The study investigate into the fast fashion industry worldwide, specifically on Uniqlo and Arvind Lifestyle (Arvind Mills),with respect to efficient supply chain management, scare value creation, low costs promotions and positioning strategy, supported by comparison with Uniqlo well-known brand . The overall analysis of B2C apparel online retailing in India, statistics shows an enormous space for online retailing fashion industry to explore but a far way to catch up with the leading enterprises in the world in terms of e-commerce scale. The next main part demonstrate a case of Indian online retailer—Arvind Lifestyle, analyzing its key to success in aspects of proper product positioning, brand positioning, business mode, marketing strategy, products and services, user experience, logistics and team management. In addition, relevant suggestions for further prosperity are proposed in the end of the paper. Index Terms –fast fashion industry, e-commerce, B2C, online retailing.
The traditional marketing and management of fashion industry is experiencing a change because of the emerging of e-commerce. The purchasing cost has been reducing because of rapid growth of e-commerce. Strategic advantage and successful implementation of re-engineering. E-commerce allows companies to improve communications within supply chain and enhance services. This article takes Uniqlo and Arvind lifestyle in comparison for case study to analyze the success of the online retailing company in fast fashion industry and raises some suggestion for the same to stay competitive in future.
The overall goal of this chapter is to establish the significance of general field of study, then identify a place where a contribution could be made. The bulk of this chapter is on critically evaluating the different methodologies used in the field so as to identify the associated approach based on the different parameter.
Arvind Brands is a subsidiary of Arvind Mills, is an important player in the Indian branded apparel industry. Arvind group with an array of International brands like Lee, Arrow, Tommy Hilfiger, Wrangler and domestic brands like Newport, Flying machine. Started in 1931, the company with state of the art machinery imported from England, was to produce high quality fabric.
Costumers are reluctant to spend on discretionary items and when they do, they expect fashion, quality, and low cost item. When a design move from catwalk to store in the fastest time it has been termed as fast fashion by fashion retailers. Internet, globalization and technological innovation, fast fashion operates on a far faster product turnover cycle than traditional models.
“Uniqlo has a clear vision that inspires the world to dress casual”. The corporate strategy helped Uniqlo so far is to “Totally ignore fashion”. It does not chase the fast fashion trends like other competitors. The brand has the philosophy of “Made for All”. Even after facing a challenging situation the perception of people change after the launch of 3-storey in iconic Harajuku in central Tokyo in 1998.The perception instantly shifted from being cheap and low quality, to being affordable but high-quality.
Today, Uniqlo is wholly owned subsidiary of fast Retailing Company Limited and it is known for providing high-quality private-label casualwear at reasonable price. As at January 2018, the brand has grown to more than 13, 00 stores worldwide. Brand value according to Forbes Uniqlo have brand value of USD 7billion and is 91st on the list of the World‘s most Valuable Brand.
Uniqlo is a modern Japanese company that inspires the world to dress casual. The corporate strategy that has worked for Uniqlo is to “Totally ignore fashion” instead of chasing fast fashion trend. Some of the key brand success factors for Uniqlo include the following:
Delivery system supporting a clear brand promises two of the biggest challenge for any brand is to define a clear brand promise and to effective delivery on all point of customer. Product development approach and efficient supply chain: Tadashi Yani often fond of calling Uniqlo as “Uniqlo is not a fashion company, it’s a technology company”. To compete with the leading fast fashion brand like Zara, Uniqlo takes exact opposite approach, planning production of its wardrobe essentials up to a year in advance.
High dedication to innovation: Uniqlo is known for its fabric innovations. One of the signature innovation of Uniqlo is HeatTech, a fabric developed in conjunction with a Japanese chemical company named Toray. The HeatTech fabric is thin, comfortable which has enabled the brand for creating stylish design. Other such fabric are AIRism (a soft fabric with quick-drying inner fabric), Lifewear (a blend between casual and sportswear), UV Cut (Material designed to prevent 90% of ultraviolet rays from reaching the wearer).
With the growing economy sustainability has been burning topic in business. One of the 23 Management Principles of Tadashi Yanai is to contribute back to society. Uniqlo’s approach towards sustainability compromises of 4 pillars:
Current major market of Uniqlo Japan, Korea, China. Japanese market is currently saturated and some supply chain challenges are being faced in global market.
Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited (ALBL), renowned for retailing both in-house and licensed international brands. They are called fashion powerhouse. They are:
Arvind has started innovation in fiber to sustainability in fashion, Arvind is powering high-fashion brands across the world, while delivering unmatched excellence across the garment value chain. They are pioneering tech with wearable garment fabric for fast fashion retailers. They are using sustainable yarns for future immense possibilities.
They have been bringing wide range of fashion brands of different categories. Arvind Lifestyle Limited fuels the aspiration of modern India. Arvind have “Future Ready” portfolio of global brands working in segment ranging from Bridge to Luxury, premium, and premium value.
As of 2005, Arvind with set of brands was in a comfortable position. Most of its brands had high recall value and enjoyed a fair share of loyalty. From the perspective of its parent company, Arvind Mills, which produced 110 million meters of denim every year, the garment division, i.e. Arvind IS the future growth engine.
Another masterpieces of Arvind is the Travelers Shirt. A boon for the modern-day, jet-setting lifestyle, this shirt requires miniscule maintenance due to its wrinkle-free properties and comes with anti-microbial properties that reduce bad odour. This shirt also provides protection from UV rays and is stain repellent.
The proverb, well begun is half done, is apt when it comes to sustainability. Arvind believe that sustainability when systematically embedded at the source gets cascaded throughout the production line and the value chain. They adopted input management as a preferable approach.
They are using six core inputs that are truly material and form the foundation of business. They focus on managing, enriching and getting these inputs fundamentally right and thereby making our business sustainably sound.
Despite the huge success till date Uniqlo faces its own global challenges. The brand takes very different strategy from its fast fashion competitors like ZARA GAP etc. Uniqlo should have in mind some business consideration in it’s strive to be the world’s top apparel retailer. The biggest dilemma might be the brand differentiation as it tries to be “Everything for everyone”. It may lead to some strategic mistake.
One of the secret behind the success of Uniqlo is its strong delivery system supporting a clear brand promise and its relentless commitment to innovation. By clearly defining the brand commits to provide high quality performance enhance, universal and basic casual wear at affordable prices and by running robust and efficient supply chain to produce its apparel, the brand has created such an environment where it is continually increasing customer expectations.
When a brand starts to gain popularity in its country and region, the next step would be to expand globally. This is especially so for Uniqlo, but the brand has met with considerable challenges. However till now, the brand footprint and awareness are relatively low outside of Asia, something the company is tackling through global retail store expansion programs, advertising and marketing. More recently the brand had wanted to enter into a merger with J.Crew Group 2014 but the company eventually pulled out of the deal due to hefty USD 5million price tag. Moving towards Uniqlo should focus on expansion internationally with strategic plan of each market.
Arvind has contributed 14% to the industry production, 4% to the GDP of India, With 45milion people employed, employed directly, the industry is one of the largest source of employment in country.
Most analysts believed that the big brands owned by large textile houses like Arvind treated their ready-to-wear segment as an augmentation of their fabrics business and due to this mindset they are lacked of fresh ideas.
This brand is both online and offline and using e-commerce for personalized clothing.3-D visualization software and delivering garment in 12 days. It planned to enter US, UK, Germany and Japan.
There are indeed many opportunities that Uniqlo can leverage in order to reach its goal of becoming the largest global apparel retailer. In particular, the company plans to focus on growing Uniqlo internationally and expanding online sales.
Competition: The main competitors of Uniqlo is ZARA, GAP and United Color of Benneton.
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