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Retailers can get obsessed with market positioning. Fashion retailers frequently change their positioning strategy. Periodically, it is well worth while for a retailer to review whether its organisation and overhead costs are "in line" with its market position and gross margin achievement.


Today's market conditions in the developed world are a mix of


• Static and aging populations
• Flat store sales
• Empty and unnecessary store space

Effectively for many retailers the domestic market is either ex-growth or actively in decline. Consequently, there is a need to review the company market positioning. Should we

• Stay where we are now and defend
• Expand on the product axis
• Expand on the market axis


But before getting carried away with the excitement of a new strategy, it may be worthwhile reviewing whether the company organisation and overhead costs are 'in line' with its market position and gross margin achievement.


An Organisational Effectiveness review should start with an analysis of sales, initial gross margin, mark-downs and achieved gross margin. It can then assess these against the main elements of a retailer’s overheads.


For clothing brands, there is also a need to regularly look at their


• positioning 
• competitors 
• channels of distribution 



It is also worth thinking critically about the potential costs and lead times of product or market expansion. Do you know which is more costly and which takes longer?


Speak to MALCOLM NEWBERY CONSULTING Ltd. about product/market strategy, the alternatives, the cost and the risks


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1 Brand (Glenaden), UK

Brand strategy review [2002]


Alan Paine, UK

German and Italian market positioning for UK knitwear brand [1993]


Alexandra PLC, UK

European market overview [2006]


Armani, Italy

UK position study for upmarket Italian brand Armani [1988]


Bain & Company, UK

Subcontract research into a particular clothing market in UK [2006]


Clubman, UK

Update of business plan for shirt manufacturer [2000]


Cotton Council International, USA

Promoting the advantages of using US cotton in clothing [2018]


Day Spa [Personal client], UK

Business start-up assistance to a day spa beauty venture [2013]


Delta Galil, Israel

Company strategic review [2006]


Elvi, UK

Multi-channel strategy and implementation for a womenswear brand selling retail, wholesale and to consumers online [2016]


Fisher Price, USA

Franchise and licence study for US toy company Fisher Price [1991]


Fruit of the Loom, USA

European marketing study for US sportswear brand  [1991]


GIA, Pakistan

Market entry project for a Pakistan wholesale brand seeking to expand sales in the UK  [2016]


Hannah + Tiff, UK

Retail business start-up in the UK for a Vietnamese supplier of gifts and childrenswear  [2016]


International Trade Centre [United Nations]

Export marketing of Cambodian silk for the United Nations [2006]



Research on specialist protective fabrics in Europe [1999]


Johnstons of Elgin, UK

Export marketing to Europe, USA and Japan of cashmere knitwear [1998]


Kasiet, Kazakhstan

Export marketing of spinning yarns from Asia to Europe [1999]



Subcontract research into a particular clothing market in Eastern Europe [2007]


Kurt Salmon Associates, UK

Subcontract research into a particular clothing market in Eastern Europe [2011]


Locum Consulting, UK

Evaluation of requirements for an incubator business unit within a textile museum [2004]


Louise Kennedy, Ireland

Retail concessions study for this Irish designer [2002]


Magee, Ireland

Brand marketing study for Irish menswear company [2000]


Monet, UK

European marketing study for US jewellery brand Monet [1988]


Mulberry, UK

Retail, franchise and licence strategy for upmarket international brand Mulberry (1993)


Peerless Rugs, Ireland

Competitiveness analysis for Irish carpet tufter Peerless Rugs [1997]


Prym, China

Market research into global lingerie markets for a supplier of lingerie accessories [2016]


Schway, UK

Marketing start-up of bolt-on social networking front end to web marketing systems [2008]


Slumberdown, UK

Work on acquisition of Peerless Rug, Ireland [1997]


Sunbeam, Ireland

Company rescue study for clothing manufacturer Sunbeam, Cork, Ireland [1994]


Toray Textiles Europe Ltd.

Marketing studies to identify potential customers in Europe and USA for cotton and poly/cotton fabrics [2011 and 2012]


YKK, Far East

Market positioning project for an internationally recognised clothing accessories brand from the Far East [2014]


Zandra Rhodes, UK

Company review of UK designer label Zandra Rhodes [1986]

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