Essay on Ann Taylor Case Study

3391 Words Feb 14th, 2011 14 Pages
Case 39 – Ann Taylor

Introduction

Ann Taylor was founded in 1954 as a wardrobe home for busy, socially upscale women by Robert Liebeskind. Its first stand-alone clothing store was started in New Haven, Connecticut. Ann Taylor was never a real person; it was a brand identity or a personality within the retail clothing industry.

Kay Krill, the current president/CEO, has been the leader of the company since 2004 and has faced many issues and challenges with the ANN legacy as a women’s specialty clothing retailer:

• When she was appointed “there was concern among commentators and customers that the Ann Taylor look was getting ‘stodgy,’ and the question was how to reestablish Ann Taylor as the preeminent brand for beautiful,
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Socio-cultural

“The chief executive of JCPenney’s had called the 2008 situation the most unpredictable environment in his 39-year retail career.” (C308) Data from the case mentions that the declining economy generated many closures in the retail industry. One industry group estimated that over 6,000 retail stores had closed in 2008; a 25% increase from the previous year, and that up to 12,000 might close in 2009. Ann Taylor posted a loss of $333.9 million dollars in 2008 and the profit forecast for the future was not positive. Not only was Ann Taylor affected by the poor economic performance. According to Exhibit 5, its competitors Talbots, Chico’s, and Coldwater Creek Inc. all posted store sales decreases in 2007 ranging between 14.2% and 18.7%. (C316)

The following is a graph of the % of total brand share Ann Taylor has had in the Clothing and Footwear Market over the past 5 years. There has been a decline since 2007.

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Source: Euromonitor International

Since Ann Taylor LOFT sold more relaxed but tailored items for cheaper some of traditional Ann Taylor’s customers shopped at LOFT for clothes they would have previously bought at Ann Taylor. This brand extension emphasized the Ann Taylor brand name for less.

The economic downturn had a profound negative impact on Ann Taylor and all of its store concepts. More people were staying away from malls and outlets stores where the Ann Taylor stores were located.

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