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Uncovering market insights, or forecasting trends, requires a range of professional communication, styling, presentation and management skills, as well as innovative approaches to research and forecasting activity. This project is aimed at enabling you with the ability to identify, document, analyse and evaluate

This project is aimed at enabling you with the ability to identify, document, analyse and evaluate marketing insights and apply this to make recommendations to a business.

The setting: You have been approached by a start-up children's fashion retailer looking to open a boutique in Melbourne. The retailer is looking to disrupt the industry and have some ideas about developing a strong social cause and building a consumer loyalty program that rewards the end consumer (child) as opposed to the customer (parent).

  • You will need to analyse the current Melbourne market
  • Determine where you would suggest the store locate, providing a clear rationale as well as any pros and cons
  • Ascertain any supporting evidence from any secondary data sources (i.e. ABS data on household consumption of geographic information)
  • You could conduct your own primary research (which may be as simple as mapping current store location and spread in certain suburbs or something else from the research toolkit we have discussed)
  • Provide a view of 'where the retail category is now', drawing on historical data (i.e. market, ABS, industry data)
  • Provide a view of where the retail category is likely to move between now and the next 3 years (drawing on data from insight/ trend resources, i.e. LSN Global) 

Criteria for marking: Your presentation should help us all to understand the opportunities VR strategies and how a brand can apply VR moving into a new era of engaging, innovative and vibrant retail.

Market Analysis

The city of Melbourne is one of the most populated cities of Australia with a high living standard. The ever increasing population of the city is the source of demand for the market of various products.

                                               

                                                   Figure 1. Statistics showing population of Melbourne

                                                          (Source: worldpopulationreview.com, 2017)

                                                           

                                                                     Figure 2. Age of Melbourne residents

                                                                         (Source: invest.vic.gov.au, 2017)

The first figure shows the rise in the population in Melbourne while the next figure shows that the number of children is 18% of the population. The Australian Burea of Statistics projects a rise in the number of child birth in the country including Melbourne. The body also shows the increase in the household consumption of people in Australia (abs.gov.au, 2017). The rise in population of children as projected in these statistical figures also means increase in demand for children’s fashion garments. The children fashion garment is a profitable industry which is estimated to reach $1736 by 2017. The market segment has emerged as a very profitable segment because it is not affected much by economic downturn and continues to grow. The children’s fashion market too has international and big players like Dolce & Gabbana and Mango. The increases in demand for the children’s clothes can be attributed to increase in birth rate in Melbourne, increase in disposable income and so on.  The increase in demand of children’s clothes and increase in disposable income has made the current market of Melbourne really profitable. The studies show that the retail chain must start its boutique in a profitable location in Melbourne and then spread into other locations. The study also shows that with increase in population the retail sector can expect a brighter future. The fall in February as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the retail index has suffered the set back due to the seasonal nature. However, the future will be brighter and the sector will see more growth in the future months (Davidson et al., 2014).

The children’s retail boutique

An analysis of the market of Melbourne shows that children’s fashion has become a profitable segment. The segment has emerged into a premium segment which draws the attention of the rich and has presence of international brands. A retailer who is planning to start his start up boutique in Melbourne should make clothes made from economic friendly fabrics like cotton and silk. The fabric will be soft and warm which will allow free circulation of air in the baby’s body. The dresses should be of premium quality with features like easy to wear and liquid absorbent quality. The apparels should be available in various colours and should be made considering the ages of the children. The dresses should be durable and allow the children to play (Rigolon, Derr & Chawla, 2015) The boutique must ensure quality sourcing of raw materials and distribution of the children’s dresses. The boutique can give sales promotion offers like paediatrician checkups and free toys for the children. The retail chain must also promote its children’s premium range of apparel. The products along with their offer will ensure the total benefit of the end consumers, the children.

The boutique must use environment friendly fabrics like cotton and silk. These fabrics are easily biodegradable and do not cause much pollution. This will allow the boutique to act in a socially responsible way and reduce environment pollution (Sonnenberg, Jacobs & Momberg, 2014). These strategies in the area of product, pricing and promotion will allow the boutique to disrupt the market of the existing children’s apparel retailers. The superior quality and skin friendly products will be designed to suit the needs of the children. This will ensure that the children keeping on demanding the dresses of the boutique in Melbourne.

The boutique must open its start up retail store in the Emporium Melbourne, Melbourne. The location of the store is a very crucial aspect and will impact the consumer footfall and profits. The management of the modern retail chain use tools like MCDM methods to decide on the store location (Zolfani et al., 2013). A survey conducted regarding the location of stores show that the profitability of retail stores depend on their location, convenience of access, proximity to important transport junctions and so on. The survey was conducted among people of various ages and it revealed that close to 50% visit malls to hangout while only around 17% people go to shop (id.portalgaruda.org). The advantages of the store location in the Emporium Melbourne are:

  1. The mall is easily accessible from the roads which will allow easy movement of goods and people.
  2. It will allow the customers to visit the store which will earn huge profits.

Store location

The disadvantage of location of the boutique in the mall is :

  1. Stiff competition from brands already present in the mall.
  2. The neighbouring malls also provide stiff competition.

                                 

                                                      Figure 3. Position of Emporium Melbourne denoted by 1

                                                                         (Source:airbnb.co.in, 2017)

The Australian Bureau reports that the retail turnover fell by 0.15 in February after a rise of 0.4% in January. Retail clothing in the seasonally adjusted terms experienced a fall by 2.5%. The retail segment and the whole sale segment saw a drop of 2.9 in clothing and 1.9 % in other  items. The online retail market yields a turnover of 3.6 % which is a good sign of rise for the retail industry. The ABS has not made any prediction regarding the future markets. The study of the statistics of the rise in the income of the people and rise in the number of children however, predicts a rise in future turnover.

                                                                         

                                                                  Figure 4. Monthly turnover of retail trade

                                                                             (Source: abs.gov.au, 2017)

The present shape of the retail industry is not only in need of improvement in terms if money but also in terms of quality. The retailers of Australia are not particular about the sources of the raw materials like cotton. They often buy materials from suppliers who practice illegal methods like child labour and slavery. This places the segments of the retail fashion industry including the children’s fashion on weak grounds in terms of social responsibility. The boutique must be careful to obtain its raw materials from sustainable sources. However the production process of the retail industry has improved in the final stages. This has a great promise for the fashion industry including the children’s boutique segment (Donelly, 2017).

Market forecast of retail industry

The Future Laboratory Limited predicts a stronger and more profitable retail market. The agency predicts a retail sector including children wear free from trade tariffs. The prediction also forecasts environment friendly fabric which will be easily affordable and user friendly. The prediction also tells that shopping will be more technology based and easy (lsnglobal.com, 2017).

The fashion industry in Australia has evolved into one of the largest and the most dynamic fashion segments in the world. Melbourne is slowly emerging into a fashion capital which shows great future for the designers in the coming years. The designers today concentrate on creating exclusive products to meet new consumer demands. The development in the global fashion and information technology are making the retail fashion industry grow towards a brighter future. The designers and retail fashion outlets today have and increasing their presence on the digital platform as well. This is helping the designers and retailer to sell their products all over the world which is helps them to distribute the risk over a global consumer base. This trend also predicts healthy growth in children’s fashion boutiques thus bringing about their growth and expansion (theconversation.com, 2017).

Reference:

Davidson, E. A., Galloway, J. N., Millar, N., & Leach, A. M. (2014). N-related greenhouse gases in North America: innovations for a sustainable future. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 9, 1-8.

Donelly, B. (2017). Damning report on exploitation in Australian fashion industry. theage.com.au. Retrieved 11 April 2017, from https://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/damning-report-on-exploitation-in-australian-fashion-industry-20150415-1mm4yz.html

Global shift: Australian fashion's coming of age. (2017). https://theconversation.com. Retrieved 11 April 2017, from https://theconversation.com/global-shift-australian-fashions-coming-of-age-19237

Greater Melbourne demographics - Invest Victoria. (2017). Invest.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 10 April 2017, from https://www.invest.vic.gov.au/resources/statistics/greater-melbourne-demographics

IPI Indonesian Publication Index. (2017). Id.portalgaruda.org. Retrieved 10 April 2017, from https://id.portalgaruda.org/

Melbourne Population 2017. (2017). worldpopulationreview.com. Retrieved 10 April 2017, from https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/melbourne-population/

Population clock. (2017). Abs.gov.au. Retrieved 10 April 2017, from https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/1647509ef7e25faaca2568a900154b63?OpenDocument

Rigolon, A., Derr, V., & Chawla, L. (2015). 15 Green grounds for play and learning: an intergenerational model for joint design and use of school and park systems. Handbook on Green Infrastructure: Planning, Design and Implementation, 281.

Sonnenberg, N., Jacobs, B., & Momberg, D. (2014). The role of information exposure in female university students’ evaluation and selection of eco-friendly apparel in the South African emerging economy. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 32(4), 266-281.

The 30 Best Shopping Malls in Melbourne. (2017). Airbnb. Retrieved 10 April 2017, from https://www.airbnb.co.in/things-to-do/melbourne/shopping/shopping-mall?lat=-37.817901803351205&lng=144.96474503707884&zoom=16

Thiruchelvam, A. (2017). Global Retail Market: 2017: Part 2. Global Retail Market: 2017: Part 2 | LS:N Global. Retrieved 10 April 2017, from https://www.lsnglobal.com/markets/article/20885/global-retail-market-2017-part-2

Zolfani, S. H., Aghdaie, M. H., Derakhti, A., Zavadskas, E. K., & Varzandeh, M. H. M. (2013). Decision making on business issues with foresight perspective; an application of new hybrid MCDM model in shopping mall locating. Expert systems with applications, 40(17), 7111-7121.

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