Using marketing strategies to gain a sustainable competitive advantage in the womenswear retail industry, with a specific focus on the high street fashion sector in Dublin.

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De Savignac, Eleonor
Issue Date
MA of Business Studies
Dublin Business School
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In our increasingly competitive market environment, a great amount of interest has been focused on how to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. The marketing literature affirms that companies should focus on developing superior distinctive capabilities to gain a competitive advantage and a superior performance. Additionally the customer-oriented strategy considers that customer focus is a source of sustainable competitive advantage. However in highly competitive sectors, the retail strategic literature affirms that retailers are forced to compete on prices. The study considered the highly competitive sector of high street womenswear retail in Dublin. The study consisted in a mail survey addressed to the managers of the leader stores in the high street fashion market in Dublin, as well as a face-to-face survey of female consumers in Dublin. By adopting a quantitative approach, results of the study demonstrate that firms with clearly defined strategy and consequently distinctive marketing capabilities perform better than their competitors. However results show that in the high street fashion sector, customer focus has no impact on performance. As a result retailers should focus on store and products differentiation to gain a competitive advantage. Also they should continually seek knowledge on market trends and latest fashions to sustain their competitive advantage. Finally the entry of successful European retailers is challenging fashion retailers. The apparition of a quick fashion concept, appear to be a key success for retailers. Results show that providing quick ranges of clothes, from the latest fashions, increases retailers performance as well as customers' satisfaction.