Clothing Industry ZARA vs. UNIQLO Team J: Bingbing Ge Lei Du Sophia Maduka Salman Syed Azim Thanadol Boonyaviwat Tanya Goel 1 Index Content Page Number Executive Summary………………………………………………………………… 4 Introduction………………………………………………………………………… 5 Industry Analysis……………………………………………………………………5 Competitive Environment………………………………………………. 5 Strategic Groups………………………………………………………… 6 ZARA………………………………………………………………………………. 7 Critical Success Factors…………………………………………………7 Strategic Issue: What should ZARA do next?………………………………….. Strategic Options for ZARA and Inditex………………………………. 10 UNIQLO…………………………………………………………………………… 11 Critical Success Factors…………………………………………………11 Strategic Issue: Should UNIQLO compete with ZARA……………….. 12 Strategic Options for UNIQLO and Fast Retailing…………………….. 13 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………….. 14 2 Appendices Index Content Page Number Appendix 1 : Porter’s Five Forces…………………………………………………………………… 15 Appendix 2 : PESTEL Analysis……………………………………………………………………… 7 Appendix 3 : Risk Factors……………………………………………………………………………… 18 Appendix 4 : Strategic Groups……………………………………………………………………….
. 19 Appendix 5 : ZARA Business Model ……………………………………………………………… 20 Appendix 6 : CAGE Framework……………………………………………………………………. 21 Appendix 7 : ZARA’s TOWS Matrix………………………………………………22 Appendix 8 : Clothing retailers’ sales and profits…………………………………………….. 3 Appendix 9 : Case of UNIQLO failing to compete with ZARA…………………………. 24 Appendix 10 : Customer Analysis………………………………………………………………….. 26 Appendix 11 : UNIQLO Business Model………………………………………………………… 27 Appendix 12 : Detailed Strategies for UNIQLO………………………………………………. 28 Appendix 13 : Comparison Between ZARA and UNIQLO……………………………….. 30 Appendix 14 : UNIQLO’s TOWS Matrix……………………………………………………….. 1 Appendix 15 : Inditex and Fast Retailing Ansoff Matrices………………………………… 32 3 Executive Summary This report aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of two major players in the clothing industry: ZARA and UNIQLO.
The clothing industry is highly segmented with several sub markets, ZARA targets at customers who need high fashion, whereas UNIQLO positions itself in the low fashion low price segment. Different from most retailers who adopt a mass production for strategic positioning, ZARA implemented a mass differentiation strategy to compete in the market by vertically integrating its value chain.
With full control of all its all activities, ZARA has successfully gained large market share and established good brand awareness by providing customers with fashionable, highly exclusive, fast changing products.
For further expansion, ZARA chose to keep penetrating existing markets rather than entering into a new segment. The long distance between Spain and America has brought ZARA with a strategic issue as it cannot take full advantage of its effective business model, which means ZARA has to change its business model or establish a new centralized production and distribution centre for further performance improvement.
Moreover, UNIQLO follows the traditional strategy adopted by most retailers that is to reduce cost by outsourcing production regions with low labour cost. UNIQLO also succeeded in gaining market share by offering customers with products with rich functionalities at low price. With inspiring sales performance, UNIQLO entered into the new segment to compete with ZARA. However, this expansion strategy has resulted as a failure, which implies UNIQLO should focus on its current market, expand into a new segment either by launching a new brand and business model or taking full advantage of its current unique R&D capability. Introduction The fashion industry is one of the most complicated industries in the world. It is the largest employer of all the creative industries and directly employs 816,000 people across a wide range of jobs and professions from fashion designers to fashion retailers. In the UK economy, it is estimated that the fashion industry contributes a direct value worth 21 billion pounds (Casciato, 2010). The world of fashion is filled with competitors, who are struggling for public awareness. ZARA and UNIQLO are two companies operating in this market and spare no effort to survive and prosper in this industry.
This report will start by providing an industry analysis, and then it will discuss ZARA’s strategy, strategic issues and its strategic options. Finally, it will analyze the critical success factors of UNIQLO, the reason why it failed to compete with ZARA and its strategic options. Industry analysis Competitive Environment The Clothing industry is a very competitive in nature and due to this several sub segments have been created in the market and coupled with the number of players involved, in addition to the seasonal nature of the products; has led to excess capacity within the industry.
The modern markets trends of the industry is globalization which has led to intensified competition between local brands and international brands alike. From our Porter 5 Forces analysis, which can be found in Appendix 1, we can see that the highly competitive and labour intensive nature of the industry have led firms to pursue cost leadership strategies. A general trend has been to outsource production to developing countries such as Bangladesh, Vietnam and China (The reasons for doing are highlighted by our PESTEL Analysis, as Appendix 2 indicates).
Another important way in which firms try and create a barrier to entry is by product differentiation. The perception of products overall can be deemed to be equal and therefore, apart from price, the key differentiating factors are brand image, reputation and design. As a result firms tend to utilize a lot of capital in order establish a reputation and create brand awareness. 5 Due to the globalized nature of the industry majority of the risks involved are applicable throughout the industry as a whole.
These risks are often beyond any of the firms’ controls and therefore it is very difficult to foresee them and adopt strategies to deal with them. A list of some of these risk factors is listed in the Appendix 3. Strategic groups In the clothing industry, there are generally three strategic groups: low fashion low price, high fashion low price and high fashion and high price (See Appendix 4). Retailers like GAP and UNIQLO belong to the first category as those companies mainly focus on providing customers with relatively low fashion and cheap products.
Both GAP and UNIQLO adopt the same business model, which aims to reduce price through mass production. Compared with GAP and UNIQLO, companies such as H&M and ZARA, classified in the second strategic group, position themselves in the market with more differentiation by proving high fashion products with low price. The last group includes those luxury brands such as LV and GUCCI, who provide high income customers with most fashionable design along with a very high price. There is possibility for companies in the first strategic group to strategically stretch to the second group through differentiating their products towards more fashionable.
For those companies in the second group, they could also strategically stretch towards to the first group by mass production via intensive outsourcing to reduce its cost. 6 ZARA The Success of ZARA ZARA is one of the most successful clothing retailers in the world today. ZARA (operating under the flagship of Inditex, a holding company located in Northwest Spain) has around 2500 stores in 62 different countries across the world (Tiplady, 2006) and is still growing. The success of ZARA is astounding as they succeeded using a strategy which went outside the generic strategies used in the industry.
Where others went for mass production, ZARA went for Mass Customization. When others spent fortunes on marketing, ZARA held a no advertising policy. When others outsourced their supply chain ZARA stuck with their own manufacturing facilities. ZARA’s secret is their Business Model, as illustrated by Appendix5. ZARA’s value chain ZARA’s business model is characterized by the search for flexibility in adapting production to market demand by controlling the supply chain throughout the different stages of design, manufacture and distribution (Inditex, 2009).
This vertical integration of the value chain enhances internal information flow with the help of IT service and an autonomous and flexible corporate culture, giving ZARA capability to fully control their entire manufacturing and distribution process from their factories to the shop floor. ZARA’s success is based on a business model that achieves a ‘speed of response’ to market demand that is without precedent in the fast-moving clothing sector. ZARA’s cycles of design, production, and distribution are substantially faster than any of its main competitors.
All their products are designed at the Inditex headquarters in La Coruna, approximately 50% of which are produced in its own network of 22 Spanish factories and the rest 50 % is outsourced to factories in Asia and Africa. Their finished products are dispatched by their centralized distribution facility twice a week, to each of its retail outlets, located in different time zones with accurate shipping times. Other fashion retailers usually have a six-month time lag between completing a new design and delivery.
ZARA on the other hand can take a new design from the drawing board to the shop floor in as little as three weeks. 7 Merchandizing Strategy With full control of its production and coupled with their brand image, ZARA manages to create rapid product turnover, which in turn creates a climate of scarcity and opportunity in their retail stores. The exclusivity of its products are intended to increase consumer frequency, which corresponds to higher sales.
As a result, ZARA’s high turnover rate allows the company to sell more items at full price, which helps ZARA achieve a 15 to 20 percent of markdown merchandise cost reduction compared to traditional retailers (Craig et al, 2004). Quick Response Strategy With a unique quick response system, comprising of human resource, information technology infrastructure and customer feedback, ZARA is able to respond to the demand of its customers better than its competition.
On one hand, ZARA delegates its product development teams to attend high-fashion fairs and exhibitions to interpret latest trends of the season. On the other hand, ZARA’s store managers are responsible for reporting daily sales activity, products life cycles, and store trends to their designers. These measures along with accurate customer feedback, have provided ZARA with the tools to cater for their customers’ diverse requirements (Craig et al, 2004). Distribution Strategy ZARA’s centralized inventory management system gives them competitive advantage by minimizing the lead-times.
ZARA’s internally or externally produced goods go to their distribution center, where they are inspected and immediately shipped. In order to increase speed of delivery, the shipments are scheduled by time zones and shipped by way of air, land or sea. Typically, products will be dispatched to stores in Europe within 24 hours, in the United States within 48 hours and in Japan within 48 to 72 hours (Ferdows et al, 2002). Zero Advertising Strategy As mentioned earlier, ZARA does not have a marketing policy, instead investing in an aggressive store expansion policy.
Compared to their competitors, who have an adevertising budget in between 3 to 4% , ZARA’s advertising budget of 0. 3% ( primarly for its online and 8 catalogue venture) provides them with a degree of economies of scale on regards to their international expansion (Craig et al, 2004). They have a department in charge of acquiring global real estate in prime locations around the world, frequent refurbishing of store layouts and the creating the window displays for their global retail operations.
ZARA strategically locates themselves in exclusive territory, to provide the allure of high fashion as it is not uncommon to find ZARA next to high end designer boutiques. This also provides them with a unique vantage point to mimic their competitor’s styles, with the hope that customers will go into these boutiques, see what they like and come to ZARA and buy it for a third of the price. Its centralized control over their stores has given ZARA an image of prestige and elegance, irrespective of their price point. Strategic Issue: What should ZARA do next?
During 2009, ZARA went ahead and opened 103 stores globally and 15 stores in America. They had substantial sales growth in their European and Asian markets, however sales in there American markets decreased substantially by 0. 5%, after the expansion. From our CAGE analysis, which is listed in Appendix 6, we can see that the geographical distance coupled with the inability of their business model to adapt to the American market can be cited as the main reasons for their failure. Due to the sheer size of America the styles in different side of the country would be different.
For example:- Coats and sweaters would most likely be available in ZARA stores in New York during winter months, however, those items would not be stocked in ZARA stores in LA, since the temperatures in that part of the country remain fairly constant throughout the year. The differences in weather patterns pose another challenge to their business model especially since they do not have a factory on the continent. In order to enter new markets, ZARA launched their online sales catalogue in September 2010. Currently their online services are only available in
Europe; however, if successful it will be launched globally. However, the question remains whether or not their business model can cope with this added facility or will ZARA run it online store via a different channel. Their current business model transfers stock in batches to their own stores who then sell it to customers and therefore adapting to a model where ZARA will have to sell one of items to individuals will be a challenge. Another important concern regarding ZARA online 9 sales venture is informing people about it.
Since they do not have an advertising policy, how the general is public supposed to know about their new service. Strategic options for ZARA and Inditex By looking at their CAGE Framework and their TOWS matrix (Appendix 7), our advice to ZARA is simple: To be competitive in America: In order to compete in America, a manufacturing operation is a must. If the plant in the States is unfeasible then they could try and set up in Mexico or sub-contract their manufacturing operations to an existing plant in Mexico, like they have done in Asia.
Otherwise in order to compete in America, ZARA has to change from its current business model, to a model which caters for mass production. This seems unlikely as they will compromise their biggest critical success factor which is to delivery styles quickly. They also have to make efforts to educate people regarding their styles and designs. Marketing and Advertising will be key if they are to be successful in the States and therefore, they must revoke their “no advertising strategy”. Online Sales operations: We believe that entry into the online sales market is a positive step but, they have to be cautious.
Due to the nature online sales, it will be impractical to use their current value chain. The value should be separate from the current ZARA model as it is going to have to deal with postal returns, online refunds and sales of one of items. They also have to answer important logistical questions such as, which distribution centre will the orders be dispatched from? Once again marketing will be a key issue to address as they have to inform of their new service, therefore they will HAVE to revoke their current policy. Advice to Inditex: Inditex should keep on doing what they are in terms of expansion.
However, they could begin to penetrate existing markets where ZARA has been successful using their other brands. This allows them to capture other market segments within those markets. They can also thinking about investing more towards R&D to improve functionality of clothes. R & D requires significant investment; however, they might reap rewards in the 10 long run and help them to research further market segments in the future. For example: provide trendy scruffs with heat absorbent technologies, the item will appeal to their current segment but can also crave its way into other segments.
UNIQLO Do they challenge ZARA? UNIQLO see themselves as a direct challenger to ZARA, and their sales figures for 2009 do not disagree, as shown in Appendix 8. In the 2009 annual shareholders report and after a record year in profits, Tadashi Yanai the CEO of Fast Retailing, confidently claimed, “We can now stand as equals on the battlefield with other global retailers, such as H&M, ZARA and GAP. And, just maybe, we can even emerge victorious. ” (UNIQLO, 2009). However, they tried to do so this year and it did not go very well (refer to Appendix 9 for a Case study regarding their failure).
In short company lost 26% of their global market share and sales fell by 6. 4% in Japan, a market which is responsible for 80% of their revenue (Business Week 2010). The first question for UNIQLO is to ask themselves, is whether or not they compete in the same market. By using the generic strategy graph below we can clearly see that UNIQLO and ZARA are using two completely different strategies in the market place. This coupled with the information derived from the Customer Matrix (see Appendix 10); we do not think they are immediate competitors.
UNIQLO’s Critical Success Factors Although UNIQLO consider themselves to be direct competitors to ZARA, their critical success factors which have allowed them to achieve such monolith growth in such a short space of time, is also the reason they have so far failed to enter ZARA’s Market ( as emphasized by the UNIQLO failure case study in the appendix 9). The SPA business model Unlike ZARA, UNIQLO followed the generic strategies of the industry of high volume and low price. They have also invested millions trying to develop their brand identity.
UNIQLO 11 credits its continual growth and its ability to provide high quality, functional casual wear at competitive rates to its SPA (Specialty-store/retailer of Private-label Apparel) business model, a model which they adapted from GAP in 1997 (UNIQLO, 2009). UNIQLO business model allows them to be fully involved in all activities of the supply chain from product design, to the sourcing of material, to manufacturing operations(even though they are contracted out to external suppliers) all the way to their sales and retailing operations.
This enables UNIQLO to ensure costs are kept to a minimal and quality is maintained. Profitability can also be maximized as rents and personnel costs can be restrained. The Success of UNIQLO’s implementation of the SPA business model has prompted Fast Retailing to slowly integrate all their SBU’s acquired with this model. Appendix 11 provides an illustration of their model. Tadashi Yanai, the founder of UNIQLO, contributes the success of his company to Peter Drucker’s idea of “customer creation”, which is the idea of delivering products which creates demand (Business Week, 2010).
In order to do so the SPA model was designed to be highly customer centric, i. e. customer feedback regarding products played an integral part in new product development. ZARA’s business model on the other hand caters takes customer feedback into account only to manage inventory. Customer feedback has been instrumental in the development of their highly successful Heat Tech and Airtech clothing range, and is taken into account in all levels of company development (UNIQLO website). From the Analysis of the value chain, the most important factor in the business model is UNIQLO’s R&D department.
Unlike ZARA limited R&D budget, UNIQLO have spent a vast amount of time and resources to improve partnerships with suppliers like Toray industries, in order to create clothing which are functional. Why they cannot compete with ZARA It is understandable why UNIQLO wants to target ZARA as it seems that they want to make head ways into the women’s market, a market which is twice the size of the men’s market and they are taking various measures to do so. ( refer to UNIQLOs growth strategies in Appendix 12), such as acquiring other firms , setting up fashion lines only catered towards women and building large format stores. 2 However, the main reason they cannot compete with ZARA is because their business model cannot cater for quick style changes. Production for items starts a full year ahead of ZARA; in addition UNIQLO caters for logo less minimalist designs targeted at mostly a unisex segment. This is illustrated in a comparison table which can be found in Appendix 13. It seems that there aggressive marketing tactics have dug a huge hole into their existing market segment and whatever they try they simply just cannot get out and move into the high fashion women’s market.
UNIQLO’s Strategic options By analysing their Value chain and their TOWS matrix (see Appendix 14) we can make the following recommendations to UNIQLO: Market Segment: UNIQLO should stick to their current market segment and try and build upon it further. By looking at their Strategic group diagram in the Appendix 4, it is clear that they simply do not have the strategic stretch to compete with ZARA and maintain their dominance in their segment. If they are to challenge ZARA then we would recommend that they do it with another brand, which has a similar value chain to ZARA’s.
Their current strategy of incorporating acquired brands with their SPA business model will not work. If they insist on doing that then they should just maintain focus on their immediate competitor who is GAP. Niche market development: The R& D aspect of UNIQLO’s value chain is so unique that, the products derived from that department such as their Heattech and Airtech range of clothing can be classed as niche products. This is because the clothes incorporating technology are still rare in the market and these two lines are UNIQLO’s best selling lines.
Acknowledging them as niche market products can further open doors into different market segments. Advice to Fast Retailing: Although Fast Retailing are targeting the women’s market, with high quality women’s clothing, their decision to move production to Bangladesh suggests that they are more concerned with cutting costs rather than further helping their existing Chinese manufacturers to develop new competencies to deliver high quality. Judging by their Ansoff matrix (illustrated in the Appendix 15), this might provide them with the strategic advantage 13 f moving into India. However, if Fast Retailing wants to target ZARA, they should start from scratch and move into the high fashion women’s market with a new brand following a different business model. Conclusion Base on the analysis, both ZARA and UNIQLO should further utilize their current business model. On one hand, ZARA, with the support of the centralized distribution facility, imprints its fame of flexibility on customers’ awareness and maintain in the top position of fast fashion industry.
By expanding into new market, ZARA should carry on its business model and develop manufacturing operation within the approached market in order to preserve the valuable flexibility. UNIQLO, on the other hand, has a cost leadership advantage. UNIQLO provides a wide range of products with reasonable price. Also, with the very keen R&D department, UNIQLO is leading the market in term of functionality. It is impossible for UNIQLO to compete with ZARA by its existing business. In order to effectively expand into new market segment, it is not necessary for Fast Retailing and Inditex to develop new brands and new business models. 14 Appendices
Appendix 1: Five Forces: Threat of entry in clothing industry is low. Due to many existing retailers have realized economies of scales, established good brand images, and have access to efficient distribution channels, the entry barriers are very high. Threat of substitutes in clothing industry is very low because there are hardly any substitutes for clothing. However there are substitutes in terms of sub segments. For example, casual war or active wear can be seen as the substitutes of formal wear. The threat of substitutes among sub segments is high. Switching costs between sub segments are almost non-existent as styles are individualistic.
Bargaining power of buyer is very high. Due to the competitive nature of this industry, consumers have lots of choice in terms of brands and styles. Buyers also have abundant access to the products information, leading to an easy comparison between brands. Bargaining power of supplier is high in clothing industry. Since wool and cotton is vital part ingredient in cloth, it is difficult to find a viable substitute; therefore switching costs of raw material are high. Moreover, the prices of commodities such as cotton blends, wool etc can fluctuate depending on factors such as weather, yield of production and transportation etc.
Suppliers have a high bargaining power over those retailers. Furthermore, the bargaining power also depends on the degree of control companies have over a specific resource. For example, UNIQLO has a close partnership with Toray, which provide UNIQLO with the specialized fleece and fabric for its highly successful “AIRTECH” and “HEAT TECH” range of clothing. Since not many companies have the capability to produce such special fleece and fabric, the supplier has high degree of control during negotiations. Internal rivalry clothing industry is very high.
There are several sub segments in clothing industry such as: high fashion, formal wear, and sportswear, and the competition in very intense duo to there are a number of retailers in each segment. The large number of retailers and the seasonal nature of products have led to excess capacity in the industry. Moreover, globalization leads to market saturation as it has intensified competition between local brands and international brands. 15 Bargaining power of supplier -? Difficult to find viable substitute for wool or cotton, high switching cost of raw material -? Specific know-? how of suppliers ncreases their bargaining power Threat of entry Existing retailers have -? achieved economies of scale -? good brand image -? access to effective distribution channels Threat of substitutes -? No substitute for clothing Internal rivalry -? substitutes exist in different segment of this industry Bargaining power of buyer -? consumers have lots of choice in terms of brands and styles -? Buyers also have abundant access to the products information, an easy comparison between brands -? Large number of players in segments and seasonal nature of product lead to excess capacity -? Globalization ntensify competition, resulting in market saturation 16 Appendix 2: PESTEL: (Grant, 2010) Political: -? Export Processing Zone (EPZ) set up by governments especially in the developing countries to boost Foreign investment into the country -? Tax Benefits offered by governments in charge -? Import Quotas on tariff on Raw materials -? Relaxed Employment Laws Economic: -? Wages: Tend of be very low in developing nations -? General Shipping and handling cost: Countries which have access to ports, or road links between major markets -? Inflation & Exchange rate -? Interest rates: Firms ffering FDR investments into country usually get favourable rates of interest on borrowings (this tends to be true for Bangladesh and Vietnam. Socio-? Cultural: -? Population profile: Developing nations tend to have high degree of youth (18-? 35); therefore the available workforce is high -? Earning Profile: Due to rampant poverty in those nations, the earnings profile is very low. Technological: -? Most developing nations tend to not have access to the latest manufacturing technologies, however, that is slowly beginning to change. -? However, Infrastructure technology such as, high speed nternet, advanced high powered generators and state of the art washing plants are already available in countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh. 17 Appendix 3: Risks factors: (UNIQLO, 2009) O? Fluctuations in the cost of shipping ( Retail week, 2010) O? M&A risks: If future business acquisitions take place then it will have an adverse effect on the business O? Risk of Production: Majority of products in the industry are manufactured by contracted firms, therefore the industry as a whole is affected by any political, economic, legal changes and Environmental factors such as natural disasters.
O? Foreign exchange risks: – Transactions for the majority of the products imported for the UNIQLO business are conducted in U. S. dollars. Therefore in order to stabilize procurement costs they conclude foreign exchange contracts to lock in exchange rates for its imports three years in advance. However, if there are major movements in exchange rates that persist for prolonged periods, this could have an adverse impact on the business O? Rise in commodity prices:- Cotton 18 Appendix 4: 19 Appendix 5: 20 Appendix 6: CAGE Framework for ZARA regarding their American expansion
Economic Administrative and Political Geographic Cultural America is a huge market with a lot of opportunities if approached correctly. Due to the protective government regulations in place in America, it is difficult for foreign companies to establish themselves in the American market Logistics and co-ordination issues created by distance between U. S. and European. Which really stretched their Value chain model European countries and U. S. share different Fashion values, which ZARA failed to identify in their initial American launch 21 Appendix 7: ZARA’s TOWS Matrix
Internal Factors External Factors Opportunities Strengths Further develop their manufacturing capabilities in Spain in order to try and get better cost benefits. ZARA could venture in to new markets through franchising, a tactic they have used to enter the Arab market. Another opportunity for ZARA lies in opening a manufacturing plant or finding a suitable manufacturing plant in America where they then might be able to implement their existing business model Weaknesses ZARA’s existing IT capabilities are untested especially in the world of online sales. This is an opportunity to develop those capabilities.
Threats Although this is an opportunity for ZARA to establish a presence in this area but whether their business model is up to it is another question. How will people know about their new feature? They will have to Advertise which mean their current “no advertising policy” might be have to be changed Continuing to grow in America without understanding why they are failing in that market to begin with. 22 Appendix 8: Source: The economist, 2010 23 Appendix 9: CASES of UNIQLO failing to compete with ZARA. UNIQLO failure: A case of UK Expansion UNIQLO expanded into the U. K. in 2001, aiming for 50 stores by 2004.
They opened 21 outlets all over the country before shutting 16 in 2003 to stem losses and restructure (business week 2010). Their entry strategy was so aggressive as it seemed that they wanted to corner the market, by taking up prime location so competitors could not set up and hoping that there lower prices would steal away customers from ZARA and H&M. The reason for failure: – (The Sunday times 2003)
• • Failed multi- million pound advertising campaign failed to arouse interest Failed to offer clothes that were sufficiently distinct from rivals such as ZARA and H&M and lacked design content and quality
• Expensive real estate.
However now UNIQLO have now consolidated their position in the UK and have restructured there operations, where they currently have 15 locations, 10 in prime real estate in London and 5 in greater London (UNIQLO website) and have been very successful. Repeat of 2001: In the 2009 annual shareholders report and after a record year in profits, Tadashi Yanai, confidently claimed “We can now stand as equals on the battlefield with other global retailers, such as H&M, ZARA and GAP. And, just maybe, we can even emerge victorious. ” (2009 annual Report) 24
However, since then Fast Retailing’s shares have plunged 26 percent in 2010. Sales through August fell by 6. 4 percent in Japan where Fast Retailing and UNIQLO earn more than 80% of its revenue(business week 2010). Sales at stores which have been open more than a year fell by 25 percent in September and were continuing to slide through November. The company forecasted its first profit decline in four years for the fiscal year ending in August (business week 2010). The reason for this decline:These losses took place due to a paradigm shift in the company’s policy of low cost and functional clothing.
The company wanted to tackle competitors such as ZARA and H&M head on and started to produce high fashion items, (a strategy which they employed when they initially launched in the UK) which unfortunately did not sell very well. However, now they are reverting back to their core values which is mass producing functional clothing and use its product line to compete with ZARA via product differentiation (business week 2010). A recent survey indicated that most consumers use UNIQLO products primarily as inner wear (62 percent women and 61 percent men). They are mainly used as a mere econdary player to highlight more fashionable clothes from competitors such as ZARA. (UNIQLO Japan Review) This is an indication that UNIQLO has a long way to go before they can compete with ZARA in the high fashion stakes. 25 Appendix 10: Customer Analysis ZARA and UNIQLO have positioned themselves in different market segments. ZARA’s target market is young educated women who like and sensitive to fashion. To answer its customers’ need, ZARA has developed a business model that reacts to the recent fashion as fast as it could and become very successful.
UNIQLO, at the same time, initially dedicates on casual menswear. Recently, after a revealing from sales report, UNIQLO now try to emphasize more on women market since most of its revenue came from women garment. Nonetheless, UNIQLO does not abandon its middle market, middle aged customers who shop at the brand for its low prices. UNIQLO’s basic clothing is good examples that reflect its target market and through the quality of garments and reasonable price, it has attracted many customers and become successful as well as ZARA.
In term of perceived value and price from customers, ZARA has placed themselves in a higher position in both perceived value and price, compared to UNIQLO. ZARA brand and product is more prestige in the sense of product value and ZARA’s customers are willing to pay more in order to acquire the valuable fashion. 26 Customer Matrix 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 Perceived Price ZARA UNIQL O H&M M&S LV Perceived Use Value Primark Appendix 11: 27 Appendix 12: Detailed strategies for UNIQLO Partnership with Toray Industries Inc (Product Development Strategy) 28
UNIQLO considers its partnership with Toray Industries Inc who is Japans biggest synthetic fiber manufacturer as a definite competitive advantage. Toray supplied fabric for UNIQLO’s fleece jackets in 1998, its first major successful product, which retailed for 1900 yen each in 1998, while similar products from other manufacturers were priced 4 times higher. UNIQLO’s sales of fleece items topped 26 million units in 2000 and remain at about the same level over the last decade, according to UNIQLO.
UNIQLO also developed their highly successful HEATTECH clothing range in conjunction with Toray Industries and they plan to boost sales of their HEATTECH apparel by 40% to 70 million units by 2011 (business week 2010) Growth Strategy By adhering to their SPA model UNIQLO have been allowed achieved phenomenal growth. They have done this by
• • Tam, Expanding operations to major cities around the globe. Mergers and Acquisitions: Over the year’s fast retailing have acquired Princess Tam. Theory and COMPTOIR DES COTONNIERS, Cabin and Gov retailing. The acquisition of Gov retailing provided UNIQLO with the know how to launch UNIQLO shoes.
All the companies acquired had women as their primary market segment. (Annual report 2009)
• Diversifying into new products: In September 2009 UNIQLO launched their Brand, this was enabled by the acquisition of Gov retailing as it provided UNIQLO Shoe
• them with the expertise to enter the shoe market. Product development through R&D: UNIQLO are very keen to develop products which are not only competitively priced and deliver high quality, but also incorporate new fabrics and manufacturing techniques in order to improve efficiency and functionality of their products.
Examples include: Airtech and heat tech product ranges. Cost Reduction Strategy
• • Trimming footwear product line by a 100 shoes in order to reduce costs and increase Focusing on minimalistic clothes, which take less material to produce and reduces product focus on their best selling shoes ( annual report 2009) production time. 29
• Keeping 1000 styles less than other competitors and on the shelves longer than their Focusing on a wide range of colours rather than a wide range of styles ( business Moving production to Bangladesh in order to benefit from the countries low wage ompetition( the economist 2010) week 2010) infrastructure. Marketing Strategy (UNIQLO Japan Review) UNIQLO deserves credit for its constant stream of proactive campaigns designed to win over a large number of diverse consumer groups, both in Japan and abroad. Examples include:
• Proactive and powerful marketing campaign such as “UNIQLOck”, which is a very popular screensaver downloadable from there site. The UNIQLOck was very popular with Japanese teenagers.
• • The bilingual free magazine “UNIQLO PAPER” helped associate the brand image Retail space played a key part in brand expansion.
They have stores in only the with hip New Yorker culture expensive real estate in cities and his is a signal of intent for UNIQLO to be associated with High Fashion
• • Innovative packaging such as selling t-shirts in canisters and unique store layout Affiliate programs to encourage websites to market the UNIQLO Brand. ( UNIQLO website) Appendix 13: 30 Comparison between ZARA and UNIQLO Appendix 14: UNIQLO’s TOWS Matrix 31 Internal Factors External Factors Opportunities Further expansion in Asia. UNIQLO’s production and customer base are mainly in Asia.
They are currently further looking to reduce costs by moving Production to Bangladesh. This move opens up the Indian market for the company at the while making further expansion into China. Looking to further Develop the functionality of their clothes via their strategic partnerships with existing suppliers. Penetration in the existing market by providing more product choices. UNIQLO’s product great weakness is the limit number of style. With the current low-price apparel market being underdeveloped, UNIQLO has high opportunity to gain more market share by providing more product choices.
Secondly, it seems that Fast Retailing is looking market their acquired brands using UNIQLO as a vessel. This would over stretch their market and make it impossible to further penetrate their existing markets. Not recognizing their own strengths. One of the best qualities of UNIQLO’s product range is there functionality. With the supported R&D team, UNIQLO could be very competitive and be further differentiated in another market segment then high fashion, for example under wear They should not compete with ZARA or H&M as their value chain does not support it.
Concentrate on more immediate competitors such as GAP, If they continue to compete with high fashion women’s wear they are over stretching their capabilities and will lose focus with their current market segment. Over Expansion:-Fast Retailing should also learn from the past and test the market first without jumping head first into new markets. The initial UK launch and failure in America can be cited as examples Strengths Weaknesses Threats Appendix 15: Inditex Ansoff Matrix SBU’s 32 MARKET Existing Existing
Concentrating on penetrating existing Markets where ZARA has achieved success:- this can be done by deploying Inditex’s other brands such as PULL & BEAR, BEREKSHA and MASSUMI DUTTI in order to capture other segments Going into the online market place, a step that they have already done with ZARA but if successful include their other brands with the same online model New Invest in an R&D to improve clothes functionality. They can apply new techniques they acquire to boost the quality of their existing lines. New
Go into new markets using other distribution channels such as franchising FAST RETAILING’S Ansoff Matrix SBU’s MARKET Existing Existing Continue development on their HEATTECH and AIRTECH range of clothing Fast retailing can use UNIQLO to expand into new markets. Moving production to Bangladesh, gives UNIQLO the scope to move into India, which can potentially be a very big market New Further develop their existing market by getting into new product line. UNIQLO recently launched UNIQLO shoes. Acquiring or developing a new brand to target the women’s market.
In order to be successful, the brand must follow a different value chain. New References: Craig, A. & Jones, C. & Nieto, M (2004) ZARA: Fashion Follower, Industry Leader [Online], available at: < http://www. philau. edu/sba/news/ZARAreport. pdf> [18 Dec 2010] 33 Cosciato, P. (2010) Fashion worth more than $30 billion to UK economy[Online], available at: < http://www. reuters. com/article/idUSTRE68F3UX20100916> [18 Dec 2010] Fashion Auction, (2010) ZARA Clothing [Online] available at: [18 Dec 2010]
Fujimura, N. & Ozasa, S. (2010) UNIQLO Billionaire Yanai Revisits Drucker to End Slump [Online], available at :< http://www. businessweek. com/news/2010-12-06/UNIQLObillionaire-yanai-revisits-drucker-to-end-slump. html> [18 Dec 2010] Ferdows, K. & Machuca, J. AD. & Lewis, M. (2003). ZARA. The European Case Clearing House. Case 603-002-1. Ghemawat, P. & Nueno, J. L. (2003) ZARA: Fast Fashion [Online] available at :< http://mbanerds. com/index. php? title=ZARA%3A_Fast_Fashion > [18 Dec 2010]