H&M May Be Going Out of Style

H&M May Be Going Out of Style

H&M, the Swedish fashion retailer, became famous for rapid conversions of runway fashions into affordable street clothing. This strategy led to stellar growth with thousands of store openings worldwide.

Lately, the company seems to have lost its momentum. Store sales have slowed, and unsold inventory has piled up. Clothing trends are very short-lived, making it difficult to introduce new products in a timely fashion (no pun intended).

This post is based on the NY Times article, H&M, a Fashion Giant, Has a Problem: $4.3 Billion in Unsold Clothes, by E. Paton, March 27, 2018. Image source:
Erica Simone Leeds
.

Discussion Questions

1. What factors have contributed to H&M’s sluggish store sales?

Guidance: Discuss the intense competition from Zara and other competitors, the decline in brick-and-mortar retail store sales, distasteful advertising, the inability to respond quickly to changes in demand globally, and top management’s apparent failure to identify the roots of the problem and fix it.

2. According to the author of the article, luxury brands and quality apparel have made a come-back. From a product design perspective, what does it mean for H&M?

Guidance: Discuss the place of H&M’s fashions in the product life cycle (maturity/decline). Continue reading

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Ten Million Dollar Cup

Ten Million Dollar Cup

April 9, 2018

Starbucks has been working on sustainability from “bean to cup.”  Now they are focusing on the cup.

Unsatisfied with their results on an environmentally friendly cup design, Starbucks has turned outside of their firm with a $10 million dollar challenge.  Partnering with Closed Loop Partners, the goal is to develop the next generation coffee cup that skips the landfill and either decomposes or is recycled.

The problem is that over 600 billion coffee cups are consumed each year.  Starbucks alone uses over 6 billion.  Because of the plastic lining used in the current design, the cups are difficult to recycle and take approximately 20 years to decompose.

This doesn’t fit with the company’s corporate sustainability goals.  In 2010, Starbucks set a goal to have 100% of its cups being reusable or recyclable by 2015.  They didn’t achieve this goal.  Only a handful of cities can recycle their cups, and only 10% of the cups’ material is from post-consumer recycled fiber.

Thus, the $10 million challenge has been announced to move their sustainable cup goals forward.

This post is based on the MSN/CNN article, Starbucks offers $10 million for ideas on a better cup Continue reading

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