The purpose of this paper is to realize the marketing plan for the French fashion company called Caroll aiming to penetrate the huge market of China. The very interesting point of China is that today, the middle market class is very large and growing very fast. The objective is to design and define a clear strategy to enter this market by giving different recommendations for a successful introduction inside this new developed country.
The current mission statement of Caroll is as follows: Caroll is in the business of ready-to-wear fashion and styled clothes of very good quality making women good-looking thanks to a strong product identity, a high degree of adaptability to market and an innovative brand through a unique distributor concept (Caroll’s_Staff, The company, 2007). To begin this marketing analysis about Caroll’s brand, we need to present the company. As we can learn on the Caroll’s History page from the Caroll’s Internet Site, it has been founded in 1963 by two gentlemen called Raphai??
l Levy and Joseph Bigio. Its former name was Les Tricots Caroll (Caroll Knits). At that time, Caroll had a specific and unique market niche which was knitwear and more particularly Shetland woolens. During the booming 1970s, those products were sold in more than 1000 outlets. Few dates are critical concerning Caroll’s history: 1980 dealt with the launching of a ready-to-wear collection and also the creation of Caroll’s first franchise shops in France.
The 1980s end was marked by the buying of the Caroll International brand by the Andri?? group on the stock exchange. This group became Vivarte in 2001 and it is a French leader and one of the first European retailer of shoes with a French market share of 14. 1 percent for the footwear market and 3. 5 for the clothing market (Boursorama’s_Staff, 2007).
Within the framework of its two activities, “Discount” and “Centre Ville”, Vivarte owns around 2500 shops worldwide gathering twenty different brands such as Andri, Besson, Chaussland, la Halle aux Chaussures, Cosmo, Fosco, Pataugas, Merkal, Minelli, San Marina, la Halle, Kookai?? , Parti Prix, Liberto, and off course Caroll. The 1990s represented the international expansion of Caroll thanks to the creation of its new brand “Caroll Paris”. The objective was to become a major player in the world of fashion. This changing of image brought increased market shares in few years. Well-informed and with high standards females appreciate Caroll for its products of high quality, its expertise, and its style.
With more than 300 points of sale worldwide, including 270 shops in France established in cities’ centers and commercial centers and an about seventy abroad (Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Dubai, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia), Caroll offers a wide products range like blouses, coats, dresses, jackets, pants, sweatshirts as clothes, but also an associated accessories range like bags, jewels, and shoes. Caroll is “known and praised by countless women since 40 years, today Caroll is, without doubt, one of the best success stories in the field of ready-to-wear fashion” (Caroll’s_Staff, historique, n.d. ).
The principal strategy of Caroll concerning its products is to be as much innovative as possible. Historically, Caroll targeted middle markets offering fashion clothes of medium prices under the name of “Caroll International”. But as we saw in the company’s presentation, Caroll changed its name for “Caroll Paris” in order to adapt a high standards’ positioning thanks to the fact that Paris is worldwide known to be the capital of fashion. Being a ready-to-wear company, Caroll offers a range of products divided into two parts: clothing and accessories.
Clothing is actually its main activity and it gathers blouses, coats, dresses, jackets, pants, and sweatshirts. Among accessories, we can find bags, jewels, and shoes. Two things can be point out here: the fact that Caroll sells accessories is a clear way of rapid adaptability to markets which is one of the elements of its mission statement. The second is that thanks to the purchasing of Caroll by the group Vivarte (ex-Andri?? ) in 1988, the brand enjoyed the know-how of this group about the shoe business.
No Caroll’s products are positioned as Dogs products because the clothing and accessories markets are not declining even if the competition is rude in those markets. Accessories can be considered as Question Marks products simply because it is a relatively high competitive market but opportunities are numerous and if investments are dedicated to them the return on investment is potentially high and that is why accessories could rapidly become Stars products bringing a lot of money to the company.
Concerning clothes, they are more classical products which are working well since a long time, not needing significant investments to survive while being profitable for Caroll. Depending on the type of clothing (blouses, coats, dresses, jackets, pants, and sweatshirts), necessary investments can be higher from one to the other and that is why we put clothes between Stars and Cash Cows products. Now that Caroll is positioned on a higher quality market thanks to the brand renewal, it can concentrate itself in the innovating process of its product range.
Caroll is constantly renewing its products and especially accessories aiming to keep its customers’ brand loyalty. Caroll addresses its products to a specific market target which is the executive and dynamic woman between 25 and 45 years old, active and urban, appreciating the simplicity of forms, worked materials and small details like net effects, point games, muslin, and embroidery (Distrijob. fr, n. d. ). This type of woman worries a lot about her presentation and image.
This woman also has a relatively high purchasing power not because Caroll’s products are expensive (because they are not) but more because the objective of quantity is followed by Caroll. A woman with high purchasing power can buy more reasonably priced products from Caroll. This target brought success to the company because of two factors: first, the woman is getting more and more independent and thus she can decide by herself when she wants to go shopping and how many she wants to spend; the second one is about the increasing purchasing power of women, more and more women take part of the active population in France (Distrijob. fr, n. d. ).