Fashion Retail Marketing Assignment

Fashion Retail Marketing Assignment Words: 4583

Report Information from ProQuest 04 December 2013 07:54 Created by My Research account: IVANGALHISPO (Ivan Galhispo) 04 December 2013 ProQuest Table of contents 1 . The temporary store: a new marketing tool for fashion brands………………………………………………………… 14 Document 1 of 1 The temporary store: a new marketing tool for fashion brands Author: Surchi, Micaela Publication info: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management 15. 2 (201 1): 257-270.

ProQuest document link Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand the motivations that ie behind the choice of the “temporary store” as a marketing tool, with particular reference to the fashion sector in Italy. In the UK and the USA, the more usual terminology is “pop-up store”. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopts a qualitative approach, in the form of case studies of two fashion brands using temporary stores in Italy. Data were collected by in-depth interviews with senior representatives of the two firms, backed by available documentary evidence and observation.

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Similarities and differences between the two sets of findings were identified and analysed, and conclusions drawn. Findings – This exploratory study practitioners with new information about the use of the temporary store as a marketing tool, and the managerial implications. Though still in its infancy in Italy, it is becoming increasingly common elsewhere, especially in the form of “pop-up stores” in the USA and the I-JK. Practical implications – The study provides interesting and relevant information for marketing planners considering the use of temporary stores, in the fashion sector in Italy but also more widely.

Originality/value The temporary store has been studied from an exploratory perspective, not simply escribed, as is the case in of the rather limited material available in the specialist media. Therefore, the study makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge the field. [PUBLlCATlON ABSTRACT] Full text: 1 Introduction The phenomenon of “temporary stores” has developed into one of the most significant innovations in marketing since it first came to the attention of commentators in 2003.

Characteristic of the fashion marketing sector, it defines the establishment and operation by established manufacturers of short-term retail premises. In Italy, the country in which the case studies reported here were onducted, the English description “temporary store” has been adopted to describe the phenomenon; an association for practitioners of this very new tool of retail marketing, “Assotemporary”, was established there in 2008. Such stores are today more usually called “pop-up” stores or shops in English-speaking countries, especially in the trade press.

With new examples of such transient “temporary” or “pop-up” stores appearing almost daily, this radically new initiative deserves our attention. The trend towards the addition of temporary stores to the strategic toolkit is a product of recent changes in the fashion sector. In particular, time-based competition has reduced the lead time from planning through production to distribution ([35] Sabbadin and Lugli, 2007) and accelerated the pace at which structural competitive advantages are renewed within rapidly integrating organizations ([33] Richardson, 1996).

From the industry’s point of view, a limited timeframe implies the increased need for flexibility in production, permitting continuous introduction of new lines and collections to the market, to satisfy the continuously evolving interests and expectations of consumers. Many launches have very short lives, and are soon removed from the marketplace. When a new product enters the market with time-limited availability, however, it communicates something about its uniqueness.

Italy occupies a dominant position in the European Union textile and clothing sector ([39] Taplin, 2006) and plays a leading role in the international fashion sector ([30] Marchetti and Gramigna, 2007). Its total fashion- goods business was worth [euro]67. 6 billion in 2006, and its textiles industry enjoys an overall turnover of more than [euro]9 billion ([17] Eusebio et al. , 2007). In his seminar The Competitive Advantage of Nations , [32] Porter (1990) attributes the uccess of the Italian clothing industry to product innovation and differentiation, superior quality and high levels of service. 4 December 2013 Pagel of 14 localised in industrial districts, specialising in textile or apparel manufacturing, or both. By setting up such networks, Italian fashion companies have retained the advantages of small size, flexibility, creativity, adaptability and speed of reaction to market changes ([1 3] DJelic and Ainamo, 1999). Industry statistics demonstrate a slow general shift during the last decade away from production towards sales and service. 41] Tartaglione (2005) is in no doubt that this as been one of the most important aspects of the fashion sector’s evolution. According to figures from Sistema Moda Italia , the trade association that conducts research for the textile and fashion businesses, annual turnover increased from the mid-1990s until 2002, slumped in 2003 and then continued to grow until the international crisis of 2008. The management consultancy Pambianco reports that, despite that crisis, the Italian fashion sector has maintained a slow but steady increase.

The overall trend in the Italian textile and apparel sector appears to have been different from that in the rest of the European Union. In particular, distinctions can be seen in the organization of the industry and in the distribution chain. The main channels of distribution are through independent and traditional retailers, whereas large and specialized distribution chains are characteristic of other European countries, where independent retailers lost ground during the 1990s to specialized chains, department stores and the like ([24] Guercini, 2004).

The atypical nature of Italian industrial development and the success of its fashion branding, make it difficult to transfer the Italian model to other countries. Firms in Italy have ationalized production by increasing overseas outsourcing, mostly to Central and Eastern Europe, and by improving their distribution channels ([40] Taplin and Winterton, 2004). The traditionally important role of independent retailers in the distribution of fashion clothing in Italy had been expressed by both their bargaining power and, above all, their market power: they can shape consumer preferences.

In fact, the retail buyer no longer simply buys goods, but rather manages the integration of design, textile sourcing and branding, operations that were previously in the domain of the manufacturer ([24] Guercini, 2004). Because the retailer is often the only point of contact with the end consumer, many fashion companies, both mass market and luxury, strive to establish direct contact with customers.

They do so mainly through downstream integration ([9] Castelli and Brun, 2010), guided by research into the harmonising of communication with consumers and distributors ([8] Castaldo, 2001). [45] Zaghi (2003) argued that the independent and fragmented nature of distribution in the Italian fashion business is due essentially to the typical structure of the firms involved in the system, and their entrepreneurial culture, together with the brand wners’ strategies of product differentiation and vertical integration.

In the recent past, the opening of managed stores has been a noticeably widespread strategic initiative, especially for companies that already have a network on which to build ([24] Guercini, 2004). Consequently, interaction between retailers and manufacturers has become an increasingly relevant field of study ([9] Castell’ and Brun, 2010), in which context a number of innovative formulae have been developed. The communication vehicles has revitalized the role of retail premises in the communication of a brand.

As [2] Ailwadi and Keller (2004) observe, to the extent that “you are what you sell,” manufacturers’ branding helps to create an image and establish the positioning of the store. During the 1990s, the view began to be prevalent that multi-brand stores were no longer able to sustain a strong brand image, especially in the luxury sector. At the same time, new stores have succeeded in projecting the brand’s value systems, and exposing customers to a multi-sensory experience ([1 1] Ciappei and Surchi, 2008) in direct contact with the brand.

The proliferation of products brought about by dvances in technology and production processes has reduced their communicative efficacy, consumers experiencing ever greater difficulty in the comparative evaluation of branded goods. As [7] Carpenter et al. (2005) assert, the retail store has become the “new vector” for conveying the abstract attributes of brands, which it does through the medium of its 04 December 2013 Page 2 of 14 location, the ancillary services it provides, its staff, store design, and visual merchandising.

Since branding is seen as central to the process of building relationships between a company and its myriad stakeholders ([26] Keller, 2003) and herefore as the main link with the market ([23] Guercini, 2001), the aim must be to transmit brand values in the most effective way possible. The existence of stores multiplies the opportunities for establishing contact with consumers, which is a particularly important strategic consideration for brands that aim to build awareness rapidly, and attain an immediate premium position especially in countries where they were not previously represented. [29] Kozinets et al. 2002) have suggested that a shop or store can achieve the twin aims of awareness and positioning by creating vocative displays, showing off the fashion collections in a way that takes visitors by surprise, encouraging them to enjoy interacting with the brand, browsing the premises and finding out what else is on offer. The propositions discussed in this section help us to understand the context in which new marketing tools are developed in the fashion sector. Our study focuses on one in particular, the temporary store, which is becoming widespread but is, for the moment, at the experimental stage of its development in Italy.

The remainder of this paper is structured as follows. The next section describes the phenomenon in more detail, nd distinguishes a number of variations on the general theme of deliberately temporary stores. A thorough search of the literature yielded only one very recent academic study ([27] Kim et al. , 2010), which takes a different perspective on the phenomenon from the one in this paper. The current study, therefore draws instead upon the sources of information and discussion that are available: the national and international specialised press, online and offline, newspapers and periodicals, and web sites and forums.

Section 3 presents the methodology underpinning a temporary store retailing strategy in Italy. The aim is to understand how this tool is put into practice and the central role it plays in communicating the brand values and delivering the brand experience. The final section draws conclusions and identifies managerial implications. It also discusses the limitations of the case studies and recommends fruitful directions for future research into the application of this new addition to the marketing toolkit. 2 The development of the temporary store 2. Genesis [3] Bauman (2007) asserts that we live today in a “liquid” society, in which identity and appearance have lost their meaning and social structures are becoming fluid. Inevitably, as the pace of life increases, they dissolve and reform from one day to the next; new phenomena constantly break habitual patterns. We would argue that this tendency towards fluidity holds true even for the methods of distribution and communication. The temporary store is one such phenomenon. Traditionally, familiar and dependable stores had allowed customers to do their shopping at a relaxed pace.

Customer satisfaction rested on the knowledge that they could be counted on. In the contemporary hectic society, cutting-edge commercial practices are making what was familiar become surprising, which is the milieu that ave birth to the temporary store. It is an expression of a new social and economic dynamic represented in modern marketing trends inclined to rapidity and to the principle that “nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed”, as the eighteenth-century chemist Lavoisier observed in a different context.

First noticed in Britain in 2003 and soon replicated in New York, temporary stores are now rapidly spreading through Italy ([6] Burattino, 2008). They have limited life spans that are subject to pre-determined timeframes. [20] Finn (2004) noted that they were furthermore often “improvised”. To ake their temporariness explicit, such stores often feature displays counting down the days and hours that are left until they close. The duration of opening can be between a week and 40 days, but is generally a month at most.

Temporary stores are distinguished by their exclusivity and style and by word-of-mouth promotion, which in itself helps to attract the curiosity of passers-by. They are invariably strategically located in high-traffic 04 December 2013 Page 3 of 14 urban shopping areas, because the location is part of the packaging and the store itself becomes the product. In its short life, a temporary store is intended to take onsumers by surprise, arouse an emotional response, stimulate reactions, and enrich the complex of brand values that it enshrines.

As [1] Addis (2007) puts it: The generation of feeling passes through the multisensory involvement of the individual: music, textures, aromas, colors, tastes, visual merchandizing and various symbols of various types that are widespread tools for immersing the purchaser in the It is generally accepted that the curiosity which pushes consumers towards addictive shopping leaves residual positive feelings about the brand, even if an individual has simply walked into look around and has bought nothing. The emotional context facilitates the purchase of products, even if not necessarily immediately ([1 5] Edelson, 2009).

As [12] Di Sabato (2009) puts it, the temporary store represents a sort of a synthesis of communication and selling, perfectly reflecting the logic of “entertainment, knowledge, experience”. Its potential is realised in the emotional involvement of consumers who have crossed its threshold, and taken part in a unique and unpublicised event. Temporary stores can also be used exclusively as showrooms. Until 2000, at least, certain of the fashion showroom owners in Milan travelled to Paris in search of uyers, opening temporary showrooms which would serve as rendezvous during periods of the highest commercial activity.

Those were often in art gallery spaces, rented for ten days or two weeks, in districts with a cultural profile to match their temporary purpose, such as the Marais. They can be thought of as an early example of the “process of democratizing the fashion industry” ([12] Di Sabato, 2009) that is now permeating the sector, in the form of temporary stores: a virtuous circle that makes fashion more accessible not only to consumers but also to all other actors in he system, and does so without consuming significant resources.

It is no longer necessary to be a big enough enterprise to be able to make the investment needed to set up a conventional business ([12] Di Sabato, 2009). The strong association of this marketing tool with the fashion sector in Italy is reflected in the establishment by such prestigious associations as Assomoda (a trade association of fashion agents, representatives and showrooms), in 2008, of a new association dedicated solely to temporary stores and the associated phenomena of which they are the most widespread manifestation: “Assotemporary”.

Many of its members represent fashion clothing brands, especially in Milan, on account of its prestige and location, but increasingly in other Italian cities. [4] Bello (2009) notes that the association reported the closing of 500 conventional stores in Milan alone in 2008, and that some 50 temporary stores had opened during the same period. It asserted that there will increasingly be a place for these new businesses, which have been waiting to occupy the space in the market created by the closure of traditional stores.

Thus, an apparently short-term approach is not a retreat but an innovative marketing tool. The cost of operating a temporary store depends on the space available and the time of year. There are of course, premium periods for which the price is higher than normal. Rents tend to be charged on the basis of a one-week minimum and four- week maximum contract, with discounts of 10 or 1 5 percent for signing the contract 120 days in advance or committing to a two- or three-week period. The rule is that rental periods of more than four weeks are not available.

The price for a prestige location – in a large, highly visible site with an adequate footprint and variety of nternal spaces, in an area of high commercial, tourist or residential value – can be all inclusive, for added servicing. Such locations will ideally be near to appropriate commercial centres of gravity, such as the fashion district in Milan. The setup of a fully serviced temporary store will encompass: commercial ambient music and a bar; and facilities management at the beginning and end of the period. 2. Typology The general concept of a temporary store can be realized in several forms, specific to the particular needs of the brand, the marketplace and the management. Four in articular have been labelled “guerrilla” stores, 04 December 2013 Page 4 of 14 “nomad” stores, “temporary online stores”, and “temporary outdoor sites”. Though typical temporary stores are in central, fashionable shopping districts, the search for a strategically effective location can result in the selection of less obvious places, perhaps linked to the cultural life of a city.

That choice can, in itself, increase curiosity and enhance word-of-mouth communication. Such guerrilla stores are typically found in the suburbs of the great world capitals, in places that have no connection with the fashion world. Their openings are unaccompanied by costly advertising campaigns, but they bring their own history with them. Curious passers-by experience them as they are and where they are, with their own aesthetic and architectural character.

They display the latest collections and exclusive lines, along with those from previous years, old and new receiving the same treatment. The Italian periodical [38] Subvertising (2009) comments that this amounts not simply to a retail strategy but also a new way of communicating with an audience ([38] Subvertising, 2009). The fashion brand Comme des Garpns launched its first guerrilla store” in Berlin in 2004, in collaboration with a notable German art director.

The nomad store is unique in that it not a bricks-and-mortar shop but a van that transports a single brand display from location to location, to reach the target market. It thereby allows the brand owner to broaden its customer reach, or to make contact with similar customers living in different districts of a city, or in different towns and cities across a region or country. The Puma brand, for example, has 24 sea-freight containers touring the world, inside each of which is a three-story tructure comprising a shop, a caf????, and two terraces and the staff offices.

The strategic aim is to deliver a maximum experience of the brand to visitors. Reacting to the evolution of physical distribution, the temporary online store combines the strategic advantages of the temporary store with the communicative and interactive benefits of the internet. It can reach the whole of a potential market at a single internet site, and is very easy to implement. The Italian specialist in designer luggage and fashion accessories, Mandarina Duck, launched a temporary store online in the run-up to Christmas in 2008.

The web site was centred on a virtual display window showing the “Y” luggage collection, created in collaboration with a Japanese designer. For three months, it provided potential customers with images, colour choices, prices and ordering code numbers, and an automatic 50 per cent discount. The temporary outdoor site shares location chosen to reach a target market with common interests – but exists at an outdoor site, not in indoor premises.

For instance, in the lead-up to the “human race” mass-participation 10 km event in Vancouver in 2008, Nike opened what they described as the “Nike Runner’s Lounge”. The aim was to offer an “encounter” to running enthusiasts, providing them with free massages, drinks, snacks and, of course, the chance to try out new running shoes from the Nike collection. 2. 3 Unconventional approaches The temporary store phenomenon can be seen as one aspect of a broader trend towards unconventional forms of brand promotion.

Over time, the perceptibility of mainstream media communication has been eroded, marketers have had difficult establishing contact with target audiences, and the “addictive” nature of consumers’ media usage has tended to nullify the messages. The consumers of today are more aware and better informed, yet have less time at their disposal. Meanwhile, the development of social media and virtual communities has opened up many new modes of shopping behaviour.

This scenario demands the devising of new communication strategies, compatible with the large-scale social changes that are underway, and capable of achieving their aims with more reasonable levels of investment. Unconventional promotion thus aims to communicate brand characteristics in a way that moves beyond traditional marketing communications methods to which onsumers have become accustomed and indifferent: the classic TV commercial, radio ads, billboards, glossy magazines and so on.

It seeks to entertain while informing, the better to capture the attention of consumers. A fundamental tool of unconventional marketing 04 December 2013 Page 5 of 14 communication is the generation and exploitation of word-of-mouth promotion. Consumers are no longer simply the user of goods and services, but have come to play an integral role in the production and distribution processes. They have also become actors in the branding process, passing on advertising that they find articularly interesting or amusing ([37] Snyder, 2004; [18] Ferguson, 2008).

The temporary store exemplifies the distinctive character of unconventional promotion in one way in particular: it employs practically no overt methods of communication. Its emphasis on word-of-mouth is as innovative as the very store itself is. The short lifespan of temporary stores makes them by definition non-repeating events, characterized by multisensory involvement. They are thus intimately related to the other types of unconventional marketing labelled “viral”, “buzz”, “guerrilla”, “experiential”, “tribal”, “environmental”, and so on ([28] Koch, 2005).

Methodology The research objective is to fill a large gap in the marketing literature by examining the special characteristics of the temporary store, and the managerial implications of As a first step towards this objective, we carried out a thorough review of the discussions of the phenomenon available in the national and international specialized press, online and offline, newspapers and periodicals, and web sites and forums, including case examples of the use of temporary stores by a number of national and international fashion brands.

Beyond such basic description, our study aims to show why the brand owners chose o use this new marketing tool, and thereby provide marketing managers who propose to add it to their own toolkits with a clear understanding of the roles it fulfils, and of its positive and negative features. The second step in the research programme was a qualitative, exploratory study in the form of case studies of two fashion brands that set up temporary stores in Italy.

This methodological choice rested on the general agreement that qualitative research seeks to answer the “how” and “why” questions, and that the case study method is a useful way of doing so ([14] Easterby-smtth et al. 2002; [36] Saunders et al. , 2003; [43], [44] Yin, 1994, 2004). AS [16] Eisenhardt (1991) put it, “inductive studies are especially useful for developing theoretical insights when research focuses on areas that extant theory does not address well”.

A case study is an example of that inductive approach, investigating a contemporary phenomenon in its real-life context, especially when, as Yin points out, boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident. Selection of the case study subjects was made difficult by the shortage of information about brands that had operated temporary stores in Italy. We found that the digital and printed press commentary, and the web sites consulted, all restricted their reporting to the most famous fashion brands doing so, or those that had made a particular event of it.

Our aim was to study fashion firms which might be very similar in terms of their customer base, production methods, prices and so on, but would differ in their brand’s longevity. We specifically sought both emerging and established fashion brands, regardless of their nationality, so as to have a more comprehensive overview that could reveal significant differences. In the event, only two companies could be elected for study: the emerging Italian fashion brand Last Love and the long- established American brand Levi’s. The latter was the first to open a temporary store, in Milan in 2005, the former opening the first in Florence in 2009.

Both were promoting retrostyled urban fashion, Levi’s recalling the 1960s and Last Love the 1950s. We employed three of the range of data collection procedures specified by [44] Yin (2004) as applicable to case-study research: interviews, documentation and observation. [42] Woodside and Wilson (2003) concur that case-study research should entail a multiple approach to data gathering. In-depth interviewing is considered the most fundamental of all qualitative methods by [14] Easterby-Smith et al. (2002) and [44] Yin (2004), specifically by means of open-ended or focused interviews.

We opted for the unstructured and flexible open-ended approach, interviewers asking respondents for their opinions about events, and probing for the key constructs 04 December 2013 Page 6 of 14 implied by their answers. The resulting triangulated data allowed us to validate the veracity of data by comparing each source with the others. The main sources of the data for analysis were interviews with the founder of Last Love, who was also the Chief Designer, with her assistant, and with the Head of Marketing for Levi Strauss Italia.

Before conducting the interviews, we sought to gather as much information as possible about the temporary store initiatives of the two brands, via the trade press and relevant web sites, in order to develop an overall picture of the situation that could feed into the organisation of the interviewing. The one-to-one interviews lasted between 30 minutes, and an hour, and were tape recorded. Transcripts were made within 24 hours. The first part of the interview ocused on the company, with particular emphasis on its retail strategies and the ways in which the brand was currently being communicated.

The second part, at the heart of the process, focused on the kind of information that could shed light on our research questions. Respondents tended to respond widely to the interviewer’s open-ended prompts about the rationale for the use of the temporary store, and about the pros and cons, adding useful information well beyond the limits of the prompt. The third step of our research exercise was to augment the findings of the previous stage by examining such case-specific documentary evidence as company eports and records, plus any available descriptions of the planning and operation of the temporary store.

This kind of input is known to be a particularly rich source of insights into firms. [31] Patton (2002) has argued that such sources can prove valuable not only because of what can be learned directly from them, but also because they can act as a stimulus for paths of enquiry to be pursued through the other data collection methods, such as direct observation. As a final step, observation of each temporary store’s physical features was undertaken. We were unable to make field visits to the case study sites”, as recommended by [44] Yin (2004), because our investigation was conducted after the temporary stores had closed.

Nevertheless, interviewees were able to show us the physical features of their temporary stores, by means of visual records and materials of various kinds. Having completed the investigation procedures, we carefully compared the two sets of accumulated case material, searching for similarities and differences, before coming to our conclusions about the findings and the answers to our research question. 4 Findings The sales turnover of Levi Strauss Italia is among the highest among overseas ranches of the parent company, which has stores in 110 countries worldwide.

The company opened its first temporary fashion store in Italy in 2005 in Milan, on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, a celebrated upmarket shopping street in the city at the centre of the Italian textiles and fashion business. With a large window display, it occupied 250 square metres in a highly visible location in the very heart of the city, amid a continuous flow of cosmopolitan and metropolitan traffic. The concept that animated this temporary store anticipated the format that revolutionized the brand’s high-

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