Although the apparel industry is mature and slow growing, it exists in a dynamic and competitive environment. In order to improve profitability, many companies are restructuring to create leaner organizations and adopt new technologies. Consolidation has been prevalent in this industry in the past few years, as larger companies gain leverage in market position and cost cutting. In the apparel industry, companies can operate as retailers or manufacturers (wholesalers) or both. For instance, Gap, Inc., a vertical retailer, manufactures and markets their own apparel and accessories. A company like VG Corporation is a manufacturer and sells solely to retail channels. A company like Tommy Hilfiger does both, selling its products to both retailers and consumers (through retail outlets).
In a market where consumers are barraged by advertising and marketing campaigns delivering an onslaught of lifestyle and fashion messages, a brand name is a powerful weapon. Brands have become an increasingly significant factor in apparel and footwear. Many consumers have less time to shop an are spending their disposable income more carefully. Established brand names, with their quality image, make the shopping experience easier and faster for many consumers. For manufacturers, brands build consumer loyalty, which translates into repeat business.
The company's name, New Look, is a competitive advantage in itself. The name is not attached to any particular group of customers and it allows entry into different segments of the industry. Another competitive advantage is the company's marketing strategy. Through the use of celebrities, advertising, promotion, and giveaways, the company is able to develop its presence in the market. Although the company uses retailers to sell its line, most of the marketing and advertising is done in-house.