- Brexit could increase commitment of marriage and reduction of family breakdown (Telegraph, 2017), which could signal a future rise in number of marriages due to confidence in stable relationships and married life.
- UK workers being paid less than minimum wage to create clothing (Drapers, 2017), consumers are becoming more aware of malpractices in industry. & Other Stories must continue regular checks across manufacturing processes to ensure its alignment with country laws and regulations.
- Globalisation is on the decrease, which could mean more profitable relationships between overseas businesses, however could also provide competition and levels of unpredictability and risk (McDowell, 2017).
- Larger availability of affordable high street stores offering bridal wear.
- The Bridal Stores industry is in the mature stage of its life cycle. Over the decade through 2020-21, the value the industry adds to the economy is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 0.8% (IBIS World, 2012), proving a strong industry for the future of bridal wear.
- Bridal wear market continues to expand despite economic and recession concerns, demand for bridal dresses in Europe is mainly driven by increasing sales in Germany, France, Spain and the UK (Global Industry Analysts, 2015).
- Rise in retail prices due to Brexit – Plunge in UK Sterling and rising UK living wage will drive a 3% increase in retail prices. May affect consumer attitudes to spending (Financial Times, 2016).
- According to the Office of National Statistics the average age for women to get married in the UK and Wales is 34 (ONS, 2011), this age coincides with & Other Stories older end of their target market but could potentially breach more custom from the 30-40 year old demographic.
- Resale and up-cycling market is growing due to value-conscious consumers and increased awareness of waste (NARTS, 2017), coincides with & Other Stories’s recycling initiative.
- Store 4.0, the retail store is being imagined for the new digital consumer, the new store experience will focus on one of two things, convenience or inspiration (Deloitte, 2017).
- There has been an increase in marriages and the overall increase in marriage rates between 2010 and 2012 due to factors such as:
- The economic downturn in 2008 and 2009 may have delayed marriages due to financial constraints, changes in employment, and related lifestyle changes.
- Marriages to an increasing number of couples who had decided to live together as a precursor to marriage.
- Legitimate marriages to persons subject to immigration control became easier following the abolition of the Certificate of Approval Scheme in May 2011. (ONS, 2016)
- Rising shift from brick and mortar to the online space
- Same day delivery
- Easy returns
- Online reviews affecting consumer attitudes to stores and product purchasing
- In 2011, more than 50% of social media users follow brands on social media (De Vries, Gensler & Leeflang, 2012).
- Companies are increasingly investing in social media, indicated by worldwide marketing spending on social networking sites of about $4.3 billion (Williamson, 2011).
- Grant funding for sustainable cotton growth awarded to enable scaling up production for the next season (EcoTextile, 2017), ensures safety for retailers u large amounts of cotton in their collection.
- EU members have agreed to ban a toxic substance found in clothing because it poses an ‘unacceptable risk’ to the environment (The Guardian, 2015).
- 23 countries have passed same sex marriage laws (LGBTQ Nation, 2015).
The main external factors which provide current contemporary issues are:
- Brexit promotes pros and cons, such as suggestions that there could be an increase in marital commitment therefore promoting a rise in marriages as a result of rising confidence in relationship stability. However, it has also created increasing retail prices and consequently decreasing consumer spending. This could deter people from planning a wedding due to the large expenses associated, but could also work in &OS Bridal’s favour, with brides preferring to shop for affordable dresses in order to keep costs down.
- The bridalwear industry shows positive economic growth, advocating a profitable and stable environment for the new bridal range to be introduced into.
- The increase in marriages from 2010 show a positive market growth for bridalwear and consumer behaviour shows an average age of 34 which matches with the target demographic of &OS’s Bridal.
- Technological advancement in the retail world has caused concern for brick and mortar stores, with the rising popularity of online shopping. The bridalwear market is unique in this respect, as alterations are common, and therefore consumers prefer to travel to a store rather than shop online.
- The trend of social media interactions initiates that communication and marketing techniques can be optimised using these channels as long as it coincides with target market.
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