Ann Taylor: Survival in Speciality Retail 1. What industry is Ann in? Ann Taylor is a specialty retail clothing store for ladies only. The quality of Ann Taylor is similar to that of Talbots, Abercrombie & Fitch, or Banana Republic. Keep in mind Ann Taylor was never a person like Elizabeth Taylor. Ann Taylor is only the brand identity. 2. Using Porter’s five forces model, identify the key issues in the competitive environment that affect ANN and its rivals.
Identify and evaluate the competitive forces that shape the industry structure. (pg 99 4. 8) Ann Taylor uses Brand Identity as the top determinant of entry, the brand itself resembles prestige, wealth, and more of a high society look. Ann Taylor also developed Ann Taylor LOFT – a more relaxed appeal for women who are still looking for that name brand recognition with the relaxed lifestyle. In Porter’s Determinants of Rivalry, ANN is consistently facing the industry growth.
New brands such as Hollister are grabbing the eyes of the younger generation and appealing to their senses through marketing tools. Ann Taylor, established in 1954 has held a higher value on supplies to provide consumers with the high quality clothing they are well known for. However the was a glitch in the 90’s where executives felt they could cut cost on the quality fabrics used in manufacturing the clothing line. This dropped the profits for ANN and the business had to re-assess and re-establish the higher quality line that they had become known for.
Substituting for lesser cost supplies was not in the cards for Ann Taylor. However a “substitute” in the clothing line has shown profitable. As briefly mentioned above, ANN led way to Ann Taylor- LOFT. LOFT was created to appeal to a younger crowd, the product cost was less, but the brand identity of ANN was still there, creating the demand for the product. ANN simple used a different focus strategy for marketing LOFT, producing a new wave of buyers. 3.
Does the industry structure make one business competitive strategy (differentiation, cost leadership and focus) more attainable for ANN than another? What strategy does ANN use? Support your answer. In defining differentiation “A business strategy that seeks to build competition advantage with its product or service by having it be “different” from other available competitive products based on features, performance, or other factors not directly related to cost and price.
The difference would be one that would be hard to create and/or difficult to copy or imitate. ” (Pearce & Robinson pg 236) ANN achieves a competitive advantage by utilizing differentiation. Ann Taylor & Ann Taylor LOFT have established brand loyalty. At one point in the 90’s Ann Taylor had adopted five different store concepts, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor’s Studio Shoes, Ann Taylor LOFT, Ann Taylor Petites and Ann Taylor Factory. While differentiation is a good thing- this was too much.
Analysts’ advice the CEO Krill to get back to the basics that worked, being Ann Taylor & Ann Taylor LOFT. Their market has been created and successful based on giving their customers the quality they are seeking and therefore creating brand loyalty. 4. How does ANN fight for customers and customer loyalty? ANN has established the legacy of being an upscale specialty clothing store for women since 1954. In doing so ANN has provided their customers with the quality they are seeking as well as the variety needed. From wedding gown to business attire) Upon creating LOFT, Ann Taylor has created another avenue for customer loyalty, as they are now reaching out to both upscale clients and the middle grade client that is looking for the fashionista daily wear. Ann Taylor has created such brand loyalty that it creates customer loyalty. References Pearce II, J. A. , & Robinson, Jr, R. B. (2013). Strategic management planning for domestic & global competition. (13 ed. ). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. “Ann Taylor. ” Ann Taylor. N. p. , n. d. Web. 10 May 2013. . “Businessweek. ” . com. N. p. , n. d. Web. 10 May 2013. .