Versace underwear is the ultimate in hip and stylish underwear that is only made for men. Versace men’s collection makes every man and woman understand what underwear mean and what it can do for them in terms of design and comfort. They also boast a fashionable look and subtle designer branding which have led to an increase in sales and profits for the company. Since the Versace has underwear for men, Versace underwear for women would increase the company sales and competitive advantage. Versace has a wide range of products and it has the best designs and the best aura, however it is lacking in the women underwear section. Most people usually have a sparkle in their eyes when they see something created by Versace and they have self-confidence in anything made by Versace. This means that Versace underwear for women would be a success.
The United Kingdom underwear market has been growing considerably. The lingerie market has blossomed from a commodity into a fashion market segment with higher margins than other forms of clothing. In 2006, the total UK lingerie market which includes lingerie, corsetry and hosiery was worth £2.48bn at retail selling prices (Key Note Publications Limited, 2007) Currently younger women are seeking value and style whereas older women are seeking value and comfort. The industry is growing in the mid to high single digits every year and the growth is increasing. This shows that the demand for women underwear is on the rise and Versace would benefit from a collection of women underwear.
Women have diverse attitudes towards the importance of undergarments in their lives. This is evidenced by their diverse personalities, which are evidenced by the type of underwear that they wear. For instance, a low involvement segment just purchases adequate underwear to get them through the week. Underwear is just a functional requirement, and they really do not care if it is all black or white, as long as they have a clean pair of panties to wear. On the other hand, there is another section that cares more about the type, design, comfort, and brand and considers all these aspects before buying underwear. Design, comfort, style, and brand are thus very important factors. A survey by Cotton Incorporated’s Retail Monitor™ revealed the factors that consumer consider important while buying underwear are comfort (96% of respondents), fit(96%), quality (90%), softness (89%), durability (88%), price (85%), style(79%), Stretch (77%), color (61%), performance features (55%), and brand (52%). This shows that in the women underwear market, different women have different needs and thus there is need to incorporate all these aspects (comfort, fit, quality, softness, durability, price, style, stretch, color, performance features and brand) when designing Versace underwear for women. This will ensure that the specialty store caters for all the above underwear needs and this will in turn boost sales and revenues in return.
The other important point to note is that women mostly buy their underwear from retail stores. Cotton Incorporated’s Retail Monitor™ survey (2010) revealed that 59% of consumers buy underwear from mass merchants, 18% buy from chain stores, 13% from specialty stores, and 9% from department stores. This indicated that most consumers buy their underwear from mass merchants and they are more concerned about value. There is need to note such aspects when opening a specialty Versace underwear store for women.
Internal Analysis of Versace
Versace is an Italian company established in 1978 by Gianni Versace. After Gianni’s death in 1997, Donatella Versace became the vice president and then became the creative director. Versace does business in 60 countries and owns more than 200 boutiques. Currently, it is one of the world’s recognized international fashion houses. Versace devises markets and distributes magnificent accessories, clothes, home furnishings as well as make up under the numerous Versace company brands. Versace underwear for men falls under the clothing section. The company employs numerous stylists and designers who work in teams in the Versace style department to ensure quality standards and consistency. This ensures that the quality of the company products does not diminish and it ensures reliable workmanship.
There are several lines that make up Versace; Versace Jeans Couture, Versace Couture, Versace Collection, Versace Home Collection , Versace Sports, and Atelier Versace. Versace is unique among many fashion houses because it frequently uses celebrity faces for its advertisements. In the past, Versace used celebrities like Madonna, Ashton Culture, Britney Spears, Ian Somerhalder, Christian Aguilera, and Demi Moore among others. Versace also uses famous models to front its campaigns. This marketing strategy brings about immediate results. Using celebrities gains Versace more exposure; creates a feeling of trust around the products amongst certain demographics and creates a more powerful memory association with Versace clothing and accessories. The endorsement by celebrities ensures that people notice the company products; celebrities lend their voices and a larger audience listens.
The other noticeable thing is that Versace clothing’s have fashionable look and subtler designer branding. The men underwear comes under different categories such as Versace Microfibre, Seamless, Jersey Stretch, Sport, and Key Collection to suit men diverse needs in underwear (Versace n.d). These diverse categories ensure that the company caters for the diverse needs of a large population since the company has branches in 60 countries and in its many boutiques.
Versace ensures high quality in its products. The boxers and boxer briefs are usually made with the finest materials to allow the both to breath and keep warm when cold. The underwear comes in different sizes, design, and comfort. The men’s underwear are so diverse that a consumer can find something for each occasion such as swimming, wedding and dates among other occasions. All these aspects make Versace to be very competitive in its industry. Establishing Versace underwear for women will increase the company competitive advantage among the giants in the industry.
Versace organizational structure serves the needs of the consumers and the organization in that it offers the consumer a wide range of products whereas the organization benefits from its high market position, which comes about from increased sales and revenues.
Buying and Merchandising Functions
One of the most complex processes in the retail business is the buying process. To run successful stores, Versace usually necessitate the input of all the people who work for the company. This entails employees noting what consumers ask for when they call, where the company loses sales because they do not have the merchandise in stock and finding out what Versace could sell more if it had more of it. Versace buying offices are open plan with the buying and merchandising plans closely located.
Product departments with a dedicated buying and merchandising team working on specific product areas structure these functions. The buying competencies will be based on personal characteristics, fashion awareness, commercial awareness, planning, and action. The personal characteristics will be commercial with creative flair, multi tasking flexibility, retentive memory, energetic, mental agility, tough but fair, creative, people/action oriented, self-motivated consistent temperament and positive approach to problems/ criticism.
When it comes to fashion awareness, it entails understanding changing customer requirements, anticipating future looks, interpreting relevant future looks in new ranges, developing coordination opportunities in new ranges, improving perceived garment quality and anticipating and planning for gaps in ranges. Commercial awareness entails accurately judging costs and selling prices on seeing garments, predicting sales potential of products, understanding the diverse contributions to sale targets of mark down and repeat lines, actively seeking and developing new suppliers, coordinating buying with other garment departments where appropriate, understanding target customers buying behavior and understanding and evaluating data in the wider market context.
Planning entails tracking and knowing the status of all orders for a season through an important path, understanding the needs to prioritize the critical path according to stock needs, having contingency plans in place, managing time of self and team through effectively sharing and prioritizing work and preparing thoroughly for negotiations, meetings and presentations. Action entails accepting accountability for personal and team’s actions and decisions, picking up bargain-buying potential for the products that are out of season and ensuring commercial balance of new fashion and important best-selling lines, reacting to poor sales while reducing price reductions, and staying calm and offering direction for others in crisis. These buying competencies are matched with merchandising competencies such as personal characteristics, awareness, commercial awareness, planning, and action. The personal characteristics include being logical and rational, IT-oriented, multi-tasking flexibility, analytical, numerate, retentive memory, assertive and detail conscious.
Awareness will capture data awareness and commercial awareness. Planning will entail collecting all important information to contribute to range-planning, developing a commercially balanced plan with the buyer, monitoring sales performance against stock levels, developing and maintaining efficient administrative systems for self and team and managing self and team by prioritizing work load efficiently. Merchandising actions will entail combining analysis of information with experience in risk management, adjusting forward stock commitment according to sales performance, timing new deliveries, and repeat orders to optimize sales profits and opportunities and negotiating appropriate discounts in response to incorrect or late deliveries. Buying and merchandising will be at the core of the fashion brand and the two roles will complement one another to create a balanced and relevant product offer.
Supply Base of the Existing Brand
The existing supply chain serves the needs and buying strategy of the proposed diffusion brand and more importantly the need of the consumer. However, there is need to diversify the products in order to cater for both men and women.
Victoria secret is country’s favorite shopping outlet for women underwear. It has dominated the world of women intimate apparel for the past several years and it capitalizes on sexy aspect in an image unlike any other specialty store. Originally, the store was meant to create comfort and convenience for both men and women. Victoria Secret dominates the global women underwear market and Versace underwear for women would be enough competition. Most people believe that Versace makes apparel that is of high quality and women buy even men Versace briefs and boxers because they are made of the finest materials. Creating Versace underwear for women would create competition for Victoria Secret because Versace is an already famous men underwear brand and this means that most women would seek to try the new underwear for women. On the other hand, the women (consumers) would be afforded a wide range of underwear that matches their diverse needs.
The first Versace underwear for women store will be opened in Broad wick Street London. Other branches will be opened in London before considering opening branches in other countries across the globe.
Many people from United Kingdom order through Victoria secret online website and the delivery is usually done in a few weeks time. Establishing a Versace store for women’s underwear will ensure that the products can be quickly accessed. The store will face competition from Victoria Secret open pop up store in Westfield shop. The bras and underwear will be made from cotton and silk and the retail price for underwear will be 60-90£ and 70-180£ for the bras.
The global distribution strategies for taking the product forward to both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer from a multichannel retailing perspective are specialty channels as well as independent retailers. These distribution channels will be an effective tool in increasing profits, reducing risks, and building Versace brands. The company will replace the products with the existing retailers such as department stores or specialty stores. This will ensure that the underwear is distributed to those who sell directly to the consumers. The company will market the underwear through its own stores in the entire world, which will allow it to control product quality and pricing and will prevent fake products from entering in the channels of distribution. Both consumers and businesses will buy the women underwear from Versace specialty stores and department stores. The Versace under wear for women will thus be sold through luxurious franchised or company owned Versace department and specialty stores and boutiques. Every shop will be strategically located in primary commercial avenues in major towns around the world.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility will necessitate Versace to assume voluntarily responsibility across the entire supply chain, for the economic, ecological, and social consequences of the company activities. The company will have to report on the consequences and constructively engagements with stakeholders; these are groups affected or have an interest in the company activities from the retail staff to the garment workers. These initiatives will take various forms such as offering the customers recyclable carrier bags and fundraising for local charities events. Versace also has to ensure that the national as well as the international conventions that affect the garment workers are respected throughout the supply chain. The company will have to improve the working conditions in the supply chains by carrying out social audits to make sure that the suppliers act in accordance with the company code of conduct, which outlines the standards expected from suppliers in relation to the working conditions. CSR efforts will have an overall impact on the buying and merchandising function because they will have a positive impact on the evaluation of the company and the purchase intentions of the customers.
Visual Merchandising Function
This function will put in place fascinating tools of display, which will help transform the shoppers into stoppers, walk-bys into walk-ins and passers-by into passers-who-buy. It will be one of the final stages in the process of establishing retail stores, which customers would then find attractive and appealing (Ha & Lennon 2010). The presentation of the stores will follow and reflect the principles that underpin Versace store image. VM is the manner in which the women underwear will be displayed to make a sale. Visual merchandising will drive competitive advantage for the Versace women underwear since it will inject life into the store and dramatize the retail brand and the merchandised offered. Ebster & Garaus (2011, p. 77) defined it as the “language of a store.” Visual merchandising will enable Versace Women underwear to stand out and presented as appealing, clear, and dominant as possible so consumers will want to buy them. It will tempt consumers to buy and this will increase the competitive advantage of Versace.
The Versace underwear for women brand will adopt colours such as pink, yellow, black, gold, and light green. The style and the theme will be a mix of funky sex and posh glamour. Pink and black will be the most dominant color.
The brand will be known for its racy window displays in the department and specialty stores. The passion will be evident in absolutely everything that the company does. It will not just be another women underwear brand; it will be a fashion forward product. The stores will carry exclusive women underwear, which will be of different designs, colors, styles, and materials to cater for women of all ages and classes. The stores will be simple and concise to keep the focus on the product. Effective lighting and clean lines will make the store inviting, approachable, and unforgettable. The specialty and department stores will focus on quality visual assets such as window display, in-store decoration, and interior.
The company will have a full glass window as evident in the picture above. The stores inside will be dominated by dark colors. The window display will have four mannequins with a focus on one of them. The window displays will be changed after a few hours in a creative and stylish manner. The displays will be created using contrast of colors pink, black, gold and light green which are colors of Versace Underwear for women brand image.
No heavy props will be used inside but the window displays will not be simple so that ample attention will be paid on detains. The display will be made in a specific extraordinary style. The luxury of the black really complements the softness and feminity of the pink color and the plastic mannequins, conveying the brand image as well. Customers’ eyes will be drawn immediately to the displays situated next to the escalator because of the heavy use of light green in a fairly neutral and pink dominated lingerie section. However, when their attention is caught it will be the underwear that will gain their focus because the frame as well as heavy spotlight will draw their eyes in.
In Store Design
The design team will also focus carefully on the fitting area and dressing rooms. It will have soft furnishings, original artwork, attractive pendant lights as well as a big lighted up mirror behind it. There will also be an upholstered wardrobe board to offer the setting for staging underwear. This will allow for a very outstanding staging and make the dressing rooms look more personal. A blend of incandescent as well as fluorescent lighting will also be selected very cautiously with illumination anticipated towards the customers and not down on her to yield much flattering reflection.
The floor of the store will be wooden, in divergent shades. Furnishings all through will mirror a fresh feminity suitable to the brand. A core group of fixtures will be developed and then intoned with found items. For instance, the metal fittings will have blown-glass finials. There will be rock gem beads hanging from the adornment lights. Mirrors will make the floor look bigger. This will make the difference and advantage among competitors as almost all of them have simple designs, which are not well suited for women underwear stores.
The in store expereince is very critical for fashion brands, especially when it comes to women underwear. Just when the customers visit the Versace store for women underwear, they willl have a good experience with the interior; the music and smell will assist them to feel the special atmosphere and make new unsual expereinces. To assist the customers make the expereince, Claire Burke® home fragrance products will be used to delight the senses and speak to the customer sense of style. When it comes to music, slow music will be set at a tempo that relaxes customers and slows their sense of time. The music will be wordless to avoid making the customers think, instead just setting the tempo of shopping in the stores. The lingerie classics will catch the customers’ attention once they enter the store; the hot pink and red classics Versace lingerie set and corsets. In the middle of the store, there will be a glance cash desk on the background of black mirror niche with bright chairs and three lingerie sets. There will be a section of the main collection, including only the different types of lingerie on the left side. On the right side, there will be a beautiful range of all the other kinds of underwear. The store will cover one floor and Caulder Moore will design it. The design agency will be briefed to come up with a distinctive design that creates an emotional connection with the retail customers. The designer will allow or season flexibility and will ensure translation into diverse international locations.
The current HR strategy that Versace follows contributes to the success of both the merchandising and the buying strategies. The product development teams are responsible for attending high fashion exhibitions and fairs and this translates to the current latest trends of the season in the company designs. They also track customer preferences by traveling to different places like universities and clubs. Versace sales associates and managers are responsible for transmitting the product life cycles, sales analysis, and store trends to the designers. This enables the designers to come up with products within the season that meet the consumers demand. The IT software specialists enable acceleration of communication between the management and employees.
Versace has a strong obligation to equal employment opportunity when it comes to hiring personnel and believes in treating personnel with dignity as well as offering them equal employment and progression opportunities. Performance measurements normally have a bearing on creativity; that is designing unique products, which boost the company sales. The workers are motivated by high bonuses and training motivating them to believe that they can achieve things, they want from the jobs.
All these HR strategies contribute to the success of both the merchandising and the buying strategies in that they assist the company and customers to acquire quality merchandize and to train the personnel in buying and merchandising methods. They also create competitive advantage because the workers are motivated to design quality products and to work hard to acquire high salary packages.
All these strategies will be applied in the new stores to ensure that human resources contribute to the success of both the merchandising and the buying strategies.