This proposal is to provide information for A&F company to make decision on whether expanding their business in Cardiff or not. Large proportion of young people indicates a great potential market for A&F company as its main target market is university students. It seems a great opportunity to open a new A&F store in Cardiff. However, fierce competition within this market already exists in Cardiff, the characteristics of this market should be investigated to provide the foundation for making this major decision.
Possible research methods were selected to explore the following aspects:.
• Use desk research to analyze Cardiff university students market volume and university students’ attitude towards A&F.
• Use online survey to know the frequency and factors influence shopping.
• Use focus group to get insight of factors and reasons influence the choice of shopping.
• Use observation method to distinguish the difference of consuming behavior in gender.
It will cost around £13500 and 14 weeks to conduct the research design in this proposal. Sample questionnaire and topic guide are also provided within this proposal.
2.0 Background information
Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F), the casual luxury clothing brand founded in 1892, has become one of the best known international casual apparel sports retailers within the industry in the 21st century. On the one hand, their products include multiple style clothes, personal care products and other accessories, same products can be found both in their store and e-commerce sites. On the other hand, A&F positions its products as fashion oriented, high price and quality, and its target customers are usually university students and middle class people. According to the reference of company history (n.p), A&F achieves net sale of 1.27 billion dollars during 2009, which international sale only makes up 12% of the total amount. Moreover, according to the description of Marianne (2007), A&F opened its first store in London on 23 march 2007 in a Grade II listed building, the unique marketing technique to meet young customer taste such as wood decoration in the store, dark light, loud music and half-naked handsome models attracts lots of young people queuing to shop in it. Therefore, it is necessary for A&F to expand their international business, open a new store in Cardiff can be considered according to the “hit” in London.
Cardiff has been voted the “best city” for young people by poll. As the commercial and cultural center of Wales, the capital city attracts more young people each year from all over the world to pursue their higher education in Cardiff, which make up 20% of the total population in 2011, university students could worth £1.3 billion for the local economy according to Graham (2012). University students and young people who have career without having own family tend to have less financial concerns or burden, they are more flexible with their money, young people tend to spend money rather than saving them. They are more likely to spend money on entertainment and fashionable outfits. As Lieh-Ching (2005) summarized that, young people, with an affluent economy and popularized education, will have more opportunities and capability to have contact with different products. University students especially females usually purchase clothes and cosmetics impulsively according to my own experience and knowledge. Large proportion of young people study and live in Cardiff suggests great potential market and possibility for A&F company to open a store in Cardiff.
3.0 Problem definitions
There are many popular fashionable sports wear stores have already existed in Cardiff, such as Super-dry, The Northern Face, Gap and so on. The competition might be fierce for A&F to enter the market. In this case, A&F manager should know in what way they can satisfy Cardiff students’ wants and needs better to gain and win more market share.
The principal purpose for A&F company to