Last Updated 11 Feb 2020

Examining Exclusivity in Mass Marketing

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Explain why Sears or Wal-Mart cannot effectively create a trendy counterculture image. High volume and mass appeal are at the core of one-stop-shop retailers like Sears and Wal-Mart. These stores are the culture others are trying to counter. Wal-Mart relies on mass production of the products they sell to keep manufacturing and shipping costs down. This allows them to maximize profitability. Profitability is not at the core of counterculture; unique style and individualism are.

Counterculture is the alternate of culture, even a subculture. For an active member of the counterculture to shop at a store that sells toilet paper a few isles down from their jeans defies the very image they are set to create or maintain. This is the same reason Urban Outfitters cannot sell Craftsman power tools. This would counter the counterculture image Urban Outfitters is built upon. Could the big box stores sell merchandise identical to Urban Outfitters? Explain your answer.

Big box stores can sell merchandise identical to niche stores like Urban Outfitters to keep up with trends. Stores like Costco can produce, ship and stock merchandise on a large scale in hopes of increasing profitability. Seemingly exclusive products appeal to the masses that do not normally shop at, or cannot afford to shop at more exclusive retailers like Urban Outfitters. This in itself is a trend because once the product is no longer exclusive, it will eventually no longer sell as it did previously.

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Also if the once exclusive product sells at all is a gamble in marketing and sales. Matching the appeal of the original product, timing of launch so as to miss out on the value while it exists and availability to the masses can impact how well a trendy product will sell at a big box store. If it does, what is the effect on the exclusivity once offered by Urban Outfitters? Identify at least three reasons why exclusivity is valuable.

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