SWOT Analysis: Charles & Keith Essay Examples
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SWOT Analysis: Charles & Keith 1
Background of the Organisation: Charles and Keith 3
SWOT Analysis 3
Background of the Organisation: Charles and Keith
Charles & Keith is a clothing company founded by siblings Charles and Keith Wong. In the beginning, Charles & Keith sold footwear for women. Eventually, the company expanded to ladies wear as well as bags and accessories. Furthermore, Charles & Keith invested in fast fashion. Fast fashion refers to a practice in the clothing industry that aims to produce new fashion trends from the runway straight to retail stores. In this way, consumers remain updated with the trends in fashion (Charles & Keith). Charles & Keith’s foray into fast fashion made it a global brand with a vast following.
Since the late 1990s, Charles & Keith was able to expand internationally with the development of stores in different parts of the world. Charles & Keith’s first store overseas was located in Indonesia in 1998. At present time, Charles & Keith has more than sixty stores in China. Worldwide, Charles & Keith has opened around 350 stores (Charles & Keith, 2015).
One of the many challenges for Charles & Keith is competition in an industry with numerous competitors. To determine how to move forward, Charles & Keith must analyse its internal and external environment to determine opportunities for growth and development based on its strengths or capabilities, and weaknesses or limitations in terms of threats. To accomplish this objective, the brand may use the SWOT analysis tool to determine its strengths, weaknesses, existing opportunities and threats.
One of Charles & Keith’s strengths is the brand’s presence in key cities frequented by consumers and followers of the fashion industry. Prominent Charles & Keith stores include those in the Harajuku District in Japan, The Venetian in Macau, Orchard Road in Singapore, as well as cities with local shopping districts such as Dubai, Seoul, and Tokyo (Charles & Keith, 2015). These places are known to locals and tourists looking for fashion finds. Charles & Keith’s international presence, especially in key shopping cities or meccas contribute to the brand’s continuous growth in terms of revenue.
Charles & Keith observes socially responsible practices. At the moment, the brand supports different causes including those that protect the rights and welfare of human beings in disadvantaged situations, as well as environmental sustainability. Charles & Keith also remains committed to curbing its activities and operations to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint (Charles & Keith, 2015).
Charles & Keith is also capable of meeting the demands of the industry. The brand has remained successful because it is able to deliver the market’s demand. Charles & Keith introduces 20 to 30 new designs or outfits every week, which stimulates continuous sales considering the high demand for trendy clothing in real time (Charles & Keith, 2015)s.
Although Charles & Keith adopts socially responsible practices such as the brand’s support for humanitarian and environmental causes, it misses the mark in some areas of corporate social responsibility (CSR). At the moment, Charles & Keith has not found a solution to replace its use of synthetic materials with cotton, particularly the organic kind. The production of synthetic materials does not bode well for environmental issues since the production of this material necessitates operations in factories that increase the brand’s carbon footprint.
Charles & Keith introduces 20 to 30 designs every week but it lacks innovative strategies to produce creative and unique designs. Hence, the brand cannot stand on its own and it is difficult to differentiate its products from that of other brands. While other brands collaborate with known designers or employ the help of accomplished designers to create new designs, Charles & Keith remain unable to produce unique and innovative designs (Choi, 2013).
Main opportunities for Charles & Keith include those that could help the brand advertise and promote effectively. At present time, Charles & Keith merely resorts to traditional advertising. The brand continues to establish stores or branches all over the world but Charles & Keith does not utilize available advertising opportunities. Many brands take advantage of social media. Charles & Keith may improve its advertising and promotions by relying on social media. Furthermore, Charles and Keith may take advantage of digital media by establishing an online store to reach the growing online market.
As formerly noted, Charles & Keith cannot compete with other brands such as H&M in terms of social responsibility because it still uses synthetic material. H&M as well as other brands, on the other hand, recycle garments and use organic cotton to manufacture them. Charles & Keith may adopt such practices in the organisation not only to maintain and address its social responsibilities but also to decrease its carbon footprint and use of water (Ihlen, Bartlett, & May, 2011).
Charles & Keith would benefit from research and development to address the issue concerning innovation and creativity. Charles & Keith must differentiate its brand from others to establish brand equity. The brand may achieve this by relying on research and development to create innovative designs that would stand out in the saturated fast fashion market (Choi, 2013).
The fast fashion industry is highly saturated market. Hence, the competition is one of the major threats to Charles & Keith. The fast fashion industry is dominated by global brand names such as H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 among others (Japan Consuming, 2013). The foregoing brands have established brand equity, which is why they are recognized around the world. Charles & Keith, however, is not as successful as these brands in terms of brand equity. Developing brand equity is important to establish a strong, identifiable or recognizable brand in the market.
A weak economy is also a threat to Charles & Keith. Fashion is not entirely a necessity. People need clothes but when it comes to being practical, particularly during an economic downturn, consumers would more likely purchase necessities such as food or pay their bills instead of spending it on clothing (McElvoy, 2006). Hence, economic recession is a threat to Charles & Keith as well as other brands in fast fashion.
The development of the Internet also brought about new competitors in the business. Various online stores make shopping efficient for the market. For this reason, many consumers do not visit physical stores anymore. Instead of physically shopping, people shop using their devices and have them delivered at home. This threatens Charles & Keith’s growth especially since the brand has physical stores all over the world. Many consumers rely on online shopping and would therefore purchase other brands based on online store recommendations or reviews. Online stores have become substitution for physical stores (Pahl & Mohring, 2009) which threatens Charles & Keith’s position in the market.
Charles & Keith. 2015., Brand Profile. Available at: http://www.charleskeith.com/SGStore/CK/SGP/Brand-Profile
[Accessed: 4 Mar 2015].
Choi, T. 2013., Fast Fashion Systems. New York, NY: CRC Press.
Ihlen, O., Bartlett, J. & May, S. 2011., The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Japan Consuming. 2013., A New Growth brand for Japan’s onward holdings: Charles & Keith. Available at: http://www.businessoffashion.com/2013/05/a-new-growth-brand-for-japans-onward-holdings-charles-keith.html
[Accessed: 4 Mar 2015].
McElvoy, A. 2006., Fashions of a decade. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing
Pahl, N. & Mohring, W. 2009., Successful business models in the fashion retail industry. Ne York, NY: Books on Demand.
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