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Textile Outlook International
Issue 142:
November 2009

Product Overview
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Reports in this issue
Editorial: Instability and Social Unrest Could Undermine Growth in Garment Sourcing from Low Cost Asian Countries (4 pages)
World textile and apparel trade and production trends: the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, November 2009 (32 pages)
Survey of the European Yarn Fairs for Autumn/Winter 2010/11 (11 pages)
Prospects for the Textile and Garment Industry in Pakistan (48 pages)
World Markets for Textile Machinery: Part 3--Knitted Fabric Manufacture (29 pages)
Strategies of Online Clothing Retailers: Gap, Asos, Yoox, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Future Bazaar and Bivolino

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Strategies of Online Clothing Retailers: Gap, Asos, Yoox, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Future Bazaar and Bivolino
published in Issue 142, November 2009  


Online clothing retailing is a well established sales channel in most developed countries. In 2008 clothing was the fastest growing category of products to be sold online in the UK and the USA. And in China and France it was the largest category in terms of value.

Online retailing offers distinct benefits for shoppers and retailers. From the point of view of the shopper, comparisons of products can be made quickly and easily from the privacy of the shopper’s own home. At the same time, retailers can offer a broader range of products than they are able to do in physical stores. Also, the cost of running an online store is only a fraction of the cost of running a physical shop—especially in terms of rent, rates and staffing. In addition, online shopping provides companies with the opportunity to expand into new markets without needing to invest in physical retail sites.

There are, however, a number of challenges for online clothing retailers to overcome—including the fact that customer loyalty is notoriously hard to retain. Also, online selling results in a much higher level of returns than retailing via physical stores—which is largely due to the fact that online shoppers can not try on the clothing before buying.

Broadly speaking, the strategies of online retailers can be grouped into two categories: multi-channel retailing and online-only retailing. Multi-channel retailing is the most common strategy among large clothing retailers. It allows a firm to use its website as a marketing tool, and enables customers to browse items before trying them on in a physical store. Examples of multi-channel retailers include USA-based Gap, the UK’s Marks and Spencer (M&S) and India-based Future Bazaar—owned by Future Group, the proprietor of Pantaloon Retail.

Online-only retailing involves selling branded clothing exclusively via the Internet. Examples of online-only retailers include UK-based Asos, and Italy-based Yoox. Online-only retailers are characterised by the fact that they offer vast ranges of products—because they are not limited by physical shelf space.

In addition to these strategies, a number of clothing companies have made a foray into online retailing by forming strategic partnerships with established e-commerce companies, such as Bivolino, in order to minimise risk.

Table of Contents
Strategies of Online Clothing Retailers: Gap, Asos, Yoox, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Future Bazaar and Bivolino
  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Selected Strategies of Online Clothing Retailers
  • Outlook
  • Gap
  • Asos
  • Yoox
  • Future Bazaar
  • Bivolino

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Product Overview   

Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of expert comment and analysis. A subscription provides an overview of the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. It is essential reading for senior executives in the fibre, textile and apparel industries – and for anyone who is not involved in the industry, but needs to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues.
Reports in Textile Outlook International include:
 country profiles – providing a comprehensive guide to the textile and clothing industries in a range of countries and regions. The reports include an economic and political profile together with a comprehensive overview of the main issues, plus an outlook for the future.
 company profiles – giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others. Companies profiled recently include retailers, manufacturers, innovators and sourcing companies involved in textiles and apparel as well as smaller companies which illustrate the opportunities for firms which are interested in selected sourcing locations.
 trends in world textile and apparel trade and production – taking into account current issues facing the industry – such as global fibre prices; competition from China and other low cost countries; the elimination of quotas and imposition of selective new ones; relocation of production operations; the impact of economic factors affecting trade; international trade agreements; trade promotion agreements (TPAs); and much more.
 trends in EU and US imports of textiles and clothing – providing comprehensive statistical data and analysis of the top ten supplying countries to the EU and US markets. These reports are updated each year and contain value and volume data as well as average prices and analyses of trends for up to 15 product categories.
 innovations, technological developments, business development opportunities, individual sector analysis and political implications which affect players in the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. Some of the topics which have been covered in recent reports include: new innovations in the textile and clothing industry, such as environmentally friendly textiles, plant based fibres, and developments in textile colorants; innovations in textile machinery; and overviews of the European swimwear, hosiery and lingerie markets.
So whether you are involved in fibres, textiles or clothing – in manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, import/export, retailing – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance, a subscription to Textile Outlook International will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Textile Outlook International is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 6 printed publications a year, containing a total of 30 reports plus editorials written by Robin Anson, our editorial director and in-house industry expert.
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