Can Apparel Startups Bypass Traditional Retail Channels?

Many entrepreneurs would LIKE to establish their own direct-to-consumer sales channel rather than market their merchandise through retail stores. Why? They would like greater control, a bigger share of profits, and other reasons. But, this is often not feasible. The costs are high and it usually takes quite a while to establish the company name.
As Ian Mount reports for the New York Times: “While exact numbers are hard to come by, many new apparel brands have decided to forgo the traditional wholesale route of selling through multi-brand boutiques and department stores. ‘There is no doubt that there is a trend toward direct selling,’ said James Dion, founder of Dionco, a Chicago retail consultancy. ‘And it’s been aided by the Internet, which has given that smaller brand the ability to go direct to the consumer.’ However, direct selling is not for everyone. For one thing, getting your name out there — on the street or on the Web — is hard. As the San Francisco brand Pop Outerwear learned, the big issue in trying to sell directly to customers is whether you can reach enough of them. ‘The reach you get from opening one or two stores is nothing like the reach of a Macy’s,’ said Jack W. Plunkett, chief executive of Plunkett Research, a Houston market research company. ‘I can’t imagine Coach being the huge brand it is without the marketing boost of all the stores that have sold it through the years.’”
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This entry was posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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