Welcome to the the Ivey HBA Retail Marketing Management blog. Retail marketing is an exciting, dynamic, important, and very visible aspect of the overall field of marketing. Throughout the year, students will be posting comments regarding contemporary retailing issues. Although this is intended to be used by Bus 4411 students, industry marketing professionals are also invited to join in if they like.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fresh Foods, Fresher Clothes

By: Rachel D'Silva

The word is out about Joe Fresh’s fashionable and affordable styles available at the closest Loblaws near you. Is this just another hopeless effort where Loblaws is trying to compete with Wal-Mart? Or is there an actual market who would purchase something for their feet alongside their meat?

When I first heard about Joe Fresh, I can honestly say that I didn’t think it would catch on. I thought it was another mistake of Loblaws similar to their efforts to provide “everyday low prices” to compete with Wal-Mart. However, this is not the case at all. Loblaws has managed to provide a unique retail value proposition: fashion, convenience and price.

This value proposition has enabled Loblaws’ new line of clothes, ‘Joe Fresh’, to become very popular. Loblaws has partnered with Joseph Mimran, a well known designer, known for his additions to Alfred Sung’s collection, Club Monaco and Caban.[1] Joseph Mimran has taken his ‘Joe Fresh’ designs to L’Oreal Fashion Week, where famous supermodel, Coco Rocha, strutted his collection down the catwalk.[2] Having a famous designer create the collection was a clever strategy that created a buzz around this new product offering making the ‘Joe Fresh’ brand on par with retail stores like H&M. Attaching a brand name to these fashions attracted fashion forward women making it less of a fashion faux pas to shop for clothes in a grocery store.

Loblaws has been successful at targeting a specific segment. The ‘Joe Fresh’ collection is primarily for mothers who want to continue to be fashionable but may not have the time for shopping sprees. Offering reasonably priced clothing in a supermarket is a perfect way to add convenience giving the ‘Joe Fresh’ collection a competitive edge. The sizes and prices are clearly displayed and very affordable making it very easy for those price sensitive customers to find and purchase an item. ‘Joe Fresh’ also offers a children’s collection, making Loblaws a one stop shop for everything a mother could need.

Lastly, the ‘Joe Fresh’ collection is strategically placed near the cashiers within the Loblaws supermarket. This enables the consumer to have a quick look before they head to cash. There is clear signage throughout the store advertising the ‘Joe Fresh’ collection enabling a consumer to easily sight the clothing. As well, the clothing section’s format provides a feeling of being in a store within another store. There are displays showing off the cute, fun fashions enticing the consumer to enter the clothing area. As well, they have even inserted fitting rooms providing the consumer with the same privacy they would get when shopping at the mall.

The Joe Fresh brand has been a successful venture for Loblaws. Fashionable attire coupled with low prices and convenience has made this brand a must have!

[1] http://www.joe.ca/Categories_en.aspx?catid=24&p=24
[2] http://www.ellecanada.com/Fashion/default/l-oreal-fashion-week-fall-2008-joe-fresh-photo-gallery-n256811p1.html

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