Essay on Hart, Schaffner & Marx Case

1023 WordsFeb 4, 20115 Pages
Although the market for separates is certainly viable given promising growth in test markets, it is not a market that makes sense for Hart, Schaffner & Marx (HSM) to compete in. The trend certainly shows a divergence in how some customers view their needs with regards to semi-formal clothing, but the firm runs the risk of diluting not only the perceived quality of its clothing, but also alienating its current client base that is partial to the experience HSM offers in its stores. This experience includes personalized expertise on new fashions, custom tailoring, and the status associated with purchasing and wearing the company’s clothes. Although data is limited to a single years sales comparison in four different test markets, unit…show more content…
Current HSM customers tend to prefer a knowledgeable salesperson to help pick out clothes made of quality fabric. The status of the brand is also an important distinction. The HSM customer tends to wear suits often to work and to client meetings, and often view a perfectly tailored high quality suit as necessary to present a professional image. Custom tailoring is also important to the “professionalism” image the HSM client demands. A suit that doesn’t fit perfectly is fairly obvious to even a lay-person let alone a business executive that demands a similar status from his/her clothes. As a result, it is important to an HSM client that their clothes fit perfectly for them. As a result, HSM suit pants come unfinished on the bottom due to the assumption of guaranteed custom tailoring with the purchase. Also, this type of customer might also be busy during the day and significantly value the convenience of personalized service and expertise, and be willing to pay a slightly higher price for that convenience. In contrast, the target customer for separates wears traditional suits far less often, and is far more price sensitive. The separates customer doesn’t mind shopping for awhile to find what they are looking for. They are also far less concerned with having status associated with their purchase. Such a customer might be looking for a cheaper suit to wear to a

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