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Sportmax Shop’s Shopping and Brand Analysis Research Paper

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Updated: Nov 12th, 2020

Shopping Report

Trend Message

Sportmax focuses on simple, classic silhouettes. However, most of the styles have special details, such as ruffles, buttons, or pleats. The simplicity of form in some styles is complemented by a variety of colors and prints, which allows for a greater variety of designs in store. The brand also uses different textures in its collection, such as crepe or jacquard.

The majority of the styles are made from a mix of natural materials and synthetics, and are thus functional and comfortable to wear; there are many styles available in mixed cotton, viscose, and silk. In terms of prints, Sportmax offers classic patterned prints, such as floral and stripe, as well as large and eye-catching creative prints, which reflect the latest fashion trends of 2017. For instance, some dresses are offered in New Mexico-themed prints, such as cactus or cow print. There are many items in bright colors, such as fuchsia, red, and blue.

The brand operates in the sportswear and daily wear bridge market, which means that its clothes have to be functional and suitable for casual wear. This somewhat limits the number of runway trends that could be translated into the target market. For instance, big, vintage-inspired fur coats that were among the major trends on the Fall 2017 runways (Carreon) would not suit the brand’s overall message.

Nevertheless, there are still some trends that could be translated into the target market. For instance, the Western front trend involves cowboy-inspired designs and prints (Carreon). Cowhide prints and leather could be used in the sportswear and daily wear bridge market. Denim is another trend that persisted on the Fall 2017 runways, according to Pieri. Denim is a comfortable and functional material that is perfectly suited for casual designs due to its high durability and low maintenance, which means that head to toe denim looks are likely to be offered in the target market and Sportmax future collections.

Finally, folk prints and styles were among the key trends of F/W 2017/2018 fashion shows, appearing on the runways of Alexander McQueen, Gucci, and Maison Margiela (Trochu). Whereas the all-over mixed and patched print designs may not be appropriate for daily wear, natural materials and colorful folk prints should appear in Sportmax collections.

As for the future trends, there are many predictions that could be translated into the target market. First of all, WGSN offers a useful overview of the forecasted trends for Spring/Summer 2018 collections. According to the forecast, one of the most influential trends of the next season is Kinship, which focuses on cultural sharing and unified communities (WGSN Insider). We have already seen oriental and folk prints on the runways, as well as in the F/W 2017/2018 sportswear brand collections.

The Kinship trend will likely expand the exploration of other cultures from the mere use of prints to trying out new forms and textures. In fact, the Kinship trend offered by WGSN is tightly connected to the Sportswear 2018/2019 fabric trends, as defined by ISPO. The ISPO trend forecast explains that the future seasons will mark a union of human-made and natural materials (ISPO). Synthetic materials are functional and require little maintenance, which makes them perfect for everyday wear.

Natural materials, on the other hand, have valuable qualities, such as thermoregulation and breathability. According to the ISPO, the sportswear brands will be keen to explore the various ways of combining the two options in order for the clothes to possess all the best features that synthetic and natural materials offer. Fashion Network adds to the examination of prospective trends by discussing the texture trends for Fall 2018 season. According to the forecast, velvet textures will be among the key trends of the future season (Fashion Network). Velvet is suitable for sportswear as it is very durable and can be made from many different fibers, including cotton, synthetics, or silk.

Target Customer

The target customer of Sportmax is well-defined. The casual styles offered by the brand are most suited to females living in urban areas, as they value comfort and flexibility. The areas where the brand is most popular include the southern and northern coasts of the United States. The target customer of the brand is 22-35 years old, has a medium to high level of income and is well-educated. She wants to be at the center of attention and is not afraid of dressing in vivid colors and wearing bold designs with lots of details, as long as they are appropriate for the occasion.

The brand is likely to be popular among women who work in the office and live an active social life outside of work, as most styles can be worn both to work and to various social events. The target customers look for comfort, low level of maintenance, and eye-catching design in their styles, and they get fashion inspiration from nature. They are likely to be practicing sports that promote wellness, such as yoga or cardio, and be part of lifestyle trends that encourage healthy eating habits. The target customer is most likely unmarried and with no kids, as she is rather focused on her career and social life. Art, blogging, sports, and fashion are among her key interests.

Price Structure

Outside of the sale periods, the prices for Sportmax garments can be placed into medium to high price range. The lowest top price is around $300. Depending on the complexity of style and the materials used, tops can cost up to $600. Dress prices range from $350 for the simplest short dresses to $800 for maxi dresses. The prices are directly linked to the cost of materials; cotton or viscose dresses are usually a lot cheaper than silk or woolen styles.

The prices for jackets and coats range from $1200 to $2000; the most expensive outerwear pieces are likely to feature leather, fur, or expensive types of wool, such as alpaca or angora. The price range for bottoms is similar to that for dresses and tops. The lowest price for bottoms available is $300, whereas the highest price is $750. Two key competitors of the brand that operate in the same market and offer styles in a similar price range are Alexander Wang and Jacquemus.

Merchandising Strategy

The ratio of tops to bottoms in the store is 3:1. There is a lot of variation in terms of the designs available in store. The showcased items include outerwear, such as jackets and coats, as well as dresses. Accessories, bags, and shoes are also present in the store, although their variability is rather limited. The majority of styles are offered in a single color way or print, although most accessories and bags have two or three color options, which allows customers to create great style combinations. The brand does not make apparel for any sports; the primary focus is on casual wear and on flexible styles that can be worn throughout the day.

Brand Report

Competitor Brands

The three main competitor brands to Sportmax are Alexander Wang, Jacquemus, and Weekend Max Mara, which is also owned by Max Mara. Alexander Wang is a famous fashion brand that offers both casual and evening styles with bold, eye-catching designs featuring lots of decoration, such as lace, ruffles, or cuts. Jacquemus is a signature French brand that offers a small variety of sophisticated styles in plain classic colors, such as black, white and navy. Weekend Max Mara offers classic styles with little to no decorations, which are brightened by various colors and prints.

The price structures used by the three brands are somewhat similar. In Alexander Wang, off-sale prices for tops range from $195 to $995. Dress prices range from $295 to $1,295, whereas bottoms can be bought for $495-$1,295. Outerwear prices are between $895 and $2,900. Out of the three competitor brands specified, Alexander Wang has the greatest price range. The prices in this brand depend solely on the materials used and the complexity of the design.

Jacquemus offers tops in the price range of €390-€460, which is around $450-$540. Bottoms range from $500 to $750, whereas dresses are available starting from $585 and up to $660. Prices for outerwear range between $850 and $1500.

The prices in Jacquemus depend directly on the complexity of style, as the materials used are limited. Finally, in Weekend Max Mara, prices are from $175 to $395 for tops and from $195 to 425 for bottoms, whereas dresses cost between $295 and $660. Outerwear prices range from $350 to $1,075. Similarly to Sportmax, the prices in Weekend Max Mara depend mostly on the materials used.

Although the brands target the same group of customers, their branding strategies are quite different. For instance, the brand concept of Alexander Wang is that of a bold and contemporary brand for people who are not afraid to experiment with their style and want to follow the latest fashion trends. Jacquemus, however, does not aim to become the leading brand in the target customer’s wardrobe; instead, it offers pieces that are inspired by the classics of French haute couture and are undeniably feminine. Weekend Max Mara is focused on providing its customers with comfortable classic styles that can be matched with a variety of accessories depending on the occasion. Their styles are most suited to working females who want to look professional and stylish at the same time.

The New Brand

The new brand name is 4 CHIC. The brand will be operating in the female sportswear market, offering clothing, such as tops, bottoms, skirts, dresses, and outerwear, as well as accessories, such as bags, belts, and scarves. The brand’s mission is to make women feel confident and beautiful in everyday clothes without sacrificing their comfort. The brand will aim to show the best of women, to encourage them to be real and be themselves. This can be achieved by making clothing that suites a variety of body shapes and sizes, as well as by using a mixture of natural and human-made fabrics.

The target customer of the brand is a working female aged 22-25. She invests a lot of time in her career, which is why it is important to her that the clothes can be worn both at work and outside of the office – for instance, to restaurants or bars. She is keen to follow the latest fashion trends, but she does not want to spend all of her spare time browsing runway show reports, which is why she is looking for a brand that ensures that all of its designs reflect the latest fashion trends. She has a good sense of style and likes to match different items to create unique looks. The two major sources of inspiration for the target customer are pop culture and fashion magazines.

4 CHIC will compete with brands such as Sportmax, Weekend Max Mara, and Alexander Wang. Offering a wide variety of style and color options will be the primary source of competitive advantage for the brand, as this will help to ensure that any customer who comes to the store can find something to buy. All of the items will be made from functional and comfortable materials, whereas appropriate quality management strategies will guarantee that the items are durable and that the customers’ experience in the store is pleasant.

One of the key elements of design will be classic silhouettes that suit every body shape. The brand will refrain from making tight-fitting or ultra-short pieces to ensure that every customer feels comfortable in our clothing. Another important element of design will be variable color and print options. Offering different color ways in every item will encourage customers to create different looks and choose items that suit their complexion.

Works Cited

Carreon, Justine. “Elle. 2017. Web.

Fashion Network. “The Fashion Network Italy. 2017. Web.

ISPO. “ISPO TEXTRENDS: This Is What the Sportswear of 2018/2019 Will Look Like.” ISPO Textrends, n.d. Web.

Pieri, Kerry. “Harper’s Bazaar. 2017. Web.

Trochu, Eugénie. “26 trends for Fall/Winter 2017-2018.” Translated by Josh Arnold. Vogue Paris. 2017. Web.

WGSN Insider. “WGSN Presents The Most Influential Trends for S/S 18.” WGSN. 2016. Web.

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