.1% to 10.1%. A Wabash customer is convinced that Wabash trailers hold up 3 years longer than the industry average of 7 years. He also has been able to cut down on trailer repair men at his facility since switching to Wabash trailers. In the last 3 years, Wabash has cut the number of hours needed to produce a double trailer by 70%, through automation, improved material flow, and worker training. (Year 1992-SIC 3715)

Explanation:Wabash is a strong Silver Competitor in its industry, gaining share from a position as a market share follower and producing high returns with its high quality and product careful attention to costs.

Example 3:

In early 1990, Knight Transportation broke off from Swift and started a trucking company from scratch. It has been able to grow earnings and revenues in excess of 30% a year since its founding. (Year 1998-SIC 4213)

Explanation: Knight Transportation is a small Silver Competitor in the trucking industry, with high growth rates and high returns.

Example 4:

Nicholson-Hardie Nursery & Garden Center is growing in the face of competition from Home Depot. It offers extra service, such as house calls to check out plants. It also stocks more than 1000 plant varieties, far more than the chains carry. Nicholson-Hardie stocks top-of-the-line tools as well as private-label fertilizer. (Year 1997-SIC 5261).

Explanation: This small operation is a Silver Competitor in a market dominated by strong Gold Competitors, such as Home Depot and Lowes.

Example 5:

Dollar General keeps its stores tiny. They're just 6,000 square feet. Wal-Mart Supercenters average 30 times that size. About 80% of Dollar General's stores are in areas with populations of 10,000 or less. When it moves into metropolitan areas, it usually goes into low-income communities. (Year 1996-SIC 5331)

Explanation:Dollar General is a Silver Competitor in its industry. Wal-Mart is the leading Gold Competitor. Dollar General makes well above industry average returns while it also grows faster than the industry.

Example 6:

While yet a moderately sized processor in national terms, with roughly a 3% market share, its tight network of plants allows Sanderson Farms to compete effectively for retail and foodservice accounts in the Mississippi Delta region and allows some Western reach from its new Texas facility.
(Year 1996-SIC 2015)

Explanation: Sanderson Farms, a relatively small competitor in the national market, has a very tight focus on a limited geography and is able to produce good returns with this tight focus. This is an example of a Silver Competitor.

Example 7:

Southdown focuses on small and medium customers. Fifty percent of its sales are from mid-sized customers. A Southdown regional manager said he preferred ten small or medium customers to one large customer.
(Year 1991-SIC 3241)

Explanation: Southdown, in the late 1980s, was a successful smaller competitor in the cement industry. This is an example of a Silver Competitor.