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FAS 2222: Product Development

Provides an overview of key business categories within fashion. This course focusses on consumer behaviors, needs, technology, marketing and sales.

Your Assignment

You are an apparel buyer(s) for a retail store that operates 12 moderate-priced women’s wear shops (or men’s wear shops) in a U.S. city of your choice.  The stores carry a line of moderate price women’s (men’s) sportswear and accessories.   You will define and analyze your target customer specifying demographics and lifestyle.    Several years ago, the store began carrying private label merchandise in one department at a time to supplement its mix of established national brands.   The store records show that the markup on the private label goods is significantly higher than that on its branded goods and the exclusivity is priceless.

You are to develop private label merchandise in your chosen department for the Fall 2021 retail season.  You are to create a line of at least 3 styles and 6 skus (1 style produced in two different colors would be 2 skus) for your store.

For the written assignment, you must detail the following for your private label product:

  • Introduction:  Define your store (name, location & product mix) and target customer, specifying demographics and lifestyle.
  • Classification: Select the classification and at least 3 product style(s) you will be developing.  Identify the styles by showing actual samples, pictures from magazines, sketches or actual photographs, which are to be included in the report. (Fashion Snoops is a great source for this.)
  • Trends: Research and identify major trends in your product area with your target customer’s preferences in mind.  
  • Adaptations: Determine the changes you will make to adapt your selected styles to your specific market and customer.  Consider color, style, silhouette, fabric and trim detail. Your adaptations must be validated by thorough trend research.
  • Competition: Shop the market to analyze the retail price points of comparable product offerings.  Document your findings.  (Remember, your own private label product should retail for less than your branded competition.
  • Costing:    Fully cost at least one of your styles and set a retail price using the sample cost sheet/labor rates noted.    Establish retail prices for your complete line.  Discuss how your retail prices makes sense with respect to the competition and to your target market
  • Product Specifications:  Prepare a spec sheet for at least one of your garments using the sample spec sheet.  Include a garment sketch and key measurements for a full size run.
  • Fabrication and Performance Specifications: Determine and evaluate the fabric you select for your products using performance specifications. Consider fabric type, weight, content, dye process, finish.
  • Quality Control: Describe the quality control practices you will implement to guarantee delivery of a quality product from your contractor.
  • Hangtag: Create a hangtag for at least one of your styles using Photoshop (preferably), PowerPoint, or Drawing Tools in Word.  The tag should include art depicting the garment and verbiage to attract customers.
  • Merchandising: Explain the methods you will use to notify your target customer of your new line and discuss how you plan to merchandise your private label product in your stores.  In this segment you will discuss original price, planned promotional prices, markup percent for each price offered, promotional events and displays that will be used to present your product, placement in your stores (rack type, table, wall – where in the store will the product be placed.)
  • Summary/Conclusion: Briefly explain why you chose the product(s) you chose to “knock off.” (Is it an emerging trend?)  Do you feel you have satisfied your target customer with a fashion forward product line of acceptable quality and at appropriate price points? Have you dazzled your customer and your storeowners who challenged you with this assignment?