There are numerous fashion related stores in Italy, some of the prominent being Gucci, Prada and Armani. Prada for example also has its own manufacturing plants to produce textile related products which gives it a low cost advantage.
The rivalry is intense in the clothing market in Italy. There are many companies vying for the market share. Plus, brand identity and quality as already mentioned are major factors for most Italian consumers, especially in the North. Also Italy had the highest textile exports in the world in the year 2000, (Owen, 2001) so it shows that M&S will be competing on both domestic and international fronts. On the positive side, it will have a larger market to focus on.
Some of the biggest retailers in the country for household products and gift items are Oviesse with around 200 branches, La Rinascente with 170 and Upim with 150 branches (CBI Market Survey, 2003). There are many others which shows that the rivalry is very intense and M&S will have to use a cost focus strategy or a differentiation strategy to compete in the Italian markets.
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