In todayâ€™s world if internet and communication boundary has erased geographical boundaries, international retailing has brought the world market to the local store near you. Any international brand of fashion or product that you desire can be easily found in the city in your country. The rapid urbanisation, globalisation coupled with economic freedom enjoyed by the youth has helped fuel their ambition and dreams to live a lifestyle that is global and stylish. Thus the international brands and retailers are in for a good time expanding their operations in international markets all over the world.
When one refers to International Retailing, the term denotes a variety of fashion retailers as well as luxury brand retails and general grocery and merchandise retailers as well. Going into the details of what constitutes International fashion Retailing provides us with the following categories of fashion retailing:
Product Fashion Retailers
The retailers who focus on a narrow product range and cater to a particular customer group are categorised into Product fashion retailers. The brands like Nike, Reebok, Puma who cater to Sports Shoes or Jockey who cater to Menâ€™s inner garments etc fall under this category. The customer group may be specific to childrenâ€™s garments, mens shoes, womenâ€™s lingerie or such specific sectors.
Fashion Design Retailers
Fashion firms that promote their brand or label and merchandise the exclusive creations of designers who sell by their name through Company owned exclusive boutiques come under this category of international retailers. Such fashion designers normally take part in the fashion shows and unveil their creations at such industry marked events. Gucci, Channel, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Diesel etc are the well known designer owned brands under this group.
The department stores that engage in fashion retailing as well as general merchandise retailing of different brands and multi products are covered under this category. Departmental stores like Marks & Spenser as well as Dunnes store etc that sell general merchandise and assorted products along with fashion and accessories can be grouped under Merchandise retailers.
General fashion retailers
This group is categorised by the international fashion brands that sell a variety of products under the brand and have extended their product variety under the brand. GAP, Mango, Hugo Boss and JC Penny are some of the fashion labels who have strong brand identity as well as product mix aimed at particular customer segment.
With opening up of new markets as well as globalisation, the complexities faced by the International retailers in terms of the standardisation, quality and new fashion trends as well as new product mix is increasing. Brand promotion and positioning too is undergoing a lot of changes in the face of technology and media being the change agents. The trends in the markets as far as the perception of style and fashion is fast changing. In keeping up with business realities and confronted with need for expansion, new International Retail formats can be expected to emerge pushing the fashion boundaries further and to new frontiers.