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Fashion Retailer

A Report of Research and Analysis a Current Product Offering within a Fashion Retailer that has

a UK Store Presence


With changing global fashion trends, the clothing and textile industry has undoubtedly
become one of the most dynamic, competitive, and rapidly changing sectors. This has prompted
many fashion retailers across the world to embark on regular product offering and global
sourcing to achieve competitive advantage in the international market for them to remain
relevant (Akhil, 2015). The aims of this report is to research and analyse a current product
offering for a fashion retailer that has a UK store presence and make recommendations on how
the product could be progressed further to the following season with the purpose of penetrating
(Spring/summer ‘17) an international market.
This is done with an emphasis on produce Illustrator designs for the following season
(Spring/summer ‘17) within an allocated budget of £600K, which is appropriate for an
international market. In addition, an assortment plan is produced in an Excel spreadsheet to

Current Fashion Product Offering Analysis Report 2
indicate budget spent. Through this approach, it is possible to present the buy per garment that
includes a number of aspects with regards to the designed garment including volume (ranking),
amount spent, distribution as well as a sourcing country. Finally, the report will provide analysis
of sourcing criteria with recommendations including a valid critical path.
Overview of current offer
The fashion retail to be considered in this report is the H&M, which has grown from a
single women’s wear shop in Vasteras, Sweden to an extensively large store, which
has expanded its operations across the world such that its presence is felt across the
international market through its six different brands and 4,000 fashion retail stores in
different parts the world. Six independent brands are the main outlets through which H
& M runs its day-to-day operations in marketing and sale of fashion product.. The six main
outlets are: H&M, COS, Cheap Monday, Monki, Weekday, and Other Stories (H&M, 2016).
The team which has been mandated with the function of innovating and developing
H&M’s fashion designs has been playing an imperative role in creating sustainable fashion for
all and sundry. At the same time, the team ought to ensure that the fashions designs are always
offered for sale at the best price and quality. The collection of fashion designs that are developed
by H&M designers includes everything from quintessential functional and basics sportswear for
children, teenagers, women, and men, to dazzling party collections for every occasion or season
(H&M, 2016). In addition to shoes, bags, clothes, jewellery, underwear, make up, and
fashionable interiors for children and adults; the variety and width of the H&M collections is an
indication that customers are always able to find something to suit their wardrobe as well as their
style. The fashion house has tremendously expanded its operations globally and, nowadays it has
presence across many parts of the world through the H&M stores in 61 markets. In addition, the

Current Fashion Product Offering Analysis Report 3
fashion retailer has an extensive online presence through which it makes a significant proportion
of merchandise mainly because it provides the option of online shopping in 32 countries (H&M,

Analysis on current garments
The current garments on offer and which are under consideration are the special ladies’
dresses fashion collections for the Conscious Exclusive 2016 in the month of May.
The description of the current garment under consideration is as follows:
Title: Conscious Exclusive 2016
Price: £499
Description: A sleeveless round neck wedding or ready to wear dress made from two layers,
whereby the outside layer is made from organic silk while the inner layer is made from Tencel.
The dress has been subjected to further decoration through embellishment with Art Deco
inspired embroidery of glass beads that have been made from recycled glass. The dress was
offered for sale in April 7, 2016 and the offer is still ongoing (H&M, 2016).

Current Fashion Product Offering Analysis Report 4

An illustration is shown the picture below:

Current Fashion Product Offering Analysis Report 5

Product Development
This part of the report will cover the Illustrator proposals for the fashion designs
envisaged to be developed next season (Spring/summer ‘17) for an international market. As a
result, this part will be covered in two sections. The first section will discuss the proposal of the
Illustrator proposals as well as the fashion design specifications for the garment in question. The
second part will cover the assortment or range plan.

Illustrator proposals

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With the help of the proposals by the illustrator, designs are produced within the
allocated budget of £600K for SS’17 season of an international market. This will include CAD
drawings for each design showing two views (front & back) including colour ways or prints.
Furthermore, specifications for each selected design will be provided starting with thumbnail
sketches and using the mood boards as inspiration (Mayer, 2014).

Front ViewBack View Fabric Swatches/Make-up details:



Buyer Approval

Design Approval
Fabric Composition

Additional information
Components: Shell made of leather baboo viscose and elastane

Designer: Jay

Customer: H&H
Supplier: Nepal
Factory: Amulet International Trading

Supplier Approval
Date/Version: 15/05/2016
Retail Price: £50
Size Range: 8-16

Style Name: Leather pannelled dress
Style Number: 71LP8
Season: S/S 2016

Assortment plan

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The assortment range plan in this report was included for the purpose of compiling a
collection of garments that were commercially acceptable within the design and financial
parameters, before the mass production can commence. However, there are some procedures that
need to be included and stringently followed in the assortment plan for the purpose of making
sure that the buyer can have a glimpse or insight into the anticipated or planned collection
offering. For instance, the assortment plan has to incorporate several factors of production
including the number of garments to be included in the collection range. In addition, there must
also be inclusion of different types of garments or collection (fashion to classic, tops to bottom
styles) as well as specific styles which are to be included such as color and fabrics used to make
the garment. Furthermore, the assortment plan should also include the price of each garment, the
cost price of producing each garment, sizes et cetera (Miller, 2008; Mayer, 2014).

Better of the dressGrade810121416SellingTotalTotal
Beste.g. colour PriceQuantitySpend
Prabal Gurung S/S 2016Leather panelled sleveless dressAmulet Intl TradingBetterBlack & PurpleGrade 111110£305£150
Faux S/S 2016Leather panelled dressAmulet Intl TradingBetterBlack & GreyGrade 111110£254£100
Raoul Marcelle S/S 2016Leather trimmed woven mini dressAmulet Intl TradingBetterBlackGrade 111110£254£100
Mugler S/S 2016Leather panelled one sleeve dressAmulet Intl TradingBetterZodiac Blue & WhiteGrade 101111£304£120

Leather trimmed woven Leather panelled
Leater panelledLeather panelled sleveless mini dressone sleeve dress
sleeveless dressshort sleeved dress£25£30



Style DescriptionSupplier

Recommendations on how the product could be progressed for the following season for an
International market (Spring/Summer ‘17)

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In order to ensure that the most appropriate recommendations on how the product can be
progressed to the following season in an International market are adhered to (Spring/Summer
‘17), there is need to undertake an assortment fashion forecasting based on the prevailing fashion
trends. This can be attributed to the fact that fashion forecasting plays an important role in
determining future fashion trends by focusing on upcoming fashion and lifestyle trends (Mayer,
2014). For instance, the H&M must be in a position to specifically focus on fashion trends and
predict the styles, fabrics, colours that have a high likelihood of presentation on the runaway, and
in the stores for the sake of fashion events that are to take place in the near future. This concept
of fashion forecasting applies across the entire fashion industry including mass market, ready-to-
wear, haute couture, and street wear (Miller, 2008).
Therefore, the product can be progressed to the following season for an International
market through an appropriate and perfect merchandise mix by ensuring that the colours of
leather and those of the used fabric are perfectly matched with a consideration of trending
colours for the international market (Mayer, 2014). In addition, the product can be progressed by
accessorizing it to make it more appealing. However, the accessories to be used must be
carefully selected bearing in mind the prevailing fashion style and social trends. For example, the
product can be progressed by decorating it through embellishment with Art Deco inspired by
embroidery of glass beads that have been made from recycled glass. Furthermore, variations of
the bound cuff seams, necklines and hems can also be differentially used to give the dress
distinctive appearances depending on the fashion trends. Moreover, inclusion of a side and/or
arm mesh as well as invisible zip is the other way through which this product can be progressed
(NPR, 2011).

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Sourcing summary

Global Sourcing and International Trade
Global sourcing has become an important aspect of fashion industry in the international
trade, and it involves the selection of a supplier of either a product or the raw material
components and services used in the makeup and delivery of the products. As a result, true
global sourcing is when a business manufactures and sells a consistent product globally, and
sourcing some or the entire product from third parties to pave way for a cost-effective and
efficient sourcing that is coordinated globally.
Global sourcing in contemporary international business is not solely concerned about
reduction of production costs, but it focuses on improving on the supply and demand chains of
finished products as well as raw materials. However, as observed in illustrations provided in the
diagrams shown below, it is important to note that previous global sourcing concept was all
about cost. As a result, the objective was to source product or components from a country with
low labour costs with the ultimate goal of gaining cost advantage.

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There have been changing trends in global sourcing whereby according to Kurt Salmon (2012)
book acting as a global sourcing reference; the largest manufacturers of clothing and textiles are
shown in the table shown below. The ranking is done based on the value of apparel exportation
in terms of millions of U.S. Dollars expressed as percentages.

Source: Kurt Salmon Global Sourcing Reference, 11 th Edition
In contrast, despite the fact that top apparel exporters are located in Asia most retailers
are either found in the Europe or U.S. For instance, according to Salmon (2012), 88 per cent of
clothing retailers are located within Europe and China, which are ranked as their number one
sourcing destination. However, there has been an increasing trend of production costs over the
recent past whereby production costs have increased by 160 per cent since 2005.

A comparison of production costs across the world reveals sharp variations, which is an
important determinant of the choices of sourcing countries for fashion retailers in Europe and the

Current Fashion Product Offering Analysis Report 11
U.S. For example, Bangladesh and Vietnam have the lowest PCI’s of all sourcing countries.On
the other hand, Southern China records greater costs than Central USA meaning that specific
locations or regions within a country ought to be considered, but not generally considering the
country as a whole. The emerging markets are also playing a significant role where Ethiopia
could be the one to to look out for since many fashion retailers have expressed interest (i.e.
H&M, Tesco & Primark are all running pilots) in the country whose attraction to fashion retailers
is attributed to its lower social living costs as well as established transportation infrastructure.
The table below ranks countries based on their PCI

Source: Kurt Salmon Global Sourcing Reference, 11 th Edition

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Moreover, with regards to cost, there have been significant changes in the global sourcing
trends. For instance, according to fashion price tracker figures by RetailWeek Analytics, it shows
that there has been significantly changing production on markdown expressed in percentage
among the leading fashion retailers with online presence.

Source: Retail Week Analytics

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Global sourcing also involve the issues of quality, ethics and social responsibility as well as
supply chain management as discussed in the sections below.
 No longer disposable fashion attitude
 Ensures competitive advantage
As our business has become more fashion centric, we have been able to source products from
Asia that are not just low cost, but also fit the needs of the customer. However, perceived quality
continues to be a factor of consideration since globally sourced goods are seen by consumers to
be inferior when tagged with “Made in China” when in fact the quality is higher than comparable
goods sourced in the UK.
Ethical & Social Responsibility
 Not just human rights and community development issues.
 Concerns for security, carbon footprint, bribery, corruption and money laundering.
 Media has placed this trend at the top of both retailers and consumers concerns.
Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a network of connected and inter-dependent
organisations mutually and co-operatively working together in order to control, manage and
improve the flow of materials and information from suppliers to end users. Key Supply Chain
Management (SCM) ensures that the supply chain process starts and finishes with the consumer
by making sure that each interface in the supply chain represents: 1) movement of goods; 2)

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information flow; and 3) purchase and sales. As a result, strategic SCM consists of developing
smarter ways to choose who to buy from and sell to your business partners.

Importance of the Supply Chain Management
It is aims to achieve the following benefits for the company:
 Competitive Advantage
Supply chain management is now well established as a key source of competitive
advantage, and the competitiveness achieved in International market is without any doubt the
most imperative gain attributable to global sourcing. However, this is usually based upon
consumers’ perceptions of the added value aspects of the retailer’s overall offering (Mayer,

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For major success, businesses need to achieve a clear performance differential over
competition on factors that are important to target customers. The most successful methods are
built upon some combination of 3 advantages namely: 1) being better in providing superior
quality or service; 2) being faster in responding to customers’ needs; and 3) being closer to
establishing closer relationships with customers (Miller, 2008).
 Improving Financial Performance (Sales & Profits)
This determines the overall performance of a company and it can subsequently be
measured through a number of methods including: 1) Financial Review; 2) Quality performance
and practice; 3) Delivery and physical flow of stock; and 4) Information sharing and extended
 Consumer & Supplier Loyalty
The “value” may either take the form of selling undifferentiated products below the
competitors’ prices or unique benefits that justify premium pricing. The value chain may be used
to identify and understand the sources of competitive advantage and how they relate to creating
added value for customers
As a result, Porter’s 5 Forces Model should be used by fashion retailers prior to choosing
companies or partners to collaborate with in their global sourcing strategy in order to determine
the extent of factors that directly influence business including:
 Threat new entrants
 Threat of substitutes
 Bargaining power of buyers

Current Fashion Product Offering Analysis Report 16
 Bargaining power of suppliers
 Degree of rivalry

Proposed sourcing strategy
This part focuses on a discussion providing an analysis of sourcing criteria as well as
recommendations on how the product could be progressed to the following season for an
International market (Spring/Summer ‘17) including a valid critical path. The proposed sourcing
strategy will mainly emphasize on the supply base analysis and the appropriate and valid critical
path as discussed in sections below:
Supply Base Analysis
 Current sourcing
 Brief overview for current product
The current product is usually made of a mixture of fabrics whereby the shell of the
garment is made from 60 % leather (which has been ethically sourced from Nepal) and 34% of
Bamboo Viscose (Mesh) as well as 4 % of Elastane. In addition, the lining of the current product
consists of 100% Bamboo Viscose. The current product is a leather panelled dress, and the
assortment consists of sleeveless, short-sleeved and one-sleeved leather panelled dresses.
 Proposed sourcing
 Sourcing analysis for each garment, consider components
The proposed sourcing including H&M and Nepal will involve ethical sourcing of leather
in Nepal through a partner based in the country. In addition, the processing of the bamboo
viscose will continue in Nepal and Bangladesh. However, the subsequent tanning or processing
of the leather and the bamboo viscose will be shifted to Bangladesh which has the lowest
Production Cost Index (PCI) of all sourcing countries across the world. Furthermore, the

Current Fashion Product Offering Analysis Report 17
production of the garments upon approval of the designs will continue in Bangladesh, and the
finished products subsequently shipped to Europe.
 PEST analysis for sourcing countries
The political situation in both Nepal and Bangladesh poses a risk to the sourcing
activities undertaken considering that both countries are not politically stable meaning that
political upheavals may arise at any time and hinder production. Also, there is technology risk
since both countries have not significantly adopted technology in the production processes
meaning that the rate of production cannot reach the level of the countries where technology has
been significantly embraced.

 Rationale for sourcing choice
A comparison of production costs across the world reveals sharp variations which is an
important determinant of the choices of sourcing countries for fashion retailers in Europe and the
U.S. For example, many Asian countries have low Production Cost Index (PCI) with Bangladesh
having the lowest Production Cost Index (PCI) of all sourcing countries across the
world.Therefore, these emerging markets are playing a significant role for many fashion retailers
by acting as sourcing countries, which is attributed to its lower social living costs and well
established transportation infrastructure. As a result, there will be reduced production costs.

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Critical Path
The validated and appropriate critical path will be provided in the template shown below:

In conclusion, it can be observed that it is possible for a fashion product been offered by
fashion retailers to be adequately analyzed such that Illustrator proposals and assortment plans
are designed leading to the development of new garments which have improved significantly in
terms of quality that those offered. However, in order for this to take place successfully the
fashion retailer must establish an appropriate fashion forecasting trend mechanism as well as an
effective global sourcing and supply chain management system.


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Akhil J. K. (2015).  Fashion Forecasting

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