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Forever 21 & Bebe stores - Essay Example

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Bebe stores offers clothing for upscale, educated women (between the ages of 18 - 34) who want to look sexy. "If the consumer economy had a sex, it would be female . . . Women are the driving force of global economy . . . Men are usually the people . . . creating retail environments to attract women." (Brennan, 17)…
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Forever 21 & Bebe stores
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Comparison of Bebe and Forever 21 Stores Bebe stores offers clothing for upscale, educated women (between the ages of 18 - 34) who want to look sexy. "If the consumer economy had a sex, it would be female . . . Women are the driving force of global economy . . . Men are usually the people . . . creating retail environments to attract women." (Brennan, 17). Their provocative ads and eye-catching windows display sexy dresses and skirts, cool jeans, accessories, and various products (perfume, etc.) under the Bebe label. Bebe also has PH8 (formerly BEBE SPORTS) and 2b Bebe banners though 300 stores in the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada. (
". . .the best companies create value for their customers in five interlocking ways . . . solutions to their needs, respect, and connect . . . on an emotional level . . . set prices fairly [not necessarily cheaply] . . . easy for people to find what they need, pay for it quickly, and then move on . . . sounds exceedingly simple . . . surprisingly difficult." (Harvard Business Press, 1).
Bebe's definitely creates value for their customers in all 5 areas. When I visited the store, a black and white, polka-dot handbag ($130.00) caught my eye. The price was more than I wanted to pay, but definitely worth it (genuine leather). I interviewed a loyal customer who said she started shopping at Bebe's in West Palm Beach. She said that the prices "were reasonable." Her 7 items ranged from $59.00 to $100.00 each. (Rosebud)
The store image is sleek, sophisticated, clean, and urbane. The manager definitely has achieved the goal of making the internal and external image draw traffic. There was signage throughout the store. No stockouts. The environment was clean and organized. The employees, who were attentive and knowledgeable, wore attire that reflected the store's image. Although I thought the target market was for twenty-one year olds, one of the employees correct my preconceived ideas by telling me that "my mom shops here and she is over 50." (Braswell). The competitive advantage would be the "discriminating" feeling associated with fine fabric, details, and higher prices. Bebe had metallic, thong sandals for $50.00; Forever 21 had metallic, thong sandals for $10.80. Their true competitors would be Guess Inc. or Nordstrom's. "The ability to charge a premium for your brand over that of the competition is critically important . . . " (Davis, 28).
The one negative I experienced was my brief interaction with the manager, Tracee Watson. When I told her I was a writer, she abruptly gave me the number to customer service.
Forever 21's clothes are targeted for trendy teens or twentysomethings. ( The scoop neck tees priced at $5.90, tank tops for $11.80, and dresses for $12.80 are for
budget-minded customers. They have a presence on the web, YouTube, a magazine, and a blog; great marketing strategies to connect with customers via many outlets 24/7. They have clothes for women and men.
". . . customers usually shop for a reason: they have a problem - a need - and the retailer hopes to provide a solution." (Harvard Business Press). "The focus of our analysis is . . . as per the science of shopping." (Underhill, 11). Young adults want fashion at a low price. The overall experience was mediocre. The store image is fun, young, hip, and cool. The manager achieved goal of drawing traffic with colorful signs announcing sales, etc. The environment was trendy and organized. The young employees were very friendly.
The advantages would be the prices and options to shop (online or in-person). Their competitors are Wet Seal or Target. "The five competitive forces - entry, threat of substitution, bargaining power of buyers . . . suppliers and rivalry . . . goes beyond the established players . . . customers. . . in this broader sense. . . " (Porter, 6). The lighting was not as bright as Bebe's and the music was loud (which is what most teens love).
Works Cited
Berry, Leonard. Harvard Business Review on Retailing and Merchandising. Boston: Harvard
Business Review. 2008. Print
Brennan, Bridget. Why She Buys. New York: Crown Business. 2009. Print
Davis, Scott. Brand Asset Management. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 2002. Print
Dion, James. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting & Running A Retail Store. New York:
Alpha Books. 2008. Print
Porter, Michael. Competitive Strategy. New York: The Free Press. 1980. Print
Underhill, Paco. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. New York: Simon & Schuster.
1999. Print

Braswell, Brittany. Personal Interview. 15 Apr. 2010
Rosebud. Personal Interview. 15 Apr. 2010
Web. Read More
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