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From Fashion Producer to Fashion Retailer Essay

For both the retailers and manufacturers, the goal of fashion merchandising and marketing is to ensure that the merchandise is sold at a profit (Steele 295). To achieve this, one needs careful coordination and execution of the business strategies. The success of the fashion business hinges on fashion merchandising and fashion marketing.

Owing to the advances in information technology, customers all over the world have become more knowledgeable and inquisitive, due to information on the fashion industry that is readily available on the internet. It is thus important for those involved in fashion retailing to ensure that the needs and wants of their target customers have been met.

In an effort to overcome this challenge, fashion manufacturers are now producing specific fashion merchandise to suit the needs of specific customers (Kotler and Armstrong 81). Since fashion retailers are constantly in contact with the final customers, they are more likely to know the needs and wants of their target market.

This is important in a highly competitive business environment. If fashion manufactures are not updated with the needs and wants of the end-consumer, they may lose their share of the market. In order to safeguard their market share, some fashion producers may contemplate shifting from the manufacture of fashion merchandises to retailing fashion merchandise. The research paper endeavors to examine the advantages and disadvantages associated with such a move.

For a long time, fashion producers have primarily concentrated in the production of their merchandise in an easy and economical manner. A lot of money and time would be spent on consumers in an attempt to convince them that their merchandise suits the needs and wants of the consumers.

However, as packaged foods, automobiles and healthy products recorded successful growth through marketing, fashion businesses also adopted this concept (Steele 296). When fashion producers switches to fashion retailers they are in close contact with their clients and as a result, this enhances the relationship that they share with their clients.

This is a positive sign for good business. Principles of marketing therefore become vital for the business. Owing to the constant contact with the end-consumers, they are also likely to know the needs and wants of the customers. Consequently, they have to ensure that they provide merchandise that has been customized to suit the requirements of the market.

Fashion producers are also likely to have an enhanced access to the market. They are therefore better placed to study the retail market well, thereby improving their competitiveness. Retail fashioning also enables one to provide branded merchandise to the market.

Customers would be willing to offer premium prices for such merchandise, and this incenses the profit earnings of a fashion retailer. There is also the issue of consumer loyalty, because they are able to get what they want. Consequently, the fashion retailer is more likely to have repeat business with such customers (Steele 297). Brand orientation brings with it the dimensions of functionality, distinctiveness, symbolism, and value addition (Bridson & Evans 404).

As such, when a fashion retailer become more brand- oriented, he/she is likely of offer customers a greater retail offer, relative to the competition. Fashion retailers should therefore endeavor to differentiate their merchandise in such a manner as to afford them a competitive advantage in the market.

On the other hand, there are also a number of disadvantages that accompanies the decision by a fashion producer to also become a fashion retailer. To start with, there is a shift from the core activity, in this case the production of the fashion merchandise, to retailing.

A firm is more likely to success when it concentrates on its core activity, as opposed to undertaking various activities. When a firm is only concerned with its core activity, it is more likely to invest more in research and development in an attempt to ensure that its merchandises meet the needs of the consumers (McColl and Moore 97).

Another disadvantage of such a move would be the added cost of advertising and undertaking numerous market surveys and research, in an effort to capture the needs and wants of the customer so that the merchandise can be produced to suit these needs.

The fashion retailer now has to project sales with regard to the unit of merchandise that they want to sell. In the case of a fashion producer, he/she is required to anticipate the retailers’ needs. In the same way, we may also expect that the fashion retailer shall also have to envision the needs of his/her consumers (Stone 59).

However, we need to realize that the number of consumers of fashion merchandise by far outstrips the number of fashion retailers. Accordingly, this means that a fashion retailer shall have to sue more financial and human resources in an attempt to ensure that they deliver the needs of the market.

There are various reasons why a fashion producer may decide to become a fashion retailer. They include the need for brad recognition, gaining a competitive advantage, and increased consumer loyalty, among others.

Fashion retailing affords one constant interaction with the end-consumers, thereby enhancing the consumer-retailer relationship. However, even as a fashion retailer contemplates on becoming a fashion retailer, he/she should also be careful to ensure that they retain the quality of their merchandise. In addition, fashion retailing may mean that one now has to deal with a specific brand.

Many fashion brands are a fad that loses popularity with time. Therefore, Fashion producers should therefore not abandon the core activity of manufacturing because they may need to fall back on it.

Works Cited

Bridson, Kerrie, and Evans, Jody. The secret of fashion advantage in brand

orientation. International Journal of retail & Distribution Management, 32.8(2004): 403-411

Kotler, Philip, and Gary Armstrong. Principles of Marketing. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2001. Print.

McColl, Julie, and Moore, Christopher. An exploration of fashion retailer own brand strategies. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 15.1(2011): 91-107

Steele, Valerie. The Berg Companion to Fashion. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2010. Print.

Stone, Elaine. The Dynamics of Fashion. New York: Fairchild Publications, 2004. Print.

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