Harrington Collection

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1-What is your evaluation of the women’s apparel industry and Harrington’s market position? How has the average price of women’s apparel changed? What is your analysis of Harrington’s financial performance?

-The women’s apparel industry market is mature (avg. growth from 2006 to 2007 was only 4.2%) - Economic downturn beginning in the early 2000s significantly impacted the industry. -Imports dominated the U.S. women’s apparel market, accounting for 82% of total industry sales in 2005 (resulting from the elimination of global import quotas on textiles from China in 2004) -Due to the relative ease of outsourcing production, barriers to entry in this industry were rather low. -Consumers became very price-sensitive, and over half of all apparel purchased was sold “on sale”. This trend toward less expensive, casual clothing and the rising supply of low-cost, imported apparel intensified price pressure. -

2-How well does active-wear fit with consumer needs? What purchase criteria are important for buyers of active-wear? What, if any, evidence is there to support the hypothesis that active-wear will be attractive to an upscale target demographic?

-Very well, Subset of loyal customers no longer desired the tailored, professional look. Now interested in something fresh and comfortable that fits their active lifestyles -The aging baby boomer population wants clothing that does not make them feel old -Important purchase criteria: 10% of customers purchasing apparel in the $100-$200 price range would buy if it consisted of superior styling, fabric, and fit. -Reports from department stores showed the stylish active-wear inventory sold extremely quickly (almost twice the rate of current Harrington Collection apparel). Markdowns for the new stylish active wear were not as extreme as other product lines.

3-How does active-wear fit with the Vigor division (e.g., target customer, advertising and sales strategy, production capabilities)? What possible impact...
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