Clothing Retail Business Plan

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Mahogany Western Wear

Opportunity

Problem & Solution

Problem Worth Solving

There are several important needs in the western wear apparel business that are being either underserved or not met at all. 

  • There is a need for a large assortment of sizes to compliment the various body shapes and sizes of the ethnic community. This is a size segment that is missing throughout the larger western wear apparel retailers in the city.
  • There is a need for a focus  and attention to customer’s personal preferences and customer retention will be given high priority. Because of the high rate of employee turnover at major mass retailers, customer service and personal detail has been  lost.

Our Solution

Mahogany Western Wear is a new apparel store that caters to the African-American cowboy community in Houston, Texas. As our name suggests our focus is to provide western wear apparel and accessories, and position ourselves as the top retail store servicing this particular market.

We are the first and only African-American owned western apparel store in the city of Houston. Our intentions are to obtain 80% market share and become a central hub of shopping activity for the local African-American cowboy population as well others who enjoy wearing western apparel.

Target Market

Market Size & Segments

Market Description

The primary target customer of Mahogany Western Wear will be the African-American cowboys located in the southern part of Houston, TX.  As we are situated in the epicenter of their residential community we believe they will make up the largest percentage of our customer base.

The secondary target customers are the Hispanic community in the area. As the Hispanic population continues to grow rapidly in the south central area we expect to receive the patronage of Hispanics as they are very loyal to western apparel.

The last target customer of Mahogany is listed as other. As popularity about the store increases we expect to see an assortment of curiosity seekers, and local residents from the community as well as seasonal purchasers during rodeo season.

Market Segmentation

We have three particular market segments that we plan on catering to: 

First, the  growing number of African-American cowboy population is concentrated heavily in the southwestern part of the city therefore leading to the highest concentration of our customer base. 

Second, the growing  number Hispanic community, which is a growing population in the community in which the store is located, has statistically shown to be loyal to the major western brands such as Wrangler.

 Last, the potential customers is labeled as "other." Because Mahogany Western Wear offers a variety of western and southwestern wear apparel, along with accessories and gifts we feel that we will attract many curious shoppers. Our ambience and customer service will make them repeat customers.

Target Market Segment Strategy

The goal of Mahogany Western Wear is to serve the local African-American cowboy community that have difficulty finding western clothes that fit their larger frames. We will also serve the Hispanic community which tends to have a slimmer yet shorter frame.

Both of these markets are underserved in the major western retailer outlets.

Market Needs

There are several important needs in the western wear apparel business that are being either underserved or not met at all. Mahogany Western Wear plans to meet and service those needs.

  • Mahogany will provide a large assortment of sizes to compliment the various body shapes and sizes of the ethnic community. This is a size segment that is missing throughout the larger western wear apparel retailers in the city.
  • Focus and attention to customer’s personal preferences and customer retention will be given high priority. Because of the high rate of employee turnover at major mass retailers, customer service and personal detail has been  lost.

Market Trends

Millions of people around the world instantly recognize and identify with western apparel. It is synonymous with America and is a true classic.

Western wear has survived many eras. Modern cowboys herd cattle in helicopters but they still wear the same jeans, boots and hats their grandfathers wore. There will always be a future for western apparel. Within the last two years the southwestern and western look has made a comeback in the fashion industry. Mahogany Western Wear intends to use its place in the community to heighten the awareness of the African-American cowboy culture in Houston, TX.

With the increase of participation by professional African-American cowboys such as five-time World Champion professional calf roper Fred Whitfield from Houston, TX more people are becoming aware of African-Americans role and contribution in the cowboy community.

Market Growth

Market growth is in an upward motion, despite some of the latest economic downturns in the Houston metro area. According to a report by the City of Houston Economy & Trade, Houston ranked second in the rate of job growth among the nation’s 10 largest cities during 2000. Although for the time being, Houston will mirror much of the national economy, by the second half of 2002 Houston will again see positive growth as the city is predicted to add another 15,000 jobs. In the 12 months ending in January 2002, the city posted a net gain of 7,500 jobs while the nation as a whole lost 1.2 million. It is important to note that 90% of the new jobs are in the non-energy dependent sectors thereby adding to the city’s economy and economic diversity.

Houston has also been designated as the best city in the U.S. to start a new business. For three consecutive years, Houston has ranked first in the nation in new business growth, according to American Business Information. The most recent survey shows that more than 31,000 new local businesses were started in Houston. Los Angeles, California was a distant second with 16,780.

For these reasons and  more, Houston is considered an economic leader in America. Economy.com has analyzed America’s 40 largest metro areas and predicts Houston’s Gross Area Product will do better than any other city through the second quarter of 2002. Industry Week named Houston one of 12 world class cities for manufacturing and Black Enterprise has ranked Houston as the top U.S. city for blacks based on income potential, cost of living, proximity to employers, cost of housing and 21 quality-of-life factors.

Competition

Current Alternatives

There are three current alternatives to Mahogany Western Wear: 

Cavender’s Boot City, which is located approximately 7.1 miles from our location is our closest competitor. Cavender’s is one of the largest western wear apparel stores in the state of Texas. They operate 42 stores and sell basic western wear apparel and boots to the general mass market. Because of Cavender’s size they have a large percentage of the market share but still only cater to what the apparel industry considers to be the average size. Locating plus size clothing for women and big and tall sizes for men can be extremely difficult. They also tend to be a bit behind the market in offering more contemporary western styles. Because of Cavender’s size they have also lost some of their customer service skills as employee turnover is high.

Barbecue Hall of Fame, located approximately 9.3 miles from our store. The Barbecue Hall of Fame retail outlet combines the atmosphere of Goode & Co. BBQ restaurant with shopping and a prime tourist attraction. They offer an eclectic mix of old west meets new west with apparel, grills, cookware, and gift items. BBQ Hall of Fame doesn’t do any advertising or promotions of their retail outlet so if you don’t visit The Goode & Co. restaurant you wouldn’t know about the retail establishment.

Turner Saddlery is approximately 12.1 miles from Mahogany Western Wear and is the farthest of the three competitors. Turner Saddlery is a family-owned western apparel with two stores in the Houston area and one store in Conroe, TX. Their customer base tends to be more upscale as they carry more of the high end western labels such as Saddle Ridge and Lucchese. They also carry housewares and bedding items of which Cavender’s and BBQ Hall of Fame does not carry. They have few plus sizes for women and big and tall for men. Also, Turner Saddlery does very little advertising and promotion.

Our Advantages

Our key advantages that make us better than the competition are: 

  • Carry an assortment of sizes to fit the more ample frames of their African-American target customer base.
  • Provide customers with top notch personalized customer service in an atmosphere of southern hospitality.
  • Advertise and promote in areas that our target customer base will learn about our store.
  • Continuously review our inventory and sales and adjust our inventory levels accordingly.

Keys To Success

Keys To Success

In order to succeed in the western wear apparel industry Mahogany Western Wear must:

  • Carry an assortment of sizes to fit the more ample frames of their African-American target customer base.
  • Provide customers with top notch personalized customer service in an atmosphere of southern hospitality.
  • Advertise and promote in areas that our target customer base will learn about our store.
  • Continuously review our inventory and sales and adjust our inventory levels accordingly.
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