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Marketing Research of Mercury Marine -
April 7th, 2011
Mercury Marine, founded in 1939, is a division of Brunswick of Lake Forest, Illinois, in the United States. Mercury provides engines for private, commercial and government sales. Mercury even has its own line of racing engines with less fuel efficiency and more focus at power and speed. The company's primary business is outboard motors. Mercury Outboards, 30 Hp and less, are made by Tohatsu in Japan. Mercury also manufactures some larger size engines in China. Mercury also manufactures engines over 100 hp in their Fond du Lac hub.
Since the late 1990s, there has been a reduction in the percentage of women buying children’s wear. This has been due in part to the aging child population and as a consequence, fewer children. However, the recent rise in the birth rate may lead to a slight uplift in the market over the medium term. On average, the majority of buyers spend less than $100.00 per trip on children’s clothing, a statistic that includes most gift purchasers. Women account for the largest share of spending on all price points, as they are more likely to be responsible for managing their children’s wardrobe. Overall, approximately two men in ten buy children’s clothing (20.7%). Likewise, two out of ever ten shoppers are likely to be light spenders (less that $100). Within many two-parent households, both parents are likely to be purchasing items, although one of the two will take the lead.
The age group with the highest purchasing profile is the 25-45 years group. Buying is least likely at either end of the age spectrum: the under-20s and over-65s. While around one in ten is active in the market in each of the age groups, few are spending more than $100 per year, indicating that, for the most part, purchases are for gifts.
PURCHASE OF CHILDREN’S CLOTHING BY AGE (% OF SHOPPERS) - 2006
NONE Under $100 $100 - $148 $150 - $198 $200 or More
15-19 88.3 6.7 1.4 1.5 2.1
20-24 70.9 10.6 9.2 3.5 5.9
25-34 46.9 15.1 12.0 6.4 19.6
35-44 42.6 14.2 11.4 8.7 23.2
45-54 71.4 10.8 6.2 3.6 7.8
55-64 82.9 10.4 3.1 1.7 2.0
65+ 91.9 5.2 1.8 0.6 0.6
As indicated earlier in this report, girls tend to have a larger and more varied wardrobe than their male counterparts. This makes girls’ clothing the largest segment within the children’s wear market. However, the following segments also demonstrate strong possibilities across the children’s wear market:
Sports/athletic wear for children
Licensed characters apparel (i.e. Barbie, Dora the Explorer, etc.)
Product ties-ins to film, television and other digital media
Ethical (eco-friendly) labels for children
Sportswear remains a particularly important part of the product mix in this sector since spending levels can be high. For example, soccer team jerseys are a favorite in casual wear for many boys. However, they can retailat around $40.00 compared to a basic tee shirt bought at a supermarket for a tenth of the price. Sportsbranding, using popular brand logos and names, is also important.
A recent report, commissioned by the Brand Licensing Show, found that the children’s licensing business inthe UK was worth over $4 billion a year. Brands and characters that appeal to children in the UK generally mirror the U.S., with “Barbie” being the leading name for girls. For older boys, influences such as music can also play a role in defining clothing styles, a trend that a lot of suppliers have focused on. For example, in 2006, Reebok staged a new event Rbk: Now Playing, which showcased a range of icons including Nelly, Daddy Yankee, Mike Jones, Lupe Fiasco and others in a crossover between the music and sports influences. While more apparent in the U.S. market, this trend is also feeding through to UK clothing. Also, increased media awareness of children has opened the market to more fashion-led influences, as well as merchandising tie-ins with other media, such as music and film.
Clothing for infants is an especially attractive market for fashion and designer brands, fueled by images of celebrities and their children in recent years. Selfridges, a major London department store, has added new designer ranges by Roberto Cavalli, Chloé and Sonia Rykiel to its fall ’07 infant collection. Infant wear tends to attract more ethical labels and organic textiles, which has boosted prices in some areas of the market. In 2005, major UK retail supermarket chain Tesco introduced an organic range, while in 2006, leading retailer Marks & Spencer introduced Fairtrade clothing.
ASDA Stores Ltd. - a subsidiary of U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The company operates supermarkets and superstores in the UK.
Blue Max - at the end of 2006, Blue Max, a school wear and garments distributor, acquired Stag Knitwear Company for an undisclosed sum. The merger enables the group to offer a full range of clothing for the school market. The companies planned to continue to work independently on distribution.
Boden - for fall 2007, Boden, an online and catalogue clothing and accessories retailer, launched a babywear collection. The brand previously marketed clothing for children one-year and over, as well as for adults. The new line targets newborns to 18-months, with prices ranging from $24 - $56.
Chukka - a casual wear brand inspired by the sport of polo, launched its first children’s wear collection in 2007. The range of clothing, for boys and girls aged 4 to 11, will be distributed via mail order and through UK-based Chukka retailers.
Crew Clothing - a lifestyle fashion retailer, introduced a children’s wear range in spring 2007. The collection was made available in larger stores, as well as online and through mail order. The range is called Crew Kids and is positioned as a premium main street range, targeting the 3 to 13 year-old age category. It debuted in 13 John Lewis stores and five Crew Clothing outlets, in April 2007.
Disney - in April 2007, Disney announced that it would introduce its first UK line of non-character Disneybranded children’s wear. The Disney Jeans line, introduced before Christmas 2007, includes jeans, Tshirts, and sweatshirts with the Disney logo, priced between $16 and $24. Disney has reached an agreement with “George” at ASDA, to unveil an exclusive children’s wear collection, in October 2007.
English Roses - the pop star Madonna introduced her English Roses brand to the UK in 2007, following its 2004 rollout in the U.S. The range is supplied by Lipstik Clothing of the U.S., and targets the 2 to 16 year-old girls' market.
Fat Face - a 128-store clothing chain, announced in March 2007 that it was to open its first children-only store, which would be located in London. The group also doubled its children's clothing lines in seven stores and launched a new children’s wear catalogue. Fat Face plans to extend its presence in John Lewis stores, from 4 to 20, by spring 2008.
House of Fraser - in January 2007, House of Fraser announced that by spring, it was to reduce its children’s wear labels by more than half, leaving it with 24, including Ted Baker, Elle, Bench and Hooch. The group's aim was to broaden the offer within each brand. A new children’s wear concept has been on trial at the Oxford Street store in London, which included the removal of some mainstream brands to give more space to top performers.
GAP- in June 2007, the U.S. casual wear group announced plans to launch its first UK concession in House of Fraser stores, as part of the mixed retailer's revamped children’s wear business. The new look was to be tested in five stores. CWF, a children’s wear licensing group, is also to open its first concessions at House of Fraser, with brands including Elle, Burberry, DKNY and Timberland.
John Lewis - introduced a school-uniform range made from organic cotton in summer 2007. Intended for children aged 3 to 13 years, the range was initially given a trial run in five stores, with prices ranging from $8 to $34.
Littlewoods - in April 2007, Littlewoods Direct added two new private-label lines to its children’s wear collection. The lines were described as the group's first trend-led children’s wear collections. The Demo brand for boys and the Freespirit label for girls target the 3 to 16 years age group, with pricing positioned below the premium tier. New designs for the girls' line are to be introduced every 8 weeks, reflecting fastfashion influences. Toddler products, under the sub-brands Demo Junior and Little Spirit, were also introduced for the 3 months to 5 years age category.
Marks and Spencer PLC - is engaged in the retail of clothing, footwear, food, homewares and furniture, and the provision of financial services, including credit cards, loans, life insurance and pensions.
Mothercare PLC - is involved in the retail of clothing, hardware and toys for mothers-to-be, babies and children up to the age of 8 years. In addition to its UK stores, the company operates Mothercare-branded stores overseas, under franchise arrangements in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and South Asia. In March 2007, the group had 328 franchised stores in 38 countries.
National Schoolwear Centres - a dedicated school-wear retailer, announced in February 2007 that it planned to open 160 stores over a 5-year period, and the group opened its 60th store selling general and branded school clothing that same month.
Tesco PLC - holds the largest share in the UK's retail food market, with a portfolio of convenience stores, supermarkets and superstores. Tesco entered the clothing sector in 2002, following a deal with the U.S. clothing company The Cherokee Group, to distribute the Cherokee range of casual wear in the UK.
TK Maxx - in summer 2006, TK Maxx launched a new line of children’s wear departments - Kids Maxx - in ten of its larger stores, in an attempt to attract back-to-school shoppers. The departments carry branded children's clothing and footwear, together with toys and nursery items. Clothing was for the newborn to 12 years age range.
The most common way to enter the UK market is to establish a relationship with a local distributor or authorized representative or agent. Many of these companies have been in the business for a long time and have gained the knowledge and experience necessary to work with American companies in developing a market for their new products.
Because a wide variety children’s wear from established companies are already available in the market, the key competitive factors will be quality, price, design and innovation. Also, advertising can be a critical element in making a new product line known locally. New products should be marketed to appeal to purchaser’s interests in a product, i.e. eco-friendly, durability, trendy, etc.
The U.S. Commercial Service offers a variety of services to U.S. exporters, to help them locate potential distribution partners in the UK.
Last edited by netrashetty; April 7th, 2011 at 05:10 PM..