New Look not only develops the clothing line but supports it with advertising and promotion campaigns. The company plans to strengthen its partnership with retailers by developing brand awareness.
The key message associated the New Look line is classy, upscale, versatile, and expensive clothing. The company's promotional plan is diverse and includes a range of marketing communications:
Sales and Distribution Strategy
New Look intends to build a sales team that will be tasked with generating sales leads on a regional and national basis. They will also be responsible for establishing connections with retail outlets.
A key factor in the success of New Look will be its distribution. The company plans to use the following retail distribution channels:
In recent years, several large retail chains-particularly in the athletic footwear sector-have developed formats called superstores, which have more square footage dedicated to a particular product category.
Consumers buy apparel and footwear from a variety of retail outlets. In 1998, discount, off-price, and factory outlet stores accounted for 30% of apparel sales, specialty stores accounted for roughly 22%, department stores for 18%, and major chains for 17%, according to data from NPD Group Inc., the remaining 13% was sold through mail order and other means.
Differences exist in the distribution mix for men's, women's, and children's items. For example, more women's apparel is purchased in specialty and department stores than is the case for men's apparel. Men's apparel is more prevalent in discount stores and general merchandise chains. In the children's segment, a considerably higher portion of apparel is purchased in discount stores.
Catalogs are another important method of distribution. Consumers have less time to shop, and for some, catalog shopping offers a more convenient and pleasant alternative. In 1996 (latest available) an estimated 13.3 billion direct mail catalogs were printed in the United States--more than 50 for every man, woman, and child in the nation. According to NPD Group, approximately 6% of apparel retail sales were through direct mail/catalogs in 1998, representing a 29% decline from 1997.
The distribution channel that has received the most attention recently is the Internet. Although it now represents only a small portion of apparel sales, this distribution channel has the most potential for growth. Consumers like the convenience of being able to shop from anywhere and at anytime they wish. Manufacturers with Internet sites use them for marketing and informational purposes. With expected technological advances in hardware, software, and data pipelines in the future, shopping for apparel and footwear should gain popularity.
Currently, however, due to technological and infrastructure limitations, consumers are not fully satisfied with the speed, quality, security, and cost of Internet shopping. Another hindrance to wider acceptance is the fact that consumers cannot see and touch the product. Although some manufacturers have started to sell directly to consumers on the Internet, many of them are being cautious not to alienate their retail (brick-and-mortar) customers. We expect these issues will be resolved eventually, however, and that the Internet will become an important method of distribution.