Robert Halfsed was angry.
Very angry. And when Robert was angry, he had a way of letting people know about it.
His clothing company,
and it was his, was
called Halfsed, Inc.
Halfsed Inc had nurtured a
long term relationship with a certain national department store.
That certain department store had been granted exclusive
distribution of Halfsed' s designer jeans, marketed under the label "Mutated Jeans."
Halfsed Clothing Case Assignment
All of a sudden the boys and girls at the
department store were playing serious hardball.
They were threatening to renegotiate the
distribution agreement in a way that was a lot less favorable to Halfsed Inc.
Robert had been hearing some of the hype about
He knew that some retailers were establishing an online presence.
In some cases, customers
had online access to price lists, catalogs and order forms.
He wasn't sure how it really worked though, or whether it made any sense for a company like Halfsed.
It seemed like an important decision.
And after all, it was
Hundreds of "Online Malls" have sprung up in the past few years.
A representative collection of these appears below:
In addition, other clothing sellers and manufacturers are using the Internet to sell their products.
Here is a list of some:
In 1998, Levi Strauss began selling its jeans and Dockers online. One year later, however, the company announced that it was withdrawing from e-commerce and would sell through its traditional retail partners. The following three articles discuss the company's strategies.
L. L. Bean
Hugo Boss Note: If you have the Shockwave-Flash plug-in, you will immediately be taken to the site. If you don't, you will either have the option of downloading Flash or viewing the HTML version of the site.
Lands' End offers two interesting services to its online customers. The first, "Your Personal Model," allows women to configure a 3-D model to their body type. Then, they can "try on" the clothing. The second feature is "Shop with a Friend".
Other retailers have added "live" customer service agents to help visitors with questions about the products and services. Here is a list of some:
After you have explored some of these virtual storefronts, here
are the questions to answer for this assignment:
- As you explored some of the links given in this case, did anything
catch your eye?
What looked good and what looked bad?
Why did it look good or why did it look bad?
If you want to browse through some more examples, link to the
Hall of Malls.
- Describe some of the ways in which electronic selling might differ from that which goes on in a traditional department store. Think about the ways that department stores create a shopping environment through the use of lighting, displays, music and other tactics. Can a web site similarly create a similar ambiance for its visitors? If so, how? If not, why not?
- Would using the Internet as a distribution medium be more conducive to selling certain types of products and less conducive to selling others? Give some examples. How are e-tailers reducing the risk of shopping online?
- What do you think of the features offered by Lands' End and the "live customer service" options offered by several companies? Do you think these features help reduce the risk of shopping online? If more sites offered features such as these, would it change your answer to Question 3 above?
- What might some of the advantages to Halfsed Inc. be of using the Internet as compared to using its traditional method of distribution? The disadvantages?
- Do you recommend that the company pursue selling its jeans on the Internet?
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