Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Challenges of Apparel Retail

Apparel retail is a business and with any business comes struggle at one point or another whether it because of economic situtations like the one we are in now, or if the look of the company is becoming outdated and needs some renovation. The apparel retail industy is constantly facing challenges in all of its aspects.

The look of a company can become outdated and old. Gap for example is currently struggling as an apparel retail store. The store's target market is for men and women around the ages of 25 and up who have an income large enough to allow the purchace of the moderately expensive items sold at Gap. Gap always seemed like a store that offered clothes for frumpy looking women who do not intend to make a fashion statement. The clothes there are just wearable not really fashionable. We are entering a time when everyone wants to be fashionable and young. Young, college graduates entering in the professional world want to dress appropriately for their jobs but also want to look fresh and chic. Gap does not appeal to them. I believe that Gap needs to update their looks. I recently went into a Gap at the mall and I saw that some fashion trends were being followed for example, I saw a cute black and blue plaid print that has been pretty popular at stores like Forever 21, however though the print was acceptable the cut and shape was not. It was old looking. It was a decent attempt, but it was far too expensive and not as cute as other shirts with the same print. Also, the advertising for Gap is really bad too. I can't remember the last time I saw an add for Gap. No wonder Gap is struggling!

Another factor that may affect the look of an apparel retail store is the use of sweatshops. For example, the Kathy Lee Guiford case. She got so much bad publicity for having used sweatshops to produce her merchandise. That kind of publicity poses a huge challenge for any apparel retail company.

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