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The Salt Gypsy Brand Community

Lisa R. Kjerulf , Michael B. Beverland

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

This case explores community-based brand strategies, with a focus on the female surf-wear market and the success of Australian brand Salt Gypsy and its founder, Danielle (Danny) Clayton. The case describes how, in creating Salt Gypsy, Danny fulfilled an unmet market need for high performance, fashionable surf wear among a new wave of female surfers. In contrast to classical branding models focused on direct appeals to users, Salt Gypsy is an example of a brand community, whereby a brand’s value o

Apparel Retail Assortment and Pricing Strategies During the Second World War

Jennifer M. Mower

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

During the Second World War, the United States government regulated civilian apparel when they froze styles at their spring 1942 levels. It is relatively easy to observe the wartime impact on apparel styles in the slim silhouettes and absence of style details such as cuffs, leg-of-mutton sleeves, and double-breasted jackets. Less transparent may be how the war influenced apparel retailers’ merchandise assortment and pricing strategies. Using archival records from the National Archive, specificall

Retail Technology

Antigone Kotsiopulos , Molly Eckman
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

A married couple owns a small business specializing in yoga classes and yoga apparel and accessories. Their college-educated daughter has joined the business. They have a good location in a strip mall but there is the possibility of a national apparel chain coming to the area. Business has grown and to compete the owners need to decide to join the twenty-first century by investing in a computer system for business analysis. Currently they are keeping records manually and doing physical inventorie

Sub-Par Inventory

Antigone Kotsiopulos , Molly Eckman
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

A golf pro, who has never worked retail, becomes a golf club manager responsible for the driving range, the greens, a restaurant, and a retail shop, along with the merchandising and buying. The pro knew a lot about golf equipment and men’s clothing, but did not know much about retail operations, and women’s clothing. After working a while in the pro shop, he learned enough to grow his sales and raise capital to expand his merchandise mix beyond the golf basics. However, he was frustrated because

Retailer/Manufacturer Conflict

Suzanne G. Marshall
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

Over the last thirty years the business relationship and negotiable terms between manufacturers and retailers have changed significantly because of the growth and strengthening power of retailer groups and decreasing power of manufacturers. This shift from manufacturers to more large retailers having the power to dictate and negotiate the business terms has resulted in some manufacturers suffering from being more responsible for the retail business and sales of their merchandise, as well as a pro

Exasperation with Exclusitivity

Judy K. Miler , Nancy J. Rabolt

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

An upscale retail specialty store with strong customer service carries quality merchandise that can be worn in any season. The dress department is the most important department in the store and does a large sales volume. It has exclusivity with a vendor which produces well-made dresses in the United States; thus, there is no competition for this merchandise. In return for exclusivity, the retailer has made large investments in advertising this product. After three years with this arrangement, a c

When Good Results Are Met with No New Business

Billy Christense
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

A sales manager for a manufacturer of a unique high-quality men’s shirt line was able to product test his shirts in two locations of a large better specialty-store chain. He and the designer also arranged to do guest appearances in both stores in order to help build brand awareness. The initial test order sell-through was better than the department averages, so the sales manager discussed the possibility with the buyer of a roll-out reorder in the tested stores, as well as in some new stores. The

The Founder’s Day Special

Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

An annual Founder’s Day sale for a Florida specialty retailer has always been successful for the store, moving merchandise to make room for holiday purchases and improving customer satisfaction by providing great bargains for customers. A coat buyer added a previously unsuccessful item on the Founder’s Day sale list only to be vetoed by the general merchandise manager (GMM) who insisted they be marked down even further. Very few of this promotional merchandise had sold at 50 percent off at the la

Weighing the Options: Should Kristen Buy a Struggling Business?

Joy M. Kozar , Sara B. Marcketti
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

A trendy boutique is located near a college and caters to a college-aged market in a perfect new retail space. Business has shown a decline in sales and profitability because of the young owner’s move three hours away from the store and managing it long distance. When the owner was on site, the store was successful offering new fashion that appealed to the clientele. But the last year of ownership with the absentee owner/buyer and no supervision and guidance, meant employee morale was low. In add

Katie’s Kloset in Cedar Spring Groves

LuAnn R. Gaskill
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

A young entrepreneur, with the help of her parents, has purchased an established small retail business selling moderately priced plus-sized women’s clothing in her home town, a small community in Virginia. Prior to the purchase, it was not immediately apparent that the company was not on a good financial footing despite the review of current records. In addition, to the owner’s surprise the store’s credit was poor resulting in vendors only sending merchandise COD (cash on delivery). Business was

A Case of Poor Planning

Jaya Halepete
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

An experienced merchandiser at an apparel manufacturer left his good position to be a senior buyer at an apparel retail chain and being successful at this job, was promoted to divisional head. With experience at both wholesale and retail, he was ready for a bigger challenge and decided to quit his job and start his own apparel export business. Start-up money from friends was used for production equipment and a showroom. Through contacts he got good orders from an international retailer, but they

To Go or To Stay

Kitty Dickerson
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

A buyer trainee for a big-box retail chain was successfully promoted over a short period of time to an apparel buyer of several high volume buying areas. Her success continued, even with a change in the economy and consumer expenditures declining, but the buyer started to lose the satisfaction for her job she held. Her business still did fairly well; however, others weren’t and they were told by their superiors to start cancelling vendor orders. Soon, the buyer’s areas also started slowing in sal

Collusion to Catch Anti-Trust Offenders

Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

A retail buyer for a prestigious chain of stores went to market and met with a knit manufacturer’s principal in charge of sales with whom she had conducted business while working for another retailer. She caught up with her manufacturer friend and reviewed the current line when she thought that she would like to have exclusive distribution to the knitwear label. The possibility was discussed with the owner, who had been selling the line to several independent stores, and he thought that it might

Abercrombie & Fitch’s Brand & Store Positioning

Joseph H. Hancock
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F), originally a traditional outdoor and adventure apparel retailer, has repositioned itself in the marketplace several times throughout its history. In the 1990s A&F changed its offerings to fashionable basic merchandise in a lifestyle and aspirational way geared toward teenagers. Methods used in their stores were strong atmospherics including cologne, loud music, provocative pictures of models, and shirtless male greeters in some stores. This created a company

Licensing Pitfalls

Suzanne G. Marshall
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

A swimwear manufacturer is a licensee for several brand names (licensors). The licensing arrangements from the licensee’s perspective is given in four general areas: lack of control/power, lack of visibility, increased expense, and multiple “masters.” Although there are advantages of manufacturing product for the licensee, there are also many pitfalls outlined in this case. Examples are given of pitfalls such as general decisions being made by the brand licensees; the manufacturer being dropped b

Radical Retailer

Kat Duffy , Karinna Nobbs

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe have, over the last forty years, created an evolving bricks-and-mortar retail strategy with Comme des Garçons (CdG) and the CdG owned Dover Street Market, reporting annual sales of $280 million. Kawakubo and Joffe have been pioneers, as the first luxury brand to experiment or twist the rules of established retail strategies. From a strategic perspective, successful formats can and do emerge from structured business models. Often, however, winning formats can also mat

A Truly Silent Business Partner? My Lullaby Begins

Marcia Morgado
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

A married couple, one with a retail accounting background and the other with a merchandising background, have opened their own retail store that focuses on maternity fashion. The funding required to start-up the store was provided by a bank loan and the mother of the couple, who is now a silent partner in the business. The mother has volunteered to use her interior design background to help build the business’s first store. The husband and wife are equal partners in the business and so neither ha

Benetton’s Corporate Image

Janice Ellinwood
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

The Italian apparel manufacturing firm Benetton, which owns numerous international licensed apparel brand stores, has gained attention and opposition for the company’s style of corporate advertising. Eighteen years ago, Benetton’s advertising campaigns featured advertisements that made controversial visual comments on political and social matters, rather than merchandise or written copy. This style caused a backlash of negative publicity and opposition, even lawsuits and threats to the company an

Middleton Department Store’s Loyalty Program

Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

An upscale department store in the United States has a loyalty program with many benefits for preferred customers who spend at least $2,000 per year. One preferred customer made a concierge appointment, a major customer service feature, with a newly hired sales associate to try on many new items that were chosen specifically and should have been perfect for this loyal customer. Several of the components of the program did not work out as the customer hoped they would. The customer had had a diffi

A Story of Target Guest Service

Joseph H. Hancock
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

A new team leader for a Target store is responsible for the management of guest services, sales, and returns, among other duties. He is well known for his excellent customer service by many of his “guests,” as Target refers to their customers. The company has an upfront corporate return policy which can be found on every receipt the customer receives. There are formal procedures for employees to follow regarding whether they can grant a return or not. A frequent store guest tries to return expens

To Commit or Not: The Retail Market in India

Jaya Halepete , Marina Alexander
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

India is a country with over a billion people and is one of the world’s fastest growing markets with many global retailing opportunities. The market is expected to grow to a worth of over $1 trillion by 2020. This growth is being led by lifestyle changes and a growing middle class with rising incomes. India is expected to become the world’s fastest growing e-commerce market, driven by robust investment and a rapid increase in the number of internet users. Changes in government regulations, partic

H&M Under Attack

Rosanne P. Hart , Camille Kraeplin

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

When Greenpeace launched online and on-site protests against H&M for water pollution in H&Ms Chinese supply-chain factories in 2011, the fashion brand faced serious damage to its reputation as a leader in sustainability alongside plummeting sales. Despite over a dozen other apparel and footwear companies being singled out in Greenpeace’s global “detox” fashion campaign, the nongovernmental organization (NGO) specifically targeted H&M, a Swedish company with more than $18 billion in sa

Sneakerboy

Rachel Matthews

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Intermediate

Business case

In the creation of his luxury sneaker store, Sneakerboy, Chris Kyvetos has leveraged global distribution channels to upgrade and update the conventional business models for operating a physical retail store. This case study describes the competitive advantage created by Sneakerboy through its innovative combination of digital interactive technologies with physical retail space. It explores the strategic integration of digital technology into a luxury fashion retail sector that is focused on desig

Inventory Shortages

Mary Elliott

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

This case study introduces students to the retail method for calculating book inventories, inventory shortages, and the effects on gross margin. A merchandising operations manager for a large retail chain has suspicions of excessive inventory shortages in one of the chains’ clusters of stores. Using the calculations outlined within this case, the operations manager determines if her suspicions are correct. Using a problem-based scenario, students will use retail math formulas to calculate book in

Stitch Fix’s Algorithm-Based Business Model

Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases

Level: Introductory

Business case

Stitch Fix is an e-commerce, customizable clothing service that sends a box of five items, labelled by the company as a “Fix,” to customers. The items selected are based on company recommendations derived from data driven algorithms. Their two million clients want convenience, but also want to discover new clothing that fits both their individual bodies and lifestyles. Upon signing up to Stitch Fix, customers complete a survey to outline their body dimensions and personal preferences. Algorithms

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