Barberry was founded in 1856; originally focusing on producing ‘innovative functional outwear. ‘ over the years Barberry has adapted to changing trends and tastes to suit the consumers wants and needs. Additionally the extension of their product portfolio, for example their perfume and accessories range, Is a response to competition from leading brands such as Ralph Lauren and others.
Barberry set out to create a luxury, premium brand image, however in recent years in Britain especially, the public perception of Barberry products have been labeled as ‘chap kook’ because of their distinctive tartan pattern on clothing. In September 201 2 the high brand luxury clothing company Barberry issued a profit warning taking El ban off Buyers market value resulting with a share fall of 19%. We are currently In an economic recession which has resulted In less consumer confidence and a trend of reduced spending habits.
However the types of consumers that purchase brands like Barberry would usually not be effected by the economic recession. They are likely to have much more disposable income and secure well- paid Jobs. Retail analyst Joana Satyrs stated that “The global economic crawls Is dragging on and the longer It drags on the less confident even wealthier Individuals become”. Meaning that even those with more disposable Income to spend on luxury goods such as Barberry, are less confident which Is a major factor resulting In reduced spending habits.
If consumers are spending less the company is likely to result in profit losses. If the problem deteriorates it can result in closing of stores and making staff redundant; adding to the already high unemployment figures Barberry s a luxury brand is not immune from the economic instability which has seen weaker sales not only in the UK but globally. From researching Buyers share decrease we can see that the 2012 London Olympics has played a major factor in profit loss.
The types of customers buying Barberry products are likely to live in expensive locations such as London; Barberry state that the London Olympics pulled tourists away from shopping and pushed them more towards visiting the Olympic park and stadium and spending their money on souvenirs. However due to the economic recession and the trend of reduced pending habits, Buyers luxury high priced goods were Increasingly likely to see reduced sales. Although wealthier Individuals are likely to be unaffected by the economic recession, the Auk’s high unemployment rate has made Buyers customer base even more restricted than before.
In contrast to Buyers view that the Olympics contributed to their profit loss, we believe that the Olympics helped the Auk’s unemployment rate hugely giving more individuals and potential customers more disposable income. However now that the Olympics are over, it can shift focus onto spending more on brands such as Barberry. In comparison; lower priced stores such as Tops and H & M are receiving higher likely to buy from stores that have fashionable styles and a wider variety of clothing at much lower prices.
BBC business news (twitter) stated that “UK retail sales rise as shoppers buy winter clothing” and that “sales volumes were up 0. 6% in the last month”. Individuals are much more likely to spend EYE – OHIO on a coat rather than an IEEE one; especially during the economic recession. Taking the above into account, there are a number of ways in which Barberry could improve their economic position in the retail market. While Barberry are not in a state of danger as it stands, if their profit and share prices were to decrease further they may have to cut their costs.
This could see a decrease in quality of their products resulting to a decline in brand loyalty and a future reduction in sales. One way Barberry could improve their situation is by re-marketing their product range to appeal to a different target audience, that of the middle and working class. Evidence suggests that lower priced stores (Tops and H&M) have been benefiting as a result of their lower prices. If Barberry were to adjust their position in the market, closer to that of H&M they may wreak the rewards.
However, we think that Barberry may tarnish their entire business reputation if they do so. It takes many years to achieve a high brand reputation like that of Barberry and it would be a massive risk to put it all on the line. Also the lower priced retailers market is dominated by a few big players and is extremely competitive, making it harder for Barberry to establish itself in the lower priced category. We think that Barberry should ‘ride out the storm’ for the time being. If anything is to be done it should be investing more into marketing and branding to appeal to the upper middle-class.
Although this would be costly initially, sales should pick up over time; improving Buyers share price and profits. Furthermore, in the meantime it would be easy for Barberry to take advantage of the current state of ‘national pride’ (following the Olympics) and go back to basics promoting the ‘Brutishness’ of their brand. Another way in which Barberry can improve their current situation is by taking a similar approach to Versa by launching a more economical clothing range with gig street brands such as H&M.
For Barberry to differentiate themselves they can instead launch their clothing range with Ezra rather than H&M. Reason being that they types of clothes they offer are very similar in terms of sophistication and quality. This method was very successful with Versa as their line with H&M sold out within 30 minutes. By introducing a more affordable clothing line, Barberry will advantage from an increase in sales and profits as demand from consumers will increase. The cheaper they market their new clothing range the more people would want to buy it s they will be purchasing Barberry clothing for a faction of the cost.