Shanghai Tang Case Study Essay

1534 Words Apr 10th, 2013 7 Pages
Managing Creativity
At
Shanghai Tang

Tyler Simpson

April 6th, 2013
EMBA 210

Shanghai Tang has been in the business of selling high quality retail items for men and women, clothing and accessories, since 1994. Their designs have been based upon Chinese cultural influence while also being modern and wearable in markets around the world. Although business has gone well under the leadership of Rafael Le Manse, the company is experiencing some new internal and external issues. Shanghai Tang’s competition is about to establish a market presence in China and in order to stay ahead in the game; Le Manse needs to figure out how to expand the existing customer base. Also, Le Manse’s long time creative partner, Joanne Ooi, is leaving
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However, there are some disadvantages to this strategy. It may be hard to regain the appeal in a market that has not been so successful in the past. Shanghai Tang is going to have to totally restructure how they penetrate their target markets, in Asia. They will need to present the Asian market with exactly what they are looking for, which could translate into longer design lead times, and also the changing of certain manufacturers. Prototypes are going to be expensive and the cost of diverse material, with Chinese factories being labeled as “semi-couture”, could be another expensive hurdle. Lastly, an appeal in the Chinese market is going to take a lot of research for their seasonal clothing. Without a design director, someone is going to have to step up and motivate the design staff to think outside the box.

Another alternative is to focus all of the attention on the expansion of the existing cliental in the global markets. Shanghai Tang’s major consumer base is made up of loyal American and European customers. The market is already well established, they know what the consumers will and will not buy and the demographic of people are already in every major market. 30% of the Mainland China market is made up of American/European consumers. While, not surprisingly, 77% of the US market is made up of the same client profile. What is interesting is that only 12% of the US customer profile is comprised of Asian
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