Premium Essay

Ann Taylor: Survival in Specialty Retail

In: Business and Management

Submitted By microfun
Words 11348
Pages 46
The CASE Journal

Volume 5, Issue 2 (Spring 2009)

Ann Taylor: Survival in Specialty Retail
Pauline Assenza
Manhattanville College
Alan B. Eisner
Lubin School of Business, Pace University
Jerome C. Kuperman
Minnesota State University Moorhead

In the summer of 2008, headlines announced that the declining economy was generating a “wave of retail closures” among many well-known companies, including Home Depot, Pier 1 Imports,
Zales, Gap, Talbots, Lane Bryant, and Ann Taylor. The Chief Executive of J.C. Penney’s called the 2008 situation “the most unpredictable environment in his 39-year retail career”. i One industry group forecasted that nearly 6,000 retail stores would close in 2008, a 25 percent increase from the previous year. A representative from the National Retail Federation (NRF) suggested that these businesses should “look at where they’re underperforming and how can they change their operations so that they have a little bit more power in another area, or a little bit more growth potential.” ii Kay Krill, President and CEO of Ann Taylor Stores Corporation
(ANN), was already considering this advice.
Krill had been appointed President of ANN in late 2004, and succeeded to President/CEO in late
2005 when J. Patrick Spainhour retired after eight years as CEO. At that time, there had been concern among commentators and customers that the Ann Taylor look was getting “stodgy”, and the question was how to “reestablish Ann Taylor as the preeminent brand for beautiful, elegant, and sophisticated occasion dressing”. iii In order to reestablish the brand, Kay Krill had acknowledged the importance of the consumer, since for Ann Taylor to succeed long term,
“enough women still need to dress up for work”. iv
Krill’s challenge was based in the ANN legacy as a women’s specialty clothing retailer. Since
1954, Ann Taylor had been the wardrobe…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor: Survival in Specialty Retail"

...1956 by Robert Liebeskind, Ann Taylor, an upscale woman’s clothier began operation in New Harford Connecticut. Ann Taylor was established to cater to working women who wanted style and class to be their trademark. Ann Taylor or ANN is in the retail clothing industry. According to the ANN website, their purpose is to, “inspire and connect with women who put their best selves’ forward each day.” (Ann Taylor) Kay Krill, CEO of Ann Taylor states on their website that, “At ANN Inc. we share a profound commitment to our clients. For more than half a century, we have evolved with the needs of real women, who live full active lives. Our values are her values. We understand that a woman expresses herself by what she wears- at work, at home and at play.” (Ann Taylor) Ann Taylor has grown to encompass the markets of both work and leisure clothing for a discerning customer. Porter’s Five Forces, states that there are five issues that affect the strength and viability of a business, the model developed by Michael Porter, identifies and analyzes five competitive forces that shape every industry, and helps determine an industry's weaknesses and strengths. The five forces are: 1. Competition in the industry 2. Potential of new entrants into industry 3. Power of suppliers 4. Power of customers 5. Threat of substitute products The key issues in the competitive environment that affect ANN and its rivals are the threat of substitute products. The retail clothing industry is an......

Words: 941 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor Internal Analysis

...Ann Taylor (based on an earlier version of the case) 1. Consider the performance of A nn Taylor. How well is the present strategy working? Ann Taylor compared to the industry: I n fiscal year 2005, Ann Taylor was number six in the Women’s Wear Daily’s top twenty of the publicly traded retailers specializing in women 's wear. ANN maintained this position from the previou s fiscal year 2004. Ann Taylor compared to key rivals: Several retailers that target the same or similar demographic of the 35-year old woman include Talbots, Chico's, and Coldwater Creek. Talbots maintained its number seven position with $1.81 billion in sales, and a seven percent increase in volume over the previou s year. Coldwater Creek also maintained its number 18 position with $780 million in sales and a staggering 32 percent increase in volume. Chico's moved up three positions from number nine to 12, also with a 32 percent increase in volume, and $1.4 billion in sales. ANN saw a 12 percent increase in volume over the previou s year and had sales of $2.07 billion. ANN is maintaining its position in the standings, but with a 32 percent growth rate, Chico's may be an even greater threat to ANN in the years to come. Ann Taylor's past performance: Ann Taylor has seen some up years and some down years, but overall seems to be growing each year. In fiscal year 2002, the company as a whole (Ann Taylor and LOFT) experienced a negative sales percentage of 3.9%, but in 2003, they......

Words: 3263 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor Business Strategy

...Ann Taylor’s main challenge is to remain relevant in a market where fads and new options are constantly threatening to steal market share away from them. High-end and low-end brands such as Gucci and TJ Maxx respectively are offering specialized goods to cost aware consumers. To position themselves effectively, Ann Taylor must remain true to their original image as an upscale retailer of professional lades while still offering clothing at a price that consumers are willing to pay. One possible alternative for Ann Taylor is to continue what they are doing as an integration approach leader. Since consumers could buy cheaper alternatives at bargain outlets, the integration strategy allows Ann Taylor to loosely compete in price while keeping a strong focus on high quality products. They can continue to invest in developing their Loft and Factory Brands in outlet settings to appeal to as broad a base as possible. This is a great alternative to their problem because they can offer their various brands to as many people as possible while still competing on price because they can offer quality clothing at a lower cost. One downside to this approach is the threat of more affordable substitutes. Another possible alternative for Ann Taylor would be to adopt more of a focused strategy approach. They already excel at offering numerous fashion solutions for nearly ever lifestyle. With this approach, I suggest that they eliminate their low cost brands, raise prices and offer a more...

Words: 573 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor Case Study

...ASSIGNMENT: CASE 1 TITLE/ CASE Ann Taylor OVERVIEW Ann Taylor was founded in 1954 as a wardrobe home for busy, socially upscale women by Robert Liebeskind.   Its first stand-alone clothing store was started in New Haven, Connecticut.   Ann Taylor was never a real person; it was a brand identity or a personality within the retail clothing industry. Kay Krill, the current president/CEO, has been the leader of the company since 2004 and has faced many issues and challenges with the ANN legacy as a women’s specialty clothing retailer. PROBLEM The 2008 economic downturn had a profound effect on the retail industry as a whole.   One industry group estimated that over 6,000 retail stores had closed in 2008 which was a 25% increase from the previous year.   Macroeconomic conditions were worsening and the entire retail environment was threatened by less consumer demand.   • Also, Ann Taylor was a women’s specialty retailing store which engaged in retailing a specific line of women’s clothing.   This single product focus includes a high risk for the company, because any loss in sales could not be recovered in another product area.    • Ann Taylor over the course of a few years had many different store concepts underneath the one defining Ann Taylor brand.   At one point in its history the company had five separate store concepts.   Cannibalization between the brands was disrupting overall sales volume.   There was too much going on at the same time and......

Words: 1526 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Survival

...2 Week Survival List * Food – Can and Boxed goods * Coffee * Dog Food and treats * Potty Pads in case the dog can’t go outside * Lighter to start fire * Radio and batteries along with a CB Radio * Flashlights the kind you crank to generate a charge * Batteries * First Aid Kit for myself and my dog * Ammo for self defense * Candles for light but to also generate heat in smaller rooms * Manuel Can Opener * Gas * Water * Portable grill with propane tanks * Generator for a power source The contents above are things that I thought would be important to surviving two weeks without power and potentially being locked inside due to an emergency situation. I have most of these items in the apartment already. Things I would need to add would be a portable grill and propane tanks along with gas and a generator. The stove in my apartment is electric so I would have a problem cooking without some sort of a power source or portable propane grill. If the dog was unable to go outside I would need to use potty pads which would not be a fun experience but things can be flushed. I would need to get some small candles for lighting purposes but also to create heat. You use them in smaller rooms by taking 4 small candles and placing them in a bread tin and taking two ceramic flower pots and placing them upside down over top of the candles which will in turn make your set up a small ceramic heater....

Words: 255 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Taylor

...Writer’s Name: Taylor Henderson Writer’s Field of Study: Nursing Music therapy in Cancer patients Technical Report Topic: Rough Draft Evaluation of the Innovative Report Please do not correct the report in any way, including grammar or citation, but do feel free to let the student know that these issues exist. Since this document is a draft, students may not have attended to grammatical issues, doing so in the last step—the editing process. Limit comments to evaluation and suggestions for improvement. The ENG 114 instructor will evaluate formatting, documentation, grammar/style issues, and minor laypersons’ content needs. Your expertise in your field of study and your time to provide feedback is most appreciated in helping this student and the ENG 114 understand the fieldrelated content requirements. If you would like to see a copy of the final draft, please ask the student for one. They are encouraged to show it to you. 1. Is the field-specific information provided in the document accurate and current? If not, please list examples of inaccuracies. Yes, however, I would like to Taylor expand some on identifying and overcoming the barriers to providing music therapy to patients. I feel like this was breezed over and should be reviewed some more. She does a great job defining and explaining the benefits. 2. How well does the writer integrate topic-specific vocabulary of the field of study into the report? Note places that need improvement. Taylor does a good job......

Words: 450 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor Business

...Analysis Size ANNspansion Ann Goes Technical Financials a. Sales Forecast b. Net Income c. Inventory Turnover 3 Final Report I. Executive Summary Ann Taylor was founded in 1954, when Richard Liebeskind opened his first shop called Ann Taylor. Back then Ann Taylor represented a best- selling dress style that had been gifted to the store owner by his father. The company began its story in the retail industry by opening up stores in which their designs embodied the well-dressed woman. By 1983 Ann Taylor had grown from a regional brand to a national brand with 47 stores across the United States. Today Ann is represented by two brands, with multiple channels of distribution. They operate 907 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 46 states along with e-commerce websites anntaylor.com and LOFT.com. They rely on a large base of third-party producers and distributors. Ann Taylor is now a one-stop shop for high quality and fashion-forward women’s apparel, accessories, and footwear. Though Ann Inc. has a strong brand recognition in the women’s retail industry, it faces threats that they must overcome in order to continue their success. Ann Inc. competitors are companies such as Talbots and Coldwater Creek as well as smaller high end women’s stores. Ann Taylor has the opportunity to take advantage of the recent increase in women’s weight. This is something our competitors have strayed away from. It is an opportunity for Ann Inc. to gain new customers...

Words: 10774 - Pages: 44

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor

...http://www.wikinvest.com/wiki/ANN#Trends_and_Forces http://prezi.com/-hhvlhwivyzy/copy-of-ann-taylor/ Porter 5 Forces: 1.) The threat of new entry: The threat of new entry in the specialty retail market is medium. According to Wiki invest in the past 10/15 years the number of independent retailers have decreased. The reason why the number of retail stores are decreasing is because a lot of the independent retailers are becoming chain stores, or either owned by large corporations or franchised (McCarthy, 2007). Ann Taylor and New York & Company are the leading specialty retailers of women apparel, meaning that a lot of specialty retail store (Director, 2007). Furthermore meaning that the competitive advantage of Ann Taylor, New York & Company is very strong, which puts a stain on new entrees. 2.) The bargaining power of the buyer: The bargaining of the buyer is low to medium. According to Gina Bert a journalist from the Prezi website, stated that the bargaining power of the buyer is low because when the demand of a quality product is high Ann Taylor can charge beneficially price for their company. So the buyer doesn’t have much say in the price they pay for the product, because in a specialty retail store like Ann Taylors you don’t find a lot of trying to negotiate the price at the checkout (Bert, 2013). Minimal substitution and brand identity plays a huge role in Ann Taylor favor when it come to the bargaining power of the customer. 3.) The......

Words: 354 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Survival

...confronted with an unexpected survival situation man has the potential to overcome many challenges, beat incredible odds, and come out a survivor. But just what is survival anyway? Survival is the art of surviving beyond any event. To survive means to remain alive; to live. Survival is taking any given circumstance, accepting it, and trying to improve it, while sustaining your life until you can get out of the situation. And most importantly, survival is a state of mind. Survival depends a great deal on a person's ability to withstand stress in emergency situations. Your brain is without doubt your best survival tool. It is your most valuable asset in a survival situation. It isn't always the physically strong who are the most effective or better at handling fear in emergency situations. Survival more often depends on the individual's reactions to stress than upon the danger, terrain, or nature of the emergency. To adapt is to live. Mental skills are much more important than physical skills in survival situations. A person's psychological reactions to the stress of survival can often make them unable to utilize their available resources. You most likely won't use your physical skills if you don't have a positive mental attitude. One definitely must be in the proper frame of mind to survive an unplanned survival situation. Attitude or psychological state is most certainly number one. It is undoubtedly the most important ingredient of survival. With the proper attitude......

Words: 1983 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor International Management Analysis

...Ann Taylor Stores Corporation International Management Project Management 4900 – International Management and Globalization Executive Summary As an opportunity to apply concepts of international management, the following analysis evaluates issues and provides recommendations for the Ann Taylor Corporation. The retail apparel industry as a whole has rapid business cycles because fashion and consumer tastes changing constantly. The already fiercely competition for market share is amplified by the declining economy. Like many apparel companies, Ann Taylor creates the designs and outsources the manufacturing process. Ann Taylor sells women’s apparel and accessories and targets affluent career-minded women. One of the company’s strengths is brand equity. Every aspect of the Ann Taylor brand supports corporate social responsibility. Any association with a supplier or manufacturer that doesn’t support CSR and environmental sustainability will tarnish the Ann Taylor brand and risk losing brand loyal customers. With dependency on over 150 suppliers around the globe, communication and culture awareness is required of all Ann Taylor management. Lack of culture understanding will put business partnerships at risk. Although Ann Taylor doesn’t have ownership rights in China, understanding what drives and motivates Chinese workers will help Ann Taylor management collaborating more effectively with the managers of the outsourced manufacturing located in China. The need for......

Words: 4213 - Pages: 17

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor Case Analysis

...ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS /ISSUES………………………………Page 15 RECOMMENDED COURSE OF ACTION/JUSTIFICATION…………………………..Page 17 IMPLEMENTATION PLAN………………………………….…………………………..Page 18 MAJOR PROBLEMS OR ISSUES Ann Taylor (NYSE ticker = ANN) was founded in 1954 based upon the corporate mantra of providing professional, yet fashion conscious, business women access to quality, yet affordable, attire. During the last fifty-four years Ann Taylor has become very well known for its offerings, especially “the classic basic black dress and women’s power suit”, and has maintained itself as a leader and innovator within the specialty retail sector. Ann Taylor’s strategic management has maintained its comparative advantage by successfully and accurately predicting client fashion preferences and meeting these preferences through three, diversified, retail divisions (AT, LOFT and FACTORY). The instigation of each division was an effort to meet the broader specialty retail challenge that accompany changing consumer demographics, buyer habits and apparel expectations associated with the professional environment, while also maintaining brand longevity and product differentiation. Nevertheless, efforts to meet changing consumer preferences have resulted in the potential issue of minimizing Ann Taylor’s signature brand (AT Division) and cannibalization from other company offerings, especially from the more casual focused LOFT division. Undeniably, since 2006, LOFT has significantly grown in......

Words: 4663 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor Case Study

... | |Summer 2014/2015 | | | | | |Individual Report on the | |Ann Taylor Case Analysis | |Survival in Speciality Retail | | | |[pic] | | | | ...

Words: 3261 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Ann Taylor Strategies Analysis

... a. The Company’s mission and goals ANN associates are committed to and driven by a simple but profound mission – to inspire and connect with our clients to put their best selves forward every day. ANN always try to respond to the customer with “wardrobing” such as a philosophy of “outfitting from head to toe”, combining relaxed everyday wear with more dressy pieces. b. Concentration on a Single Industry When Ann Taylor was founded in 1954 as a wardrobe source for busy, socially upscale women, the company has focused on retail industry till now. Ann Taylor has a 60-year history and gathers rich experience to know how to design clothing to meet the changing needs of customers, so it is wise for Ann Taylor to adapt this strategy to concentrate on doing what it knows best and avoid entering new businesses where it can just create little value. As is known to us, the competition in the retail industry is intensive and the market changes rapidly with the changes of customer needs and behavior. Concentrating on a single industry enables Ann Taylor not only to focus all its financial, marketing, and functional resources and capabilities on the company’s main business to increase its scales of economy and grab market share but also to focus on its competitive advantages to raise its long-term profits. However, Ann Taylor is a women’s specialty retailer and this kind of single-product focus increases risk. By realizing this problem, Ann Taylor has expanded its product catalog and...

Words: 826 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Survival

...Survival Fishing A few methods for survival fishing There are any number of ways to fish but when you are in a survival situation you wont have the luxury of sitting on the river bank all day with a pole in your hands. These are a few suggestions that might help in the coming times. Traps: There are several trap designs that work. I am sure you will be able to construct one that will work for you. Take some "chicken wire" and form a tube about 16 inches in diameter. You can make it square, if you want, but a tube is easier. Using wire or such, you will need to sew the seam of the tube. Also sew one end shut in such a way that you can open fairly easy. Then cut a "mouth" out of a square of the chicken wire. You will need to form a cone that fits into the other end of the "tube". The smaller end points into the tube. The smaller end should be small enough to allow fish to swim through but not big enough to let them swim back out. This kind of trap needs to have bait put inside to attract the fish. If you can find a small creek that fish usually swim up, place the trap with the mouth facing downstream and block access of the rest of the creek so that all fish will have to swim into the trap. [pic] You can make the trap out of anything. The Indians used to make them out of sticks. The fish can be left in the trap if there are too many for you to eat at one time. This way you could have fresh fish anytime that you needed them. You can leave them in the trap for a week or......

Words: 513 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Retail Docs

...background information about retail customers and competitors that you will need to understand the world of retailing and then develop and effectively implement a retail strategy. Types of Retailers CHAPTER THREE Multichannel Retailing CHAPTER FOUR Customer Buying Behavior Introduction to the World of Retailing Retailing Strategy Chapter 1 describes the functions that retailers perform and the variety of decisions they make to satisfy customers’ needs in rapidly changing, highly competitive retail environments. The remaining chapters in this section give you further background information to understand the world of retailing. Chapter 2 describes the different types of retailers. Chapter 3 examines how retailers use multiple selling channels— stores, the Internet, catalogs—to reach their customers. Merchandise Management Store Management Chapter 4 discusses the factors consumers consider when choosing retail outlets and buying merchandise. The chapters in Section II focus on the strategic decisions that retailers make. The chapters in Sections III and IV explore tactical decisions involving merchandise and store management. Introduction to the World of Retailing EXECUTIVE BRIEFING Maxine Clark, Chief Executive Bear, Build-A-Bear Workshop became President of Payless Shoe Stores, then a division of May Department Store with over 4,500 stores and $2 billion plus in annual sales at the time. In early 1997, I decided to launch a retail concept......

Words: 18139 - Pages: 73