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Analysis of Ann Taylor Essay


Target: 30’s married working mother, 2 children combined income $75~150K. Formal suit and blouse. Need: The capital of appropriate attire for professional women in the big city. Retails: There are 261 Ann Taylor stores and 113 Ann Taylor Factory stores in US as of August 2, 2014. Retail Channels: Customers can get information through Internet, official website, direct email, advertisement at the store, coupon, catalog, magazine etc. Need & preference change: the cloth is also for women who out of grad school or out of the Peace Corps or returning from the maternity leave that was going to last four months and somehow lasted five years. Trends: Due to the US economic uncertainty, people still looking for a good cloth but a low price. However, more and more companies are recruiting women at work, making more working women need professional attire. This is the future customer’s need that Ann Taylor could satisfy it.

Company (SWOT Analysis)

I. Strength

Geographical Advantage: Stores in 47 US states + Reliance on China’s Brand Image: the capital of appropriate attire. Professional & succeeding. Reputation: Strong brand identity and well established within the USA. Celebrity attention through Kate Middleton. Human Resource: Hire a full management staff (Marketing, Operations, Design, Finance) to monitor the metrics.

II. Weakness

High management turnover: Challenge in upper management retention. Limited capacity: always shortage to supply to 1050 stores.
Product limitation: Womenswear only.

III. Opportunity

Employment trend: more women in the workforce and women with higher education & upper management positions. Technological development: more and better technological environment developed recently, making E-commerce sales growth. Overseas markets: Open stores in more of EU and Asia.

IV. Threaten

US economic uncertainty: High unemployment rate makes customers looking for low prices and forcing down prices. Expand to other countries: difficult to get in, large capital, connections, different style tastes & reputation required. Changing client fashion preferences: each women has different preference on their cloth. Not all women loves Ann Taylor. Strong competitors: Gap, Next, THE LIMITED, and Topshop etc.


Strong competitors such as Gap. INC: Gap is a specialty retailer of apparel that offers product for men, women, and kids. Share of competitors: Gap. INC operates 3,082 stores across North America, Europe, and Asia. The company’s global presence enables it to build its brand image and maintain its strong position in the market. Product of competitors: Simply put and cheaper than Ann Taylor. Higher quality, wider product selection, added performance, value-added service, attractive styling, and technological superiority. Weakness & Threaten of competitors: Gap’s various product recalls not only generate substantial negative publicity about its products, but also prevent commercialization of other future product candidates. Threats for Gap include the current economic recession in the US and abroad, and rising cotton prices which can affect the profit margin as well as open the door for increased instances of counterfeit merchandising.

Chinese suppliers


Economic environment: the current economic recession in the US and abroad threaten Ann Taylor’s profit. But the unemployment rate is getting better and the US economy is recovering now. The company faces significant competition from the local players in European, Japanese, and Canadian markets. Increasing global competition in the apparel retailing market may significantly affect the company’s market share in the future financial years. The brand image of Ann Taylor may need to change when the company enter the foreign market such as UK and Japan to fit their culture.

Porter’s Five Forces
Bargaining Power of Suppliers
Bargaining Power of Suppliers
Intensity of Existing Rivalry

Threat of Substitutes
Threat of New Competitors

Essay Topics:

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