A concept store is a small shop that specializes in selling items which are elite and fashionable. The products offered at these stores target a particular group of people; the products sold do not usually target general groups of people. It targets to appeal people who have an interest in high fashion. The items sold are mainly clothing and items that designers with popular brands offer. The fashion industry derived the term concept store from the French word ‘shop’ and it has it since the 1960’s. During this time, London was the central place where most of the shopping trade took place. It was only until the 1990’ s that the shops developed the concept of targeting only a specific group of people and this concept has been ongoing up to date (Murray, 2012).
Positioning and Market Relevance of the Concept Stores
I.What is the target market?
Target market refers to the group of people that the company is interested in meeting their needs through their merchandise or the services they are providing. Concept stores provide goods and services with an aim of satisfying the needs of the identified group for consumer satisfaction (Ward 2012).
II.Importance of the Targeting Theory
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Having a target groups helps in identifying then needs of consumers and, therefore, addressing them. It makes conceptualizing the idea of the market mix achievable. This aids in the promotion of the product, pricing it and it defines where it should be distributed. This is a cost effective strategy with the aim of minimizing operational costs. This also helps in defining the market and their needs which is crucial in goal setting for any small business (Ward, 2012).
III.What do concept stores target in General?
The concept stores target a particular group of people in the society who have an interest in high and urban fashion. These people value class and have a high sense of fashion with respect designs related to top designers. The stores are specific and, therefore, based on a particular product that attracts the target group. There is less generalizing, and products and services are specifically designed to only target a group of interest.
IV.What is positioning?
Positioning is a strategy that businesses employ to create a unique position of selling. The business creates an identity in the minds of the consumers such that the mention of certain words makes the consumer relate it to a specific brand or product. For example, the mention of Victoria Secret, top designers triggers a person to picture her models in characteristic dresses that make them look like angels while gracing the runway with her elegant lingerie. She is the largest retailer of lingerie in America, and her brand is popular because of this positioning (Hitesh, 2011).
V.Importance of Positioning
Positioning helps the business to be more established in a given area and get the vote of the majority. It makes the business have an identity and in turn attracts more consumers and investors. This strategy also helps the business to identify a suitable location where the business will establish more outlets as results of its popularity (Hitesh 2011).
How Can a Fashion Company Position Itself?
A fashion company is able to position itself through strategic marketing and promotion of their products and services. They have to create identities that are unique and only be relate to them. Concept stores should carefully think about their identity before implementation to ensure that they are unique and can to stick in the minds of the people (Hitesh 2011).
VII.Perpetual Map Positioning of Concept Stores
It is a diagrammatic assessment that marketers employ to display the customer’s perceptions visually. It is useful in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of competing brands in the same business. Competitive advantages of the brand can also be established. Concept stores can use this concept to access any form of competition that they have (Daye & VanAuken, 2009).
VIII.How does Positioning Effect Market Activities?
Positioning facilitates the distribution of the product and services since it makes it popular to consumers and thus makes the brand popular. It affects the distribution and prices of the product. They help the business to identify the shift points as the market matures. This helps the marketers to develop strategies with an aim of keeping up with the competition (Daye & VanAuken, 2009).
Relevance of Concept Stores in the Fashion System
Concept stores are important in the fashion systems. The concept stores offer an opportunity for consumers to be able to purchase goods and services they need. Concept store makes goods and services available to the people, and this enhances the fashion systems. It gives opportunities to the designers to continue with their work and develop more expertise. The fashion system uses concept stores to enhance their validity in a very special way.
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening" (Lapinska, 2011). Coco Chanel, a famous designer, used this statement to describe a concept store. According to Chanel, concept stores provide an avenue for designers to grow and develop their skills not only in clothing,, but also experience an emotional and sensory attachment. This is the essence of the store and thus oversees the growth of the fashion systems (Lapinska, 2011).
The sentimental attachment that people experience at the stores makes the consumers visit the shops more frequently and appreciate the services that they offer. Sentimental attachment allows consumers to feel more connected to their designers than other sellers. This makes the fashion system develop and come up with better ways to attract consumers to make them more attached to the items at the shop which promotes growth in the systems (Lapinska, 2011).
Concept stores attract only a specific group of people. This means that they have regular clients who always visit the stores. These clients are fashion conscious and will always derive their satisfaction from these stores. The attachment that comes with fashion in inspired to clients and they are the key players to the growth of the fashion system. The stores may offer a variety of items that are dynamic and are always subject to change. Fashion aims at beating monotony. The constant change in innovations builds the fashion system making it stronger and more creative. The concept stores are an avenue that promotes this aspect (Rocerato, 2007).
The concept store is an avenue that that many fashion retailers use as a source of income. This provides income for the producers and to the owners of the store hence; enhancing the fashion systems. The concept stores circulate money in the fashion system and the entire economy. The people employed at the stores also get their income from the stores. This makes the fashion industry experience rapid growth (Lapinska, 2011).
Concept stores complete the whole system of the cycle fashion systems. They play an intermediate role in the growth of the system that the support of the designers enhances. They make goods available to the people thus giving room for more innovations in the fashion industry than other areas. Their role in the fashion system cannot be underestimated.
Importance of Good Interpersonal Relationships within a concept Store Environment
Interpersonal relationships refer to social associations, interactions or affiliations between two or more people. Different levels of intimacy affect social associations and vary among people hence; there has to be a common ground that binds the people together for them to develop a level of this relationship. A business set up such as the concept stores demands a more professional relationship than other businesses. This enhances the relationship between the employee and the employer. A good relationship among the staff translates to the general relationship to customers (Kang & Kim, 2010).
Good interpersonal relationships enhance the ease at which the store performs its activities. Communication is vital for the thriving of any business environment. Communication breakdown disrupts the flow of activities in the work environment. Communication gives the workers an opportunity to learn the behavior of their fellow workmates and thus be able to relate with them well. Poor personal relationships slow down the activities at the concept stores and may cause the business to incur losses (Kang & Kim, 2010).
Good interpersonal relationships enhance the communication among workers in the concept stores thus creating mutual understanding among the workers. This minimizes the occurrence of conflict, and they are able to resolve any conflict that will possibly occur in the organization. The workers are able to relate well and solve any problems that they have with each other. Failure of settling any disagreement results to lack of coordination in activities that take place in the work environment thus affecting the running of the entire organization.
Aids in Decision Making
Where there is harmony, there is mutual understand, and people are able to discuss matters and come up with solutions that are viable. Lack of coordination affects the decision making process. Poor interpersonal relation may not facilitate a solution to problems because a concept store that does not create an environment that has decision making ability threatens the thriving of the business (Kang & Kim 2010).
Enhances Customer Relations
A good working environment creates a friendly atmosphere. Businesses should treat customers with uttermost respect to ensure that they will always come back. Poor interpersonal relationships in the concept stores tend to affect the customer relations due to poor coordination among the employees. Relationships must be good to enhance consumer relations and boost the business.
A healthy work environment that is peaceful and has employees with good interrelationship skills facilitates the activities in the work place. The organization achieves its goals, and the culture upheld. It is important to enhance a work environment which is friendly and inviting. This facilitates business in the concept stores and helps to achieve production (Kang & Kim, 2010).
Effective Communication Strategies
Communication is a key element in the functioning of any organization. It enhances the ease at which concept stores handles its information and activities. Effective communication is fundamental for the success of any organization. There are several ways to enhance communication in any organization.
Effective communication calls for a person to have good listening skills. A good communicator in a concept store should be able to listen to the complaints of customers and be able to attend to their needs. They should not ignore them as minor customer complaints. This makes them able to solve any problems in the business and, therefore, maintain the loyalty of the customers.
Address customers using their names
An effective communicator is keen to listen to the people and will often address common clients using their names or the titles which they have. The communicator should be able to ask the clients their names if they have not gotten it clearly. This makes the customer to develop a closer relationship with the people working in the store and help to progresses the business (Sias & Cahill, 1998).
Be brief and precise
Unnecessary words make a person lose concentration and may make them miss the main point. A good communicator at the store should aim at relying the information needed in the best way; brief, precise and straight to the point. Meaningless words and unnecessary details should be avoided by all means. Necessary questions are to be asked and the answers given. Relying of important information only is necessary (Sias & Cahill, 1998).
Allow others to talk
A loud talker is not normally appreciated by most people. A good communicator gives a chance to other people to talk so that they may also express their own ideas. This makes the conversation more interesting, and the audience may be able to listen and relate more. A person working in a concept store should be able to do this effectively.
Create a friendly Environment
The environment at the concept center should be friendly and attractive. Clients relate more in such an environment, and they are able to speak their views and express what they feel. This is also important for the general working environment. The workers should be able to relate well with each other to minimize the occurrence of any conflict (Sias & Cahill, 1998).
The concept stores have been in existence since 1960’s and have been active ever since. They provide grounds where designers can showcase their products and market them. The stores have to use elements of the market mix to perform marketing. There are various elements that have to be considered have to be considered ensuring that there is considerable work relations among the workers at the concept stores. A conducive working environment should be created coupled with effective communication skills to enhance relations at the stores and with customers. The concept stores are an excellent source of employment to people who are associated with the fashion systems thus making their existence economically beneficial.
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