Harrington Collections is a high end apparel company that specializes in woman’s clothing. Harrington takes pride in having “top in-house design staff, extensive national advertising campaigns, and its exceptional quality and styling” (Becham & Tedlow, 2008). The company chooses not to sacrifice excellence for lower costs, differentiating Harrington’s in the clothing industry. Harrington focuses on two main segments, the first being manufacturing group which brings in 50.3% of the company’s profits. The remaining 49.7% of income is attributed toward the retail group. The manufacturing group deals with design and development of products that are then sold to stores, both company owned and speciality stores. The retail group consists of 120 stores that included Harrington’s Limited, Vigor and Christian Cole merchandises. These merchandises are sold in stores and to upscale department outlets. Harrington’s currently attributes its products to professional, fashionable and educated woman. They target ages 25-60 the most relevant age group to these qualities. Each manufacturing division was broken off into their own specialized division of either “sophisticated elegance’, “status seeker” or “trend setter”. Harrington’s is currently considering broadening their spectrum with introducing a new active line of clothing. The demand for casual comfortable clothes has been increasing at an intriguing rate. The large generation of the baby boomer population is reaching a new phase in life that requires different clothing needs. Issue
Many concerns arise from the clothing industry that generally stem from the apparel markets mature state and its exceptionally competitive nature. The main issue apparent with Harrington’s Collection is how they can remain competitive in the changing market without compromising their sought out brand quality. The maturity of the clothing market makes growth rates limited and lack of innovation difficult to remain successful. Companies have to find strategic ways to cut costs to increase profit margins. Many competitors utilize cost cutting methods such as outsourcing production to achieve targets. This has been a consideration for Harrington’s but conflicts with the vision of the company’s exceptional quality. The markets in the apparel industry have also changed throughout Harrington’s existence. For instance “consumers have become very price-sensitive, and over half of all apparel purchases were sold “on sale” (Becham & Tedlow, 2008). This is concern for Harrington’s upscale high-end product segment. Harrington’s collections specific target toward professionals aged 25-60 does not give them very much leverage considering three out of their four divisions hold less than 10% of the market share. Another arising concern is the increased use of outsourcing within the apparel markets. Currently a large portion of competitors are using cheaper outsourcing costs as a means for increasing profit margins. Harrington’s does have production plants in Mexico but is hesitating on furthering use of lower cost labour because of concerns of time and quality. The hesitance in outsourcing could limit growth and in time could be faced with even higher production costs. This also puts limits on the production of new product line in less expensive categories such as the active wear section they are considering.
Harrington’s has been in operations since 1960 and acquired Vigor and Christian Cole two top brands which have only complemented to the companies successes. The company has established itself in the marketplace and has compelling strengths and opportunities but also carries weaknesses and threats. It’s important to look at these factors to consider how much resistance Harrington’s has in the market. Strengths
Harrington has put significant detail into its market segment making their customers satisfied and loyal. Harrington’s ability to consider the consumer market...
Citations: Tedlow, R. S., & Becham, H. (2008, September 26). Harrington Collection: Sizing Up the Active-Wear Market. In Harvard Business School. Retrieved March 1, 2013
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