Managing Resources for Competitive Advantage

Country Road can be an Australian based company in the business of creating and retailing a variety of products, from clothing to homeware and related accessories. It performs all across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, through an more than 60 retail outlets and 80 concession retailers. The Company uses more than 2000 staff and just recently launched its new brand under the name of Trenery. Country Road is focused on high quality and value. It places the world's finest recycleables, fabric, woollen yarns and clean Italian cottons. Country Road's clothing and accessories are priced at the top quality of the custom made market. By having a combination of the very best design trends using its personal tailoring and attention to detail, Country Highway is designed to create simply stylish products reflecting an authentically Australian way of life. The Company has an extremely strong occurrence in the Australian retail and fashion industry.

Country Road was founded in 1974 by Stephen Bennett primarily as a distinct segment women's shirting business. Through the 1980s and 1990s the business opened a number of stores in Australia, expanded its low cost business and joined in to the US and Asian marketplaces. Country Street then created its innovative superstore notion, offering Australians with all key product areas: womenswear, menswear, accessories and homeware, all within a integrated lifestyle destination. The Company was later purchased by Myer Emporium Ltd in 1981. In 1984 it diversified into Menswear and started out exporting outside Australia. Country Highway floated on the Australian STOCK MARKET in July 1987. In 1990s the Company's US business failed plus they were required to close its US procedure to focus on the Australian market. Woolworths Holdings, a South African retailer big, secured an 88% curiosity about Country Street in 1998, which allowed those to re-build their business and brand personality.

Between 2000 and 2001 Country Highway entered in to the eyewear and childrenswear business. The Company retails in stand-alone stores and also concession stores in David Jones and Myer. Country Road is a subsidiary of Woolworths Holdings Small and its listed office is in Richmond, in the point out of Victoria. THE BUSINESS competes with a diverse range of upmarket outfits designers and suppliers, as well as other high-end brands within Myer and David Jones. Country Road's issuer code on the Australian STOCK MARKET is CTY and its classified to be in the retailing industry. Their official website on the internet is www. countryroad. com. au. Country Road's current executive management committee members are as referred to: Simon Susman, Chairman Non-Executive Director; John Cheston, CEO/Director; Sophie Holt, Director; David Thomas, Director/CFO; Ian Moir Non-Executive Director; Norman Thomson, Non-Executive Director.

Industry Background

The Australian Fashion Retail industry has faced radical transformation in the past decades. Leisure of trade tariffs has seen production lines shift overseas, aided by technology such as computer aided design, production and purchasing. Today it is possible to send habits and orders around the globe in minutes. Because of the decrease in tariff levels, and the upsurge in costs of domestic production and production, lots of the more labour rigorous textile clothing and footwear activities have moved offshore over the past decade. An increasing number of Australian organizations are producing links with manufacturers in another country who provide contributions to Australian development or provide done goods to compliment the Australian made amounts of fashion articles.

The outfits sector of the Australian fashion industry is characterised by an assortment of a few large and many small institutions. The larger institutions tend to focus on low end fashion, long run production items, while the smaller establishments tend to be geared to respond to changes in the market for their apparel, with short works at the top end providing the "exclusive" feel. Shorter run production structures have developed in answer to the needs of industry. The demand for fashion, overall flexibility and product variety has ensured that manufacturers of fashion clothing, vunerable to fast change, do not over commit in their production runs, leaving themselves exposed to stock obsolescence.

As an evergrowing percentage of Australia's production in the fashion industry has moved offshore, Australia's recent success in the style industry centres on the Australian designers. Given the seasonality variations between the north and southern hemispheres, many of Australia's designers starting their fashion on world developments arising out of fashion shows in the northern hemisphere and using the natural fibres which originate in Australia, being generally wool and silk cotton. Other natural fibres attaining success on the earth stage emanating from Australia include Cashmere, Mohair, and Alpaca fibres. Leading Australian designers make an effort to pre-empt the north hemisphere's designs, not always being a season behind.

The display of Australian fashion is presented on a yearly basis at the Mercedes Australian Fashion Week. The function gives international contact with promising and prominent fashion designers in Australia such as Charlie Brown, Lisa Ho, Saba, Marcs and Collette Dinnigan. However the Mercedes Australian Fashion Week only commenced in 1996, the grade of the creation and designs exhibited has catapulted Australia's international reputation among the world's leading fashion industry happenings. Gross export sales caused by the exhibitions have increased significantly due to the greater international exposure to the function.

The 2001 Mercedes Australian Fashion Week demonstrated a 45% upsurge in the amount of international media representatives and fashion customers visiting Sydney through the event. The event represents an essential component in the market strategies of designers and exhibitors as well and is accountable for a significant ratio of participants, spring and coil and summer general sales. The amount of domestic consumer demand in the Australian fashion industry is respected in excess of $10 billion per annum, with greater than 40% of the demand accounted for by immediate imports. The amount of raw materials brought in into Australia for the production of finished goods is well more than the level of imported finished goods, although in many cases the recycleables found in the development of the brought in fibres result from within Australia.

The Australian Administration has increased its support to the Australian Textile and Clothing industry made to boost international awareness of the industry and increase global competitiveness of the participants in Australia. The ongoing and limited assistance programs initiated by the government are made to capitalise Australia's growing success in the international current market for Australian designed and produced fashion goods by concentrating on market awareness, promotion and gain access to. Other initiatives designed to promote quality are education and training. Investment in creativity and technology development has been produced by the Government to reduce costs associated with creation in Australia and increase demand, not only from within Australia but on a competitive international basis.

Main Competitors

Country Road doesn't have a single immediate competitor within the Australian market. Instead they contend with a large selection of upscale apparel designers and stores that can go from small institutions, such as high end boutique stores, to big superstores like Myer and David Jones. Considering that Country Street has were able to achieve the processing of high quality clothing and other items in a sizable scale, it is good to expect that their competition is also as huge as their product line.

Porter's Five Causes Analysis

Porter's five pushes model is a guideline for industry research that presents that five forces determine competitive intensity and attractiveness of a given market or industry. Based on the idea that competitive edge came from the capability to earn a return on investment that was superior than the common for the industry sector, Porter set up a framework of five causes: the rivalry between existing retailers in the market, the power applied by the customers in the industry, the impact of the suppliers on the retailers, the potential risk of new sellers coming into the market and finally the risk of alternative products becoming available in the given industry.

As Porter's 5 Makes analysis handles factors outside an industry that influence the nature of competition within it, the forces inside the industry that influence how firms compete and so the industry's likely profitability is conducted in Porter's five forces model. A business must understand the dynamics of its business and markets in order to remain competitive effectively available on the market and support a competitive advantage against its competitors.

During the establishment of Country Highway in the first many years of the Australian market, they experienced little competition. Only with the reduced amount of tariff barriers over time, did foreign competition enter the local market and Country Road commenced facing its first real competitors. With the expansion into the US market, Country Road had to go into a new industry with well-established brands such as GAP and Banana Republic and unluckily this became challenging as Country Highway entered a market with no concrete research and precaution where competition were industry leaders and had a solid customer base recently established.

Country Road acquired little bargaining electric power of customers since Banana Republic and Distance already sold the same type of products provided by Country Street. Possibly they rushed too fast to their expansion to the US market and failed to previously examine its marketing strategy and product position. Obviously that its US wing failed and crashed a couple of years later later on. External industry pushes such as rivalry from competition and risk of substitute products cost Country Street its US market department.

A business must understand the dynamics of its industries and markets to be able to remain competitive effectively in the marketplace and become better able to sustain competitive advantage. The depth of rivalry, which is the most obvious of the five makes within an industry, helps determine the extent to that your value created by an industry will be dispersed through face-to-face competition. This push is situated at the centre of the diagram is most likely to be saturated in those business where there's a threat of alternative products; and existing electricity of suppliers and buyers on the market.

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