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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Alessandro Brun, Cecilia Castelli and Hakan Karaosman

Globalization and advanced manufacturing capabilities changed industrial dynamics. To this end, not only were new retail concepts developed to broaden the distribution…

Abstract

Purpose

Globalization and advanced manufacturing capabilities changed industrial dynamics. To this end, not only were new retail concepts developed to broaden the distribution toward larger consumer bases, but alternative ways were also sought to reorganize supply networks for a balance between local and global production. Yet, the choice of supply network configurations must be coherent with a fashion companies’ critical success factors. Hence, it is pivotal to understand how such large brand portfolios and global supply networks could be effectively managed in a united way. In this vein, the purpose of this paper is to explain how the triplet of product, brand, and retail channel could affect SC performance, and how the positioning of a luxury company could depend on managerial attitudes.

Design/methodology/approach

Subsequent to an extensive literature review, 30 most frequently quoted key performance indicators (KPIs) were derived. A Delphi study was then employed to reach a consensus and 17 key KPIs were derived considering the key SC performance areas and marketing dimensions. Survey technique was deployed to examine the impact of strategic combinations of product, brand, and retail channel on SC strategy. Survey results were analyzed through factor analysis where five principal components emerged to represent performance areas. ANOVA technique was then employed to explore the dependence between product-brand-retail channel and key performance areas.

Findings

Brand, retail channel, and product directly affect operational performance. The positioning of a fashion company would depend on its management attitude toward strategy segmentation and considered stage of the SC. The respondents’ profile analysis further showed a preference to segment the SC based on products. Interestingly, this finding is not aligned with earlier research (Brun and Castelli, 2008) suggesting that the brand was to become the most relevant driver for SC segmentation.

Originality/value

Academic development and empirical testing is rather rare in the luxury fashion context. Undeniably, SC strategies represent a very relevant issue for fashion companies, and the present study could be considered a first statistical step toward SC segmentation for luxury fashion companies.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2015

Cecilia Maria Castelli and Andrea Sianesi

The purpose of this paper is to show how it is possible to take into account the objectives that fashion-luxury companies pursue on the final market (i.e. critical success…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how it is possible to take into account the objectives that fashion-luxury companies pursue on the final market (i.e. critical success factors (CSF) – of luxury) and propagate them in the upstream steps of the supply chain (SC) in order to understand how the latter can be aligned to the market.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review allowed the identification of SC objectives. Case studies were used in order to asses choices and practices applied along the SC of luxury companies were assessed through in depth case studies; hence, the relationship between choices/practices, SC objectives and luxury CSF was explored.

Findings

The paper documents that success in the luxury market not only depends on branding and marketing but also on the choices made along the SC, to the point that it is possible to identify some SC choices and practices that support the achievement of luxury CSF.

Research limitations/implications

The results presented represent a useful guideline and offer some methodological suggestions; however, the precise set of SC objectives have to be tailored on each specific brand, according to the uniqueness that characterizes luxury companies.

Practical implications

The paper suggests which areas of the SC should be mostly targeted in order to achieve success in the luxury market, also indicating some possible concrete choices.

Originality/value

The main value of this paper consists in shaping a first explicit connection among the world of luxury as it is perceived by the consumers and the world of the SC.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 43 no. 10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2008

Federico Caniato, Maria Caridi, Cecilia Castelli and Luca Luca

Supply chain management is a critical issue when dealing with the fashion industry. When managing retail, Demand Management is an area that requires investigation because…

Abstract

Supply chain management is a critical issue when dealing with the fashion industry. When managing retail, Demand Management is an area that requires investigation because retail is usually the only contact point between the company and its customers. This paper focuses on two luxury fashion industries; fashion apparel and shoes, watches and jewellery. The goal is to understand how the players in these markets deal with their retail channel and the Demand Management process and to find out which are the main drivers that influence their behaviour.

Management practices are analysed using the case study methodology. The findings show that a relationship exists between the company’s features, such as ( the configuration and control of the retail stores) and the products they sell (the duration of the products lifecycle) and the use of retail and Demand Management levers which have been grouped into five main families; information management; demand forecasting; assortment planning; orders and replenishments management, and demand and supply synchronization.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2015

Marnie Collins and Marcia Weiss

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role that provenance holds within the luxury textiles market. It defines similarities and differences in the perception and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role that provenance holds within the luxury textiles market. It defines similarities and differences in the perception and acceptance of provenance as a key strategy for luxury textile brands in the USA and the UK. Its purpose is to establish a framework of identifiable communication strategies for future growth of the luxury brand sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The study consisted of adopting an ethnographic approach to define the role of provenance within luxury brands in the USA and the UK. Attention was focused on textile heritage labels in the USA and in Scotland, to gain insight into how historic artisanship impacts the perception of luxury and authenticity by the consumer. Interviews with key strategists were conducted, and a comparison of the discussions disseminated.

Findings

The narrative behind a product, its authenticity and provenance, are key drivers in luxury textile brands, with the perception of quality of utmost importance. Long-standing companies have interwoven provenances with their spiritual birthplaces, people and environment which can be leveraged in product introductions and branding.

Practical implications

The paper provides a framework of key features of provenance to inform practitioners on dilemmas such as de-localization, re-localization and transcendence within the luxury brand sector.

Originality/value

The paper furthers academic research by investigating contemporary issues in luxury consumer behaviour; specifically in relation to the perception of provenance. While research focuses on Western luxury textile brands and consumers, it provides reference criteria and recommendations to luxury brand strategists that can be adopted and adapted for different fields and geographic locations.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 43 no. 10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 October 2015

Alessandro Brun and Cecilia Maria Castelli

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 43 no. 10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2015

Marie-Eve Faust and Micaela Surchi

– The purpose of this paper is to understand and compare Generation Y’s knowledge and perceptions of cashmere as a luxurious fibre.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand and compare Generation Y’s knowledge and perceptions of cashmere as a luxurious fibre.

Design/methodology/approach

Dual qualitative-quantitative approach, comprising interviews with cashmere farmers and suppliers plus a structured questionnaire completed by 334 young Italians and Americans. Data were analysed statistically for comparison and interpretation.

Findings

Interviews confirmed the literature and provided insights why cashmere is “branded” as luxurious; e.g. comes from combing the undercoat of cashmere goats thus it is rare, expensive, very warm, light, and soft. Quantitative analysis showed: the majority (+85 per cent) of the young Italians and Americans perceive cashmere fibre as luxurious and expensive, although statistically Americans participants perceive it as more luxurious and more expensive. For example, 75 per cent Italian, 85 per cent Americans think it is expensive, (µ=2.914/4 and µ=3.156/4, respectively). Americans do not perceive it as being as rare as the Italian group. Italians were more able to answer the question about richness of the fibre. Lastly and surprisingly both groups knew very little about the origin: 40 per cent of both groups thought it comes from sheep whereas 20 per cent from Alpaca.

Practical implications

While neither sample knew the source, they both mentioned they would like to know more about the origin, attributes, etc., opening the door to marketing experts.

Originality/value

This study complements and enhances the relatively limited body of knowledge in the academic and professional literature and provides useful information for producers, suppliers, retailers, and especially marketers of cashmere.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 43 no. 10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2015

Sara Keith and Maria Silies

The term luxury and sustainability, within the fashion and textile industries are seldom seen as natural bedfellows. Recently however, the perception of luxury has begun…

Abstract

Purpose

The term luxury and sustainability, within the fashion and textile industries are seldom seen as natural bedfellows. Recently however, the perception of luxury has begun to include a definition left behind in the twentieth century; beautifully hand crafted artefacts valued for the time, skill and design invested in them. It is possible though, for the concept of luxury textiles to embrace this definition and that of the sustainable credentials of a “Cradle to Cradle” (McDonough and Braungart, 2002) mindset (that of a life beyond original creation) and be fashionable. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising a variety of methodologies including case studies, reflective practice and a practice-based approach; this paper examines the use of pre-consumer waste in the creation of new luxury textiles. Several projects are cited, offering examples of collaboration between textile mills and designers in the creation of new fabrics made from luxury by-products. This luxury waste is routinely shredded for automobile seat filling or landfill, however current sustainable thinking encourages a more creative solution to this circumstance. Designers have a crucial role to play in converting an unwanted by-product to one that is highly desirable.

Findings

Traditional values of what constitutes a luxury item include the concept of time invested in making a unique handmade artefact. More recently, this premise has been overlooked in favour of branded goods. The slow fashion movement advocates the inherent value of craftsmanship coupled with the ethical use of sustainable and or local materials and processes. The traditional techniques of felting, weave and stitch are utilised to create beautiful, original textiles from discarded waste. By collaborating with local mills, designers provide solutions to something that could be perceived as a problem.

Originality/value

The embedded narrative within these layered textiles provides an original quality and added value, building on their Scottish heritage. The resulting textiles reflect their provenance; the landscape they come from and the people who created them. As a result of purchase, the story continues with the new custodian, adding to the ongoing history of the textile. The design work and collaboration that this paper outlines embodies a transferable model for sustainable upcycled luxury textiles.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 43 no. 10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2015

Elisa d'Avolio, Romeo Bandinelli, Margherita Pero and Rinaldo Rinaldi

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how luxury Italian fashion companies manage the replenishment process, and how they leverage supply chain (SC) to be able to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how luxury Italian fashion companies manage the replenishment process, and how they leverage supply chain (SC) to be able to match supply and demand of fashion products.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review was the first step performed; then, a case study research has been conducted in order to have a comprehensive view of the real context of luxury Italian fashion companies concerning merchandise planning and replenishment processes. After the sample was individuated, a questionnaire has guided the interviews and then data have been collected. Analysing data has concerned a primary case analysis and then cross-case patterns have been searched. Finally, several variables coherent to the aim of the study have been pinpointed and a framework has been designed.

Findings

The paper provides a characterization of the luxury Italian fashion industry concerning merchandise planning constraints and the replenishment processes. To guarantee the flexibility required to match supply and demand when there is a high percentage of seasonal products in the collection, companies leverage on both downstream and upstream SC alignment.

Originality/value

The enhancement of performance within the fashion SC is a topic not too much examined in depth, in particular referring to the luxury fashion companies and to the Italian context. Aligning upstream and downstream activities, information sharing between vendor and retailer and securing strategic alliances with the suppliers constitute important steps to reach flexibility and reactivity and to be in step with the market needs. The paper provides valuable insights to companies that are trying to decrease their lost sales and to increase their sell-out and customer service through a review of their SC processes.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 43 no. 10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2010

Cecilia Maria Castelli and Alessandro Brun

The purpose of this paper is to assess the use of alignment practices between manufacturers and retailers; it focuses on the Italian fashion industry.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the use of alignment practices between manufacturers and retailers; it focuses on the Italian fashion industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach is adopted (case studies of fashion retailers in Italy), involving both documentary analysis and structured interviews with retail and store managers, with the aim of assessing the level of channel alignment between manufacturer and retailer.

Findings

The paper gives an overview of the extent to which fashion retailers in Italy pursue channel alignment; it suggests a relationship between the degree of alignment and two relevant drivers (channel type and lifecycle phase).

Research limitations/implications

A descriptive analysis with exploratory purpose is provided. The overall research plan includes expanding the analysis and final testing through quantitative methods.

Originality/value

The paper analyses the role of retail channel alignment in the fashion industry from an operational point of view; helps understanding the need for alignment with respect to channel type and lifecycle phase.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2013

Alessandro Brun and Cecilia Castelli

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to provide an overview of the literature defining “luxury”; to suggest that luxury goods be distinguished from other goods through…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to provide an overview of the literature defining “luxury”; to suggest that luxury goods be distinguished from other goods through the presence of critical success factors (CSF) and to identify different dimensions of luxury; and to introduce a new classification framework to analyse luxury consumers profiles and to explain the personal perception of luxury.

Design/methodology/approach

The first part of the paper is a critical discussion of the literature around the concept of luxury; the second part shows the application of an original classification framework, validated through a number of focus groups carried out with participants of Masters and executive training courses.

Findings

The concept of luxury is a multifaceted one. A comprehensive approach to classify luxury consumers is used first of all to reveal different customer profiles, and also to prove that the tangible/intangible and personal/social distinctions are relevant for understanding the motivations underlying the purchase of a luxury product.

Research limitations/implications

The model has been validated using four “archetypal” luxury goods (a bag, a bracelet, and so on). Nonetheless, the range of possible luxury goods and the set of possible consumer ' s motives behind luxury spend are so wide that a much more extended testing is required.

Originality/value

The newly proposed model would allow a luxury company to better assess their target market and their current customers, while scholars and analysts might find it useful to define the scope of the luxury market when estimating market figures.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 41 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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