Fashion retailing is an increasingly complex business, with competition between retailers for their share of the consumer market becoming more intense. This unit will provide an understanding for those learners wishing to become involved in fashion retail, but who have little experience or knowledge of this area.
The unit will help learners to understand the role of fashion within the retail sector. There are a large variety of retail companies and outlets within the fashion, sector ranging from internationally famous department stores, multinational fashion chains, small independent boutiques and now supermarket chains. Fashion merchandise is available in all price ranges, catering to all consumers from the budget-conscious shopper
to those customers who can afford the most expensive designer clothes. This is an exciting and vibrant part of the retail sector and provides ample scope for an interesting study. Although the unit concentrates on the retailing of fashion items, it will also allow learners to develop an understanding of the history and role of fashion in society and the fashion industry itself works. Learners will learn to recognize fashion trends and the way these trends impact not only on the products available in shops but also on the services retailers
offer. Learners will understand the importance of retail image and ensuring that a retailer’s image is consistent with its product range and intended market. The learning outcomes and unit content are designed to enable learners to understand how consumer needs are satisfied through fashion retailing, primarily at the shop and store level. Learners will learn how market segmentation is of particular importance in successful fashion retailing.
The unit will also enable learners to explore factors that influence trends and consumer tastes.
On completion of this unit a learner should:
Retail outlets: multiples; department stores; supermarkets; discount stores; outlet shops; independent traders; Haut couture boutiques; market stalls; concessions; franchises; mail-order; internet shopping; television sales; fashion cooperatives
Target market segmentation: age; gender; personal characteristics eg height, size; socio-economic factors; cultural differences eg ethnicity; cultural influences eg fashion themes associated with pop music trends, cinema, sport; geographical; lifestyle; purchasing habits; purchasing motivation; product life cycle; fashion trend life cycle; market response eg innovators, laggards
Fashion merchandise: clothing, footwear, accessories
Retail policies: eg pricing, opening hours, visual merchandising displays, service level, use of the internet and other media
Historical fashion trends: styles; trends; social and moral influences; economic influences
Current influences: popular culture; celebrity culture; role models; music; media, eg fashion and style magazines, other popular magazines, television, cinema; technology, eg fabric technology, ‘techno’ styles, technology as a fashion accessory; leisure activities; social aspirations; value systems eg ecological concerns
Fashion trends: style eg length, cut, fabric, color, trim, accessories; changing body part emphasis; designer collections; street fashions; mass reproduction; examples of current fashion trends
Retail services: growth of fashion retail markets; frequency of stock and range changes; mass demand; frequency of new designs that filter into market eg designer collection to supermarket product; retail outlet ambience; service level; alternative ranges for market sub-segments eg concessions, designer departments within department stores, identifiable sub-segment ranges within multiples; designer ranges within supermarkets
Products: breadth and depth of range; sizes; options
Retail image: corporate image; types of outlet; advertising; graphics; visual displays; merchandising; store layout; ambiance; service level; packaging
Staff and customer service: dress codes; the level of service provision; personal selling; fitting rooms; returns policy; direct sales
Product range: manufacturers, designers, labels; price range; quality; breadth and depth of stock range; the rate of stock changeover
The market needs: compatibility of retail image and customer self-image; price range; frequency of style change, the durability of style; retail service requirements
Types of outlet: independent boutiques; chain fashion stores; department stores; supermarkets; concessions; franchises; direct sales; catalog; internet
Designers: originals; reproductions; use of designer labels eg Armani, Armani Exchange; enhancement of brand identity of general (non-fashion) retailers through the inclusion of high-profile fashion merchandise
Buying habits: seasonal purchases; the number of seasons; sales policies; discount policies
Mass markets and niche markets: age profiles; purchasing habits; price ranges; ‘branding’ versus ‘designer’Order Now