Liz Claiborne to Open Stores
By George Anderson
Liz Claiborne Ltd. is looking to get lucky with new stores the fashion design house is opening to promote a line of the company’s jeans.
The stores promoting the Lucky Brand jeans line will not be the company’s first foray into retailing. It has opened stores before under the Liz Claiborne and other banners and it, along with Apple, Bose, Nine West and others, have found the strategy helpful in controlling and projecting their brands’ images.
Walter Lamothe, who runs the retail division of Liz Claiborne, told The Globe and Mail that the company’s stores provide “tremendous exposure” for its various fashion lines.
The fashion wholesale market has been shrinking, he said, and Claiborne’s stores help distinguish its brands in the marketplace. “If there was unlimited potential for wholesale, everybody would just do wholesale and never do retail because the cost factor is 10 to 1. But there are other advantages, long term,” he said.
While there are benefits to manufacturers and wholesalers opening their own stores, there are also risks.
David Howell, a merchandising consultant for Associate Marketing International, said some such as Wolverine shoes have found that getting into retail can avoid numerous risks.
Moderator’s Comment: Do manufacturers opening their own banners have a different benchmark for success than those
companies that are pure retailers? What product categories offer the greatest potential for manufacturers and wholesalers considering opening their own retail outlets?
George Anderson – Moderator