As Gap, Inc. prepares for a future without Old Navy, one of the ways it's looking to fuel growth is by taking Athleta, which has been one of the few bright spots in its portfolio, overseas.
In April, Lululemon set a five-year-strategic plan with an aggressive goal for its international business: to quadruple sales generated outside of North America by 2023. In order to do so, Lululemon is opening stores in Europe and Asia at an aggressive pace -- of the 45 to 50 stores Lululemon is projecting it will open this year, about 30 of those will be outside of North America. But it also sees hosting localized events and developing customized e-commerce sites for each country it wants to gain market share as critical to its goals.
On Monday, Amazon announced a partnership with brick-and-mortar chain Future Retail, that will allow customers to order products from the company through Amazon India. With six different chains and more than 1,500 stores, Future Retail is one of the largest brick-and-mortar retailers in the country. Amazon has had a 3.58% stake in Future Retail since February, and also has stakes in Indian supermarket operator More, and fashion label Shoppers' Stop. Meanwhile, its biggest competitor Walmart completed a $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart, the biggest e-commerce player in the country, in August. It was Walmart's biggest acquisition to date.
Alibaba wants US small-to-medium sized business to use its platform to sell wholesale. It's a clear move to both enter the North American market and compete with Amazon. The question remains: will US companies be interested?
The retailer, first opened by tailor Fred Segal in 1961, had its heyday in the nineties and early aughts, when it became the first to sell Kate Spade and Juicy Couture, and served as a popular haunt of Paris Hilton and the Olsen twins. Though it’s recently faced instability, its growth plans are unprecedentedly ambitious. As its new owner sees it, with today’s consumers craving authenticity, the brand’s reputation is the ultimate foundation.
Through the official partnership, VF gets access to data from Alibaba’s 654 million-customer database across its marketplaces, including Tmall and Taobao. With that data and TMIC, VF can more readily identify customer trends, test new products before launching them, build customer data profiles and track products post-launch in order to judge how well they’re performing with Chinese customers.
Lululemon is seeing positive results from its investments in new categories like men's, e-commerce capabilities and international growth. During its first quarter earnings report on Wednesday, the company saw revenue increase 20% over the same period last year, to $782 million.
Alibaba and Office Depot are launching a joint B2B site in order to thwart competition from Amazon.
As brands navigate the waters of in-house marketing, they're developing new strategies and tactics to develop data, skillsets and efficiencies for a competitive advantage.
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