The term “Urban Clothing” at the very first time appeared in 1980th along with the emergence of hip-hop culture. Likewise leather jackets are the symbol of the hard-rock music, such accessories as headbands, wide pants and sneakers are now only associated with rappers, and that is why it evidently makes them feel special about value of their culture. According to Neil Maycock, “Also with the emergence of hip-hop there was also the introduction of break dancing. Because most of the moves originated from the street, the clothing had to be comfortable, and show a bit about who you were.” The specific outfit has become a distinction of a cool lifestyle, the urban lifestyle that adherents of the culture follow with full devotion. The one well-known fact proclaims that originally the idea of urban wear belongs to Latin and Afro-American youth who gave a notable push to expanding their clothes on the West coast of the USA in Los-Angeles and on the East side in New-York City. Today, the seeds they put into the urban clothes have arose to multimillion market including urban wear stores far away over the Pacific Ocean to even the rural districts of small European cities. Amazingly enough, the majority of urban clothes shops (if they consider themselves as true urban shops) have preference to one of the coasts, whether West or East, which means presence of specific items in the range of their products.
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With full understanding of the current urban style market and its history, this feasibility study will cover all broad chain of issues that should be taking into account on the way of opening of a brand new urban clothing shop. In precise, the study will examine corresponding contents due to Alan Thompson feasibility study outline: “product and service, technology, market environment, competition, industry, business model, marketing and sales strategy, management and personnel requirements, legislation issues and critical risks factors” (p.187).
Product and service
The range of offered products will include hip-hop clothing and sneakers separately for women and men as well as a section for new-born and infants. There will be an opportunity to buy particularly everything to complete one`s hip-hop swag: socks, pants, jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sneakers, hats and such accessories as headbands, belts, bags, caps, etc. The services offered by the shop will comprise online-shopping, worldwide delivery by one of the most reliable deliverer either FedEx or EMS, courier delivery in city borders, online chat 24/5, consultants in stores, credit purchases and even more.
Stable working technological background is critical in terms of overall stability of any company. Amanda Kooser from smallbusiness.chron.com stated that “The point of technology is to utilize the best tools for the job.” Clearly, our store is not an exception. To begin with, we will list all hardware equipment needed for our business: laptops, cell phones, GPS devices, printers, scanners and copying machines in the back office and an automatic cash register on the cash desk in the store. Concerning software ensuring we will use so-called SAAS which expands as software-as-a-service. This service is a very handy solution for our small business as it secures us with powerful software at an eligible price. For instance, it enables us to utilize collaboration or accounting software directly from the Web. In addition, we will surely need a corporate Windows 7 operating platform for our laptops. The nonetheless significant point is marketing software. The marketing software will provide us with email newsletters to stay in touch with consumers, mobile notifications and mobile online version of our web-site, SMM and other. All the mentioned initiatives are vital, however, the biggest boost to promote our business is undoubtedly going to be our online-shop.
Being fully aware of ongoing tendencies of modern society, we probably will invest a pretty sustainable portion of funds to create and sustain our internet resource on the high-quality level. It should be not just a showcase page, but an interesting and eye-catching storage filled by our clothing offers and various hip-hop news, photos and videos. What is going to be a consequently repeatable and timely procedure during the lifecycle of the hardware and software is their upgrades, truly important and at the same time inevitable thing for every enduring business.
Market environment. Competition
Considering and comparing market environments of different goods or services, one conclusive thesis can be made – the clothing market is probably the second most widely diffused sector after the food market. People tend to buy new clothes on a regular basis which justifies our business choice. However, this market is also very competitive and demands high stacks in order to overcome your competitors. The common allocation of the clothing market which splits by men and women clothing, as well as by fashionable, casual and cheap clothing is not always suitable for our urban wear shop.
Since our store has its own target audience, let us define market peculiarities precisely for hip-hip clothing. As mentioned in the introduction, the dynamic of opening urban clothing stores has highly expanded over the last couple of decades. Therefore, even though we will not have to survive in the “standard” clothing market, the urban wears sector surely will be competitive enough.
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Unlike usual clothing market where women`s clothing prevails, in urban clothes the ones who prevail not by far are men. The market is characterized by presence of brand name matter, which often plays a major role in the consumers` almost “blind” preference.
Our products represent our view of the world. If we make every t-shirt in the best way possible, perhaps people will again remember what actually well-made clothes are about. Manufacturing process will not be outsourced on any stage of the development. Initially, the industry will locate nearby the store, so that we could save on logistics. In future, we will rent out a placement outside the city suitable for broad production.
We certainly comprehend that nothing good happens without proper preparation. For this reason, all of the people who will be in charge of the business will be taking special classes, practical seminars and workshops. We surely can hire a business professional to help with the implementation of a business plan, but instead of doing it, we will only draw in employees at lower positions, laying supervision and administration on our own shoulders. A key aspect of our business is our marketing positioning, namely brand awareness and brand loyalty. We are going to place ourselves as a high-quality and eligible brand that can provide sponsorships and attract consumers with regular actions and discounts. The other significant point of our business model is precise attention to online-shopping which should bring at least equal to the direct sales in shop profits.
Marketing and Sales Strategy
The market of clothing stores is saturated by sellers who make profit either on price difference of initially bought and more expensively sold products, or on the difference between industrial net cost and eventual price tags in stores. In the meantime though, there are stores that focus their attention primarily on their brand awareness among consumers, what gives them ability to outstrip competitors. Marketing is all about brand name and people`s loyalty to this brand. We intend to spread the name of our store practically everywhere a potential consumer may happen to be, see or listen. Except of regular SEO conducted by hired professional, we will post the presence of our brand in social media, RnB and Hip-Hop magazines, radio stations, big boards, coffeehouses, TV shows and other popular places. The marketing operations will also include flashy and noticeable signs with the name of our store at the concerts and night clubs where our audience regularly appears. There cannot be too many of advertisements or too compulsive actions in marketing. There is always a room to bring innovative ideas to promote a business. Lately, consumers have become more loyal to a concrete store, brand, product or service. This tendency can be explained by demand of secure and stable living which is so common nowadays. Frankly, if we like something we buy it again and again and this is exactly a key for our marketing and sales strategy. Once we conquer some number of consumers who bought our clothes at least one time, we will provide them with client card with discount for the next purchases. Subsequently, we will ask for a phone number and email address for further actions. These further actions are all about maintaining the clients` database. We are going to hire a number of sales managers who will attract new customers and notify existing ones about the actions and discounts. The meaningful approach for the sales managers, as well as for consultants in the store is to give potential customers ability to choose everything on their own. People do not like to buy stuff when they feel like they are forced to buy it, unless it is done smoothly and reasonably to make a baby push for subliminal understanding of a desire to buy particular product.
Management and personnel requirements
Management and personnel requirements will include but not be limited to: dedication to working process, ability to think outside the box (critical thinking), communicative skills, handling prime responsibility, punctuality, at least 1 year of relevant experience, aspiration to promotion, sense of humor etc.
The first and foremost legislation decision undertaken by us will be to structure our business as a limited partnership. In continuation, we will get the business license and fill all necessary taxation papers to become a full-fledged taxpayer and a valid operating firm. In order to protect our internal business information given to our business partners we will sign non-disclosure agreements, as well as zoning agreements (even exemptions) to secure location availability and absence of further issues.
Critical risk factors
Undertaken risks will sustain the substantial investments into online development and high-scaled marketing.
In conclusion, it should be said that our urban clothing store presents not new, but pretty rare business running approach. Its target audience is adherents of hip-hop culture and those people who like stylish and well-made clothes. The store will function in compliance with law having proper licenses for the store and industry. The Marketing methods are the main instruments to capture consumers and do it not only in the real life, but also in the Web.
- Alan Thompson, Business Feasibility Study Outline, (2005). Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation. Available at:
- Amanda C. Kooser, Business Technology Advice, Demand Media. Available at:
- Clothing Retailers Market Assessment, January 2000, Key Note Publications Ltd. Available at:
- Neil Maycock, The History of Urban Wear, Street Wear and Hip-Hop Clothing. Online at:
- Rachel Fields, Legal Issues to Consider When Starting Your Business, Internet`s Prime Law Portal. Available at:
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