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strategic groupa group of firms within a MARKET or INDUSTRY which each pursue broadly similar policies in respect of product and market coverage, pricing, vertical integration etc. Thus, an industry may comprise a number of distinct groups of firms depending upon differences in their business strategies: for example, one strategic group in an industry might consist of suppliers who offer a full product range from basic to luxury items and sell nationally; other suppliers in the same industry might concentrate solely on luxury items and sell in a limited number of local markets. See MOBILITY BARRIER.
Strategic-group analysis is used by corporate planners as a means of positioning and repositioning a firm in a market, so as to establish COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES over rival suppliers as well as to identify possible gaps in the market which might be exploited. See BUSINESS STRATEGY, COMPETITIVE STRATEGY.