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Textile Outlook International
Issue 142:
November 2009

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Reports in this issue
Editorial: Instability and Social Unrest Could Undermine Growth in Garment Sourcing from Low Cost Asian Countries (4 pages)
World textile and apparel trade and production trends: the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, November 2009 (32 pages)
Survey of the European Yarn Fairs for Autumn/Winter 2010/11 (11 pages)
Prospects for the Textile and Garment Industry in Pakistan (48 pages)
World Markets for Textile Machinery: Part 3--Knitted Fabric Manufacture (29 pages)
Strategies of Online Clothing Retailers: Gap, Asos, Yoox, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Future Bazaar and Bivolino

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Strategies of Online Clothing Retailers: Gap, Asos, Yoox, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Future Bazaar and Bivolino

published in Issue 142, November 2009  

Online clothing retailing is a well established sales channel in most developed countries. In 2008 clothing was the fastest growing category of products to be sold online in the UK and the USA. And in China and France it was the largest category in terms of value.

Online retailing offers distinct benefits for shoppers and retailers. From the point of view of the shopper, comparisons of products can be made quickly and easily from the privacy of the shopper’s own home. At the same time, retailers can offer a broader range of products than they are able to do in physical stores. Also, the cost of running an online store is only a fraction of the cost of running a physical shop—especially in terms of rent, rates and staffing. In addition, online shopping provides companies with the opportunity to expand into new markets without needing to invest in physical retail sites.

There are, however, a number of challenges for online clothing retailers to overcome—including the fact that customer loyalty is notoriously hard to retain. Also, online selling results in a much higher level of returns than retailing via physical stores—which is largely due to the fact that online shoppers can not try on the clothing before buying.

Broadly speaking, the strategies of online retailers can be grouped into two categories: multi-channel retailing and online-only retailing. Multi-channel retailing is the most common strategy among large clothing retailers. It allows a firm to use its website as a marketing tool, and enables customers to browse items before trying them on in a physical store. Examples of multi-channel retailers include USA-based Gap, the UK’s Marks and Spencer (M&S) and India-based Future Bazaar—owned by Future Group, the proprietor of Pantaloon Retail.

Online-only retailing involves selling branded clothing exclusively via the Internet. Examples of online-only retailers include UK-based Asos, and Italy-based Yoox. Online-only retailers are characterised by the fact that they offer vast ranges of products—because they are not limited by physical shelf space.

In addition to these strategies, a number of clothing companies have made a foray into online retailing by forming strategic partnerships with established e-commerce companies, such as Bivolino, in order to minimise risk.

Table of Contents
Strategies of Online Clothing Retailers: Gap, Asos, Yoox, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Future Bazaar and Bivolino
  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Selected Strategies of Online Clothing Retailers
  • Outlook
  • Gap
  • Asos
  • Yoox
  • Future Bazaar
  • Bivolino

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Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of intelligence, expert analysis and insight on the global textile and clothing industry.
What's in it?

Each issue provides an authoritative source of information on key industry topics, including: circularity; cotton; environmental sustainability; fibre prices; innovation; production and consumption forecasts; imports and exports; industry giants and emerging brands; international trade fairs; key geographical markets; recommerce; retail; supply chains; textile and clothing trade; textile machinery; trade and production trends; world markets; and yarn and fabric manufacturing.

A single issue of Textile Outlook International includes:

    an editorial think-piece on a topical issue from an industry expert

    a report on textile and apparel trade and production trends

    a round-up of the latest international trade fairs

    a feature on textile and clothing imports and exports or fibre prices, production and consumption

    a report on a key geographical market

    insight and analysis of a key market leader or fast-growing start-up

An annual subscription to Textile Outlook International is a cost-effective way to keep informed about trends and developments in the global textile and clothing industry.

Subscriptions are available in printed and/or digital formats. Printed and digital subscribers receive each issue in printed format in addition to a digital PDF file, which is available immediately on publication.

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