Esprit: United States and New Branding Strategy

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In September last year, fashion retailer Esprit revealed a bold turnaround strategy. Among its plans are the shuttering of its North American stores while also seeking a license partner in the region, a new branding strategy, a new sourcing strategy, a hybrid store/franchise model in China, and a new wholesale strategy. North America and store closuresWhen Esprit announced its revitalization plans last year, the most attention-grabbing element was its decision to exit its North American retail operations. Esprit now says it will wind-down the business by 31 March, after deciding not to sell it. However, the company is not giving up on North America entirely, revealing that it is looking to work with a license partner there. "Given that the focus of our transformation process is to re-establish the Esprit brand as a leading, inspiring fashion brand, we were not willing to jeopardize our efforts by a potential different brand execution in North America. "Hence, we believe that pursuing the option to close down the operations in North America and develop the licensing business with one or more competent license partners will serve the best interests of the group." The store closures announced in September also remain on-track, with over 50% of the 80 stores slated for closure now shuttered or in final negotiations. New branding strategy succeed in turning Esprit into an inspiring and fashionable brand Sourcing strategyEsprit also revealed a new sourcing strategy, opening a never-out-of-stock service centre to optimize availability and inventory. It is also setting up new sourcing offices in Indonesia and India, to "Realize further potential". The offices will open in the second and fourth quarters respectively. ChinaIn order to deal with the huge market size and demographic differences among provinces in China, Esprit plans to work with national and regional franchise partners to accelerate its expansion in the country. It aims to open around 40 stores in the...
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