Essentially, this will work by Campus COUtUre purchasing pieces from designers and other local and international retailers, and offering it as a rental service to our clientele. Campus Couture allows its members to search dresses by new arrivals, size, color, style, or price. We aim to offer rental services for women to attend date nights, cocktail parties, and formal events idyllically for the Western Community.
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Campus Couture, Inc. Was incorporated in 201 2 and is based in London, Ontario (Exhibit 1). 1. Goals and Objectives: The initial goal of Campus Couture is to present our aggregate research and analysis to generate confidence in our business model and its feasibility. Establish a Presence Within the Campus Community: Establish a consistent base of users that rely on Campus Couture’s site for their semi-formal and formal wear Establish ourselves are the forerunners in designer wear for the targeted consumers Minimize Start-Up Costs: From an operations standpoint, we strive to minimize start-up costs and maximize our customer-base in the first fiscal year, while generating a constant stream of profit in later periods.
Promote Website Traffic: By increasing awareness about Campus Couture, we aim to capture 15% of Westerns female population to become active members of Campus Couture, Inc. By the end of our first year of operations (Exhibit 2) Financial: Usually negative cash from operations is risky, however sometimes is necessary to get the business afloat. Breakable by the end of 2nd fiscal year. Personal Goals: $1 5,000 in drawings by the Second Fiscal Year End (2013-2014) Drawings for Campus COUtUre Board of Directors at 70% Of net income by 3rd fiscal year-end Work part-time; between 5-8 hours per week 1. Key Success Factors: Successful Market Penetration: Initial market penetration is vital for our business to prosper. As a consequence of our generally unfamiliar business concept, our marketing practices must be well-planned and innovative in order to win over our customer base. Due to the influence of word-of-mouth and social media activity amongst our target demographic, we believe that once this initial base is established, we can expect a steady increase in customer base moving forward.
Trendiest and Affordability: Trendiest and affordability are key determinants of Campus Couture’s success, as today’s youth wants to maintain a fashionable image without the substantial expenditures associated with purchasing an outfit. Campus Couture aims to keep its product offerings current and updated adhering to the latest fashion trends. Furthermore, each rental will be a fraction of the retail cost of the dress, meaning that Campus Couture will be a practical alternative. Affordability is the keystone to our business model, and it is imperative that it is maintained.
Our price model is based off of the number of times we expect each dress to be rented, thus increasing the customer base and the number of rentals. We can expect to increase inventory, while driving down rental rates in the future. 1. 4 Corporate Capabilities: Strengths: Campus Couture adheres to a unique business model and can take definitive strides to provide our members a vast selection of dresses that cater to our students and young professionals. Campus Couture has skilled personnel that are capable of handling the daily operations and logistics involved with running a rental service.
They have unrivaled insight into our target market as we are Western students representing other Western students. The use of social media technology has provided Campus Couture direct access to the target market, making us trendsetters for the rising trend in economical pending habits in this post-recession era. Weaknesses: Campus Couture has limited funds, inventory and connections to the fashion industry. This makes our company more vulnerable to our competitors who possess extensive fashion expertise and large capital allowances for advertising.
Our business also has the unique task of having to overcome the negative stigma attached to renting apparel. As well, the business’s success is heavily reliant on keeping up with the latest trends and appealing to the young female’s fashion needs/style. A strong marketing campaign and commitment to Campus Couture’s business objectives will hopefully overcome these weaknesses, as well as increase traffic to our website. Seasonality will also impact our feasibility since a large portion of our target market attends Western University but leave for the summer months. . External Analysis: 2. 1 political: As of January 201 2, students across Ontario have begun receiving $1 ,600 annually from the provincial government, as part of an initiative to lower to tuition rates. This helps alleviate the financial stresses for students and also puts more disposable income back into their pockets, thus proving that female students will have increased means to rent dresses and purchase other novelties. Transmutes’ are popularizing among environmental groups. These are individuals who value non-ownership for environmental and ethical reasons.
The rhetoric behind this lies in the fact that “the more people share, the fewer goods need to be produced -? and fewer resources will be used up. ” Therefore, dress rentals definitely cater to those consumers who will only use something when they truly need it. 2. 2 Economic: Due to rising university tuition rates, Western students on average have less disposable income and therefore increased pressure to spend their money wisely. Statistics Canada reported in 2008 that Canadian females between 16 ND 1 9 had an average income of $7,100 whereas females between 20 and 24 earned $15,100.
If a student in either age cohort had to cover living and post- secondary expenses, they would have little or no money left for other expenditures. According to Western Statistics, approximately 681 9 bursaries, accounting for roughly $1 5 million were given to students requiring financial assistance. These statistics imply that many Western students are looking to economize and curb their spending habits in order to offset their debt from student loans. The population of females at Western is currently 13,990 females that have gig demand for fashionable dresses due to the ongoing social scene in London.
The price of clothing has escalated in as many years due partially to increased commodity, labor, and shipping costs, as well as markups associated with name brands.Consequently, consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to appear fashion forward at a reasonable price. On average, Western undergraduate students attend 6 to 8 major events per semester. 1 Provided that we can offer our clientele high quality dresses at a reasonable price, we aspire to take advantage of this opportunity and create successful business model that aligns with the needs of price sensitive Western University female students. . 3 social: Online shopping has also revolutionized over the past decade. According to Statistics Canada, in 2007 about 8. 4 million Canadian individuals aged 16 years and older used the Internet to make almost $12. 8 billion in purchases. By 2010, 113. 8 million orders were made by 1 1 2 million Canadians with a value of $15. 3 billion. From 2007 to 2010, the percentage of online shoppers that used the Internet to purchase clothing, jewelry, and accessories rose from 29% to 36%.
This positive correlation demonstrates an increasing trend of online consumers and an opportunity for Campus Couture to capture this market because a large age of these shoppers were females under the age of 30. Currently, 60% of Western students are female; this rising trend along with plans to for the University to admit larger first-year classes secures Campus Couture?s growing target audience. Overall, these conditions are very favorable for our company as there is clear evidence that our target market is steadily expanding, implying that Campus Couture will likely gain customers and increase profits over time. 2.
Technological: Modern technological developments, like the Internet have increased the consumers access to information thus reducing time spent shopping and has made retail prices more competitive by shifting the power from suppliers to consumers. This transformation is forcing current businesses to review their current operations and marketing strategies to better accommodate consumer demands. Campus Couture believes that implementing modern information technology to target the budget-conscientious young female consumer and to fulfill their need for fashionable apparel can offer a competitive edge over our competitors. 3.
Consumer Analysis: 3. 1 Market Research: In our survey (Exhibit 3, Exhibit), 63% of respondents were inclined to rent a dress while 32% indicated that the idea was not appealing to them. Many hesitated as they worried about cleanliness and unfamiliarity to the concept of dress rentals. Our results show that approximately 73% of respondents are either impartial, agree, or strongly agree to this concept. This indicates that if Campus Couture can successfully promote dress rentals as fashionable, economical, and sanitary to the masses, we will unleash potential for large sales volumes and high returns from this untapped market.
In terms of pricing, 76% of females surveyed indicated that they would spend less than $1 00 and 55% would spend less than $70 on a dress for a special occasion, therefore implying that price is a determining factor for the typical consumer. Therefore, Campus Couture must rent out its dresses at competitive rates to appeal to a vast market In which some would prefer to purchase rather than rent. 3. 2 Target Market: Campus Couture targets young female students and professionals from the Western and London community, ages 1 8 to 25 years old, who are searching for fashionable higher-end formulae at affordable prices.
Students are very social individuals, but they are also on a limited budget With pressure to dress well, they want to look great by wearing new dresses. Buying new dresses is extremely costly, which is why this demographic would be more inclined to rent. 4. Competitive Analysis: Although, there are no specific businesses that provide a similar service to either community, there are many direct and indirect competitors impeding on Campus Couture’s growth potential. 4. 1 Direct: Forever XIX: With 480 locations and revenue grossing over $2. Billion, Forever XIX is extremely popular among teen and young adult females and caters to an array of different styles at great value. In terms of marketing and promotion, Forever XIX has truly capitalized with its e-commerce venture. With Forever XIX opening up at Nashville Place in March 2012, Campus Couture could foresee immense competition from this clothing retailer. Forever XIX has far greater financial means to purchase inventory and to market their product. They have the potential to capture a larger audience due to their variety of inventory and reasonable pricing.
These factors could pose as a real threat to the success of Campus Couture. A drawback to their business model is that with lower pricing comes poorer quality. This brings out the traditional quantity versus quality debate, and Campus Couture would have to evaluate which is more important to the desired target market. Forever Xi’s dresses lie in the same price range as renting from Campus COUtUre’s designer ones, however online purchases incur corresponding shipping charges. SASS: SASS is a global fashion e-commerce website, located in the UK, which sells fashionable clothing and accessories internationally.
With 7. 0 million registered users and 35,000 new products each season, SASS attracts a wide range of demographics, allowing the business to penetrate the global market. By offering free shipping worldwide, consumers are more likely to purchase, however there are a number of downfalls, Canadian customers are required to pay both HAST and duties, increasing the overall cost to the consumer. This also makes international returns more difficult, as the consumer will have to pay freight for the item(s) to be returned, which could be costly.
In addition, this may even hinder the company’s potential for making sales, as skeptic consumers would be hesitant to order without previously seeing the quality of the clothing. The efficiency of the delivery service is essential to ensure that customers receive their products on time in order to maintain customer satisfaction. Campus Couture differs as we offer rentals for similar items, but with a limited inventory. Our inventory will focus on the needs of the London community, instead of the world market.
With that said, we provide our Members the opportunity to have a personal fitting. In addition, Campus Couture will not have to bother with online payment security and delivery timings, as both will be handled in-store. And Ezra: Our market research relayed that H and Ezra were highly popular within our target market. Whereas, H has a flagship in London, Ezra, is only coated in Toronto. Many Western students are from the Toronto area and travel home frequently, thereby making Ezra a direct competitor. Both retailers have strong brand recognition and customer loyalty across Canada.
H’s business concept is to give the customer unbeatable value by offering style and quality at a reasonable price. Ezra in comparison, concentrates on quality, design, and rapid turnaround. H&M’s dresses retail between $20 and $60 whereas Ezra retails its dresses for $80 based on current website pricing. One weakness both of these companies share is their lack of an online store, while Campus Couture provides its consumers with the ability to reserve dresses online and on your phone. Oftentimes, customers find an item online and by the time they get to the store, the size or color of dress may be sold out.
Overall, retailers who transition their marketing strategy to reflect technological trends will be better equipped to handle the the needs Of the modern consumer. Boutiques along Richmond Row: Richmond Row is home to various local apparel retailers in downtown London. Regardless of our partnership with Elliot, a local boutique (Exhibit 5), they would still remain indirect competitors as similar items would be arrested to the same audience. Price is a huge factor as Elliot has sizeable profit margins for it sales, however with increased competition and lower prices for the similar goods may result in a price war. Ultimately, Campus Couture will be able to overcome this form of competition due to its offering of a fundamentally different service. 4. 2 Indirect: High-End Departmental Stores High-end department stores including Holt Renew, Anemia Marcus, and Nordstrom provide designer apparel at high costs. These department stores target an older and wealthier demographic than students, who can afford to ay high premiums for higher quality. While many of these high-end stores ship to Canada, the costs associated with shipping makes these pieces virtually impossible for the average student to afford.
Online Flash Sales: Online Luxury Flash Sales websites such as Beyond the Rack, Net-a-Porter, and The Peacock Parade are an up-and-coming trend in today’s technology- dependent world. Here, designers and retailers have their merchandise discounted between 50-70% of the original retail value. Sales are typically short (under 72 hours) and start at inconvenient times during the day. This sakes purchasing from these websites difficult and inconvenient for students with busy schedules. Flash sales have limited selection, so specific styles may not be available.
Most of these websites have headquarters in the States, adding shipping costs to the original purchase price. 5. Four Up’s 5. 1 Product: We offer a dress rental service in London Ontario, where consumers can browse our inventory online and reserve dresses, then allowing them to come in before their event to try on the dress and pay for the rental. 5. 2 Placement: We chose to place our business in the North London borough because Of its rigidity to Western University and college population, who are looking for the latest trends and outfits to present themselves in.
The area is known for student housing, and therefore is more convenient for them to walk to in comparison to either mall or the downtown core. We believe that being located in close proximity to campus is advantageous as there are no other clothing retailers in the area, unlike the competition we would have faced from retailers along Richmond Row or in Nashville. 5. 3 price: While finalizing our inventory, the costs associated were taken into account in order to set the rental fees.
The rental price represents 30 to 35% of the original retail price, therefore we will be able to generate a return on our investment after three rentals. This value is reasonable enough that consumers would still be inclined to rent rather than purchase a dress from elsewhere. As a start-up, we did not want to take too big of a risk. Since the business concept is unfamiliar to a large portion of our demographic, high initial promotional costs are necessary to inform and penetrate the market. Afterwards, Campus Couture can rely on the social behavior of the demographic to steadily build our customer base in years to mom. . 4 Promotion: In order to reach out to our clientele, we aim to incorporate a pull strategy, using a variety of social media outlets, promotional events and incentives, and personal selling strategies in an attempt to build up consumer demand for high-end designer dress rentals. Promotional Campaign: Social Media (Exhibit 6) The 18 to 25 cohort represents the highest consumers of social networking and the Internet. Social media outlets including, Faceable has made girls more vigilant to keep up with fashion trends and to have an extensive wardrobe for every occasion.
Nowadays, girls are self-conscious about rearing the same outfit repeatedly, fearful that someone might remember. Due to these societal pressures, females have resorted to online retail browsing and shopping for clothing and accessories. With Campus Couture on all major networking sites: Faceable, Twitter, and Pinsetters, we can inform our customers about the latest trends and what is new at Campus Couture, enabling our clientele to interact with us, and even see how other clients are wearing Campus Couture. This will positively influence our company’s image, as one that cares about its clientèle’s needs before their special event.
Mobile Application (Exhibit 7) Imagine Campus Couture, at your fingertips. Our mobile application can be downloaded onto your Blackberry, phone, or Android to see the latest in trends and new in-stock items, and book fittings. This will allow girls who wait until the eleventh hour to reserve a dress at any time. With that said, the mobile application is expected to be of greatest utility to customers for those always on-the-go. It will also enhance accessibility to our catalogue and overall business, further inclining potential customers to use our service.
Undoubtedly, the greatest asset we can gain by using the mobile application s ensuring Campus Couture’s constant presence in customers’ lives. Viral Youth Campaign With today’s youth constantly viewing, posting, and sharing Youth videos all over the social media circuit, Campus Couture has the opportunity to be recognized quickly, without incurring the cost of airing pricey television commercials. By filming a video that highlights Campus Couture’s brand power and competitive advantage, we can influence students to share the video.
In turn, they will be personally selling Campus Couture to their social circles without even realizing that they are doing it. This will elevate inquiries, ND with proper sales training within the Campus Couture team, this will result in increased volumes of rentals, equating to higher gross revenue as well as a higher return on our initial investment. Print Advertising and Word of Mouth (Exhibit 8) Print advertising is a promising technique as it catches the attention of many students while walking around campus.
With posters up in areas of high traffic, students will be able to familiarize themselves with Campus Couture. These advertisements will be concentrated in locations with the highest prevalence Of our target market in order to garner their attention. Launch Party: The executive of Campus Couture, Inc. Will be working closely with the George Boatswains, Resident DC of Cobra London to organize a launch party and Fashion Show on Friday September 14th, 2012. With upwards of 500 attendees, we hope to make our mark on the Western and London community by selling advance tickets to the event for $10.
Advance ticket sales will be a key marketing strategy to spread word out about Campus Couture to all social circles across the campus community. All revenues generated would be paid to Cobra London. The launch party will promote our business, while the Fashion Show will best exhibit Campus Couture’s collection to the female demographic. This will be coordinated in part with Blackbirds Salon and Spas, who have donated their time and expertise into making this event a great success. Our team will be able to personally sell Campus Couture to our target market, while promoting to the masses. . Internal Analysis 6. 1 Operations: Operations will commence on September 1st, 2012 with promotions, leading up to our launch party on September 14th, inaugurating the business. In order to use the site, a customer must make an account (Exhibit 9). Members can search through different dresses by style, color, size, or price. In addition, the calendar widget displays the availability of each dress. This calendar will mark off the dates that the dress has been booked for, the size, and the event she will be wearing it to, allowing other customers to skim through dresses efficiently.
This also ensures that no two people will be renting out the same dress for the same event. Once the customer has decided on a dress, they will book a fitting appointment, where Campus Couture will hold onto two sizes of any one dress for the customer, ensuring a proper fit. Once they have been fitted, the client will choose whether to proceed with the rental. Our storefront provides them access to browse through other dresses. If they choose another dress, we would ensure that it was not previously on hold for another customer and that it was clean and undamaged.