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Instructions for Clothing College Essay Examples

Essay Instructions: Case Study: BLUE TURTLE CLOTHING COMPANY
Source: Ivey Publishing. Richard Ivey School of Business. The University of Western Ontario.
Case code: 9B06B011
Copyright 2006, Ivey Management Services

Requirements: Prepare a case report following the case study method

Following the case study method:
Case study is the process of learning by doing. It will be through case study that you learn and apply the concepts of the course. In contrast to conventional teaching and learning, you must become engaged in the process of analysis rather than participate by listening or observing.
In the case method, you read a story about a real problem a manager has faced in the planning or operation of a business. The task is not so much about finding the correct answer as it is about pinpointing the problem and developing a well-thought-out and justifiable resolution. Because it is based on a real situation, it has all the elements associated with typical management challenges: time constraints, information constraints, lack of knowledge of the competitor?s strategy, and often lack of market research. Typically, the case writer will include information superfluous to the decision. More information is always desired, but not usually available; this is reality. Managers often do not have the time or resources to seek more information. Further complicating matters is the dynamic business environment in which a company operates. Companies interact and compete with many other organizations, which are also engaged in decision making influencing future outcomes.
Case study is useful as a learning experience because it trains you to deal with unstructured information, to sift through and identify what is important and disregard the rest, to deal with both quantitative and qualitative data, to make reasonable assumptions, and to find an appropriate resolution. It is stimulating and engaging, as you have to become involved with and take ownership of your analysis and then defend it in the face of critique from colleagues and the instructor.
Steps in the case method
Before you begin your analysis, skim through the case to get an understanding of the structure from a writing framework perspective. Look at each exhibit to ensure you comprehend its content and relevance. Try to determine what the major question or issue is for the case. Then go back and give it a careful reading, making notes in the margins to identify the evidence components of your analysis. In this way, you can more easily gather evidence to support your strategy or analysis.
Once you have done this, you are ready to organize your thinking toward a resolution. Use the following steps.
1. Problem statement
2. Situation analysis (current status)
a. Company objectives, background, and forecast
b. Company fit in the environment: internal and external factors (SWOT with implications)
c. Market analysis
d. Segmentation analysis
e. Competition analysis
f. Financial analysis
3. Case keys
4. Analysis of alternative solutions (pros and cons of each plus quantitative assessment and key uncertainties)
5. Recommendation(s)
6. Action plan
You may be tempted to waffle and avoid making a decision, or decide you need more information. This is not an acceptable strategy. In all cases, you must make a decision and justify it. It is not a comfortable process initially, but as you try, you will improve. Do not generalize or give an unsubstantiated opinion, as this is not what your supervisor (or instructor) is expecting. Make reasoned statements citing supporting evidence. With time, you will see increased proficiency and confidence in your assessments.
Case report format
This outline of a case report format will help you to write your case report.
Executive summary
An executive summary is an abbreviated version of the complete report or plan, providing the reader with the main points on one page, if possible. That it is brief does not mean it should be vague. It should contain original writing, not a copy of your introduction. Specific facts, income levels (condensed projected income statement or statement of contribution), and market share numbers should be provided. The addition of specifics should not add much to the length. This page is extremely important, as it must hold the attention of the reader (for example, your manager, instructor, or a venture capitalist) and motivate them both to choose to accept your plan or recommendation without further examination and to read further because they are interested.
This part of the report should be written last, after completion of the major sections of the main report. The executive summary should be followed by a detailed case report based on points 1 to 6 below.
Case analysis
1. Problem statement: Identify the problem in one or two sentences that include all the main elements of the central problem(s) described in the case. Do not repeat the details of the case.
2. Situation analysis: Analyze and interpret the facts of the case that are relevant to the problem and its potential solution. Summarize the key facts of the case; state assumptions or inferences about missing information; identify the main issues about the organization or the situation and relate them to the problem. Focus on the symptoms and explain how they relate to the problem. The following subsections and focus questions are often useful in this part of the report, but do not necessarily limit your report to those listed ? they are provided as examples. The report should always be adapted to its context and purpose.

o Objectives and goals: What are the objectives of the individuals and the goals of the organization?
o Background and forecast: What is the current strategy and positioning of the organization? Looking at the current situation, what has happened? What is likely to happen in the near or long-term future? Why is change necessary?
o SWOT analysis: Explain internal strengths and weaknesses and external environment opportunities (to the company) and threats, and provide a summary statement of implications.
o Market analysis: Provide information on the size and growth of the market, the environment, current and past strategies, and the marketing mix, including the following:
? Segmentation analysis: Provide information on segmentation, attractive segments, present and potential segmentation, profitability of each segment (for the purpose of this course, customers are those in the distribution channel who purchase products, while consumers are the final purchasers or end users).
? Competition analysis: Provide the strategy used by each competitor (segments, and so on).
o Financial analysis: General financial evaluation with additional information (when available) on specifics such as capital costs, yearly operating expenses, contribution margin per unit or percent, and break-even analysis. Expected contribution from your strategy and best, worst, and expected scenarios are required.

3. Case Keys: What is the key question, opportunity or issue in the case?
? Key success factors: Determine the main factors that are vital to the success of the company (maximum of three factors)
? Key uncertainties: Determine the main factors that could seriously damage the chosen strategy (maximum of three factors)
? Analysis of alternative solutions: Generate distinct, realistic alternative solutions to the problem. Identify all options; eliminate those that do not fit with goals, objectives, or resources. Discuss pros and cons. Build an argument to accept one and reject qualitative and quantitative considerations and include target segment and suggested marketing mix. Address key uncertainties that could seriously damage the chosen alternative.
4. Recommendation(s): Clearly state the chosen alternative with concise reasons in support of the objectives and resources of the firm, the expected rate of return, the risk of failure, and the competitive reaction. Explain the short- and long-term implications (including target segment, market mix, benefit package)
5. Action plan: Provide detailed steps and phases in implementation. Focus on the short term. Address contingencies ? what if...? Provide reasonable alternatives to put in place if the action plan fails.
Provide exhibits, references, a bibliography, timelines, and so on. All exhibits should be referred to in the body of the analysis.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: The Language of Apparel From France Cultures

Total Pages: 3 Words: 1372 Bibliography: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: 1. Demonstrate the importance of apparel in understanding culture in both historic and contemporary times.
2. Identify and appreciate apparel contributions from various cultures to the global fashion industry.
3. Understand Diaspora as it influences fashion.

Historical time period: 18th century in France of their ancestors and study the apparel worn at that time. Students will analyze the apparel, specifically looking at the socio-psychological, cultural, and physical influences on clothing in this time period.

Analyze the apparel, describing what it indicates about this culture at this 18th century time period in France. Please include the following and label them correctly:
? What does the clothing say about the economics of the time? Gender? Status? Modesty? Adornment?
? How was clothing used to separate the classes?
? How was quantity (numbers, size, or scale) and/or quality (workmanship/color) a factor?
? How was clothing used as a status symbol?
? Were there sumptuary laws in this culture during this historical time period?

The research resources have to be creditable resources. Must be a BOOK

Reference Books
Encyclopedia of Clothing & Fashion
GT507 .E53 2005

The Greenwood encyclopedia of clothing through world history
GT507 .G74 2008

The Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures & Daily Life
GN333 .W67 1998

The Encyclopedia of World Costume
GT507 .Y37

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Costume & fashion: from 1066 to the present
GT730 .C37 1994

NOTE* Please include pictures that you are illustrate

Excerpt From Essay:

Essay Instructions: Ignition of children's sleepwear in 1970's
information that needs to be included in essay:
1) number of deaths caused by the sleepwear
2)what was on the clothing that made it so flammable, explain the product and what changes happened to make clothes safer.
3)refer to the consumer product safety commission and the flammable fabric act of 1970.
4)the pros and cons of the new material they use in children sleep

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: X L Clothing

Total Pages: 4 Words: 1212 References: 0 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: Paper should be typed in font size 12 and Times New Roman, double-spaced. The limit is 4 pages. “Outside Sources, Internet Sources Only. The Maximum for Internet Sources is 2 to 3 Only."

**You should take the perspective of either being the person who has to make the key decisions in the case, or of a consultant who has been hired by this person to provide expert recommendations. Either way, you should identify the key issues (problems), list relevant alternative actions that can be used to deal with these issues, analyze them, and finally select the best one as your recommendation.**

Start your report by writing the case title. “Then, follow the pattern of the following example below:”

Key Issues:

1.Sales have declined by 10 percent over the last 12 months

List of alternatives:

1. Increase advertising by $5 million annually
2. Drop the brand
3. Redesign the brand by increasing R&D expenses by $3 million over the next 18 months

Analysis of the alternatives:

1.(here you will list the advantages and disadvantages of alternative #1, i.e. the increase in advertising)
2. Advantages and disadvantages of alternative #2, i.e. dropping the brand
3. Advantages and disadvantages of alternative #3


Recommend alternative #1, because… (You need to explain why you think that based on your previous analysis alternative #1 is superior to the others due to its more favorable ratio of advantages to disadvantages.

Keep in mind that sometimes you may decide to combine more than one alternative in your recommendations, as long as they are not mutually incompatible. In the above example, one cannot combine alternatives #1 and #2, but one could combine alternatives #1 and #3. In case you decide to combine more than one alternative in your recommendation, you will still need to prioritize them, i.e. explain which alternative should be implemented first, and which one should be implemented second.

Keep in mind that when you list your alternatives, they should be specific actions. Avoid generalities such as “improve quality”, “rethink strategy”, etc. You need to explain exactly what to do to achieve the objective. Do not confuse the goal with the means to achieve it. The goal is dealing with the issue, and the means are the alternatives.

Case Study: X-L Clothing

“Would you like a cup of tea” the flight attendant asks Mr. Fredrick Durhan as he awakens from a short nap during his flight from Tokyo to Shanghai. Mr. Durhan enjoys taking these short breaks from the frantic pace of running his company to seize new opportunities in China. An elderly Swissman, Mr. Durhan is the CEO of X-L Clothing Company. Known for being open-minded and optimistic, Mr. Durhan came to Asia over a decade ago and has been very successful in marketing his line of outdoor sports clothing, such as ski suits and high-altitude gear. Eight years ago, Mr. Durhan came to China, and soon discovered that the market in China was far larger than those in Korea and Japan where he had started his business. He cooperated with the Chinese party and in a relatively short period of time had to set up the sportswear factory and began producing and selling clothes in China. At present, he owns to large-scale factories in China. The annual output is 2 million pieces in the first factory in the first factory and 2.8 million pieces in the second factory. The trademark "X-L," which Mr. Durhan brought to China, has achieved a meeting position in the high end market. Mr. Durhan takes advantage of China's low cost labor and produces a cloth by using first-class technology. The production techniques and quality are controlled by the ISO9002 system, and international designers are employed to integrate fashionable styles and ideas into the products. As a result, the products have gained an excellent reputation in the Chinese market. While anxious to enter the new markets, Mr. Durhan believes he needs to proceed cautiously. The company’s current distribution channels are set up for direct selling through retail stores and established specialty shops in medium and large cities. This way X-L is able to build brand image and manage its distribution.

Looking back over the past seven years, X-L’s market development resembles a long, zigzag pattern. X-L started in Beijing and Shanghai with a half a dozen employees. Specialty shops were opened in both cities to promote its professional and functional outfits to the consumers. As a new brand and product, X-L gear was difficult to market to Chinese consumers, especially compared with the established brands of Columbia, Arc’ Teryx, Mountain Hardware, Vaude, and North Face. Mr. Durhan, however, was confident that the Chinese market would adopt a local brand. Due to his persistence and the product's quality, the X-L brand has been accepted by gymnast throughout China, as well as many high-end consumers. X-L’s technology is extremely precious to the company, and, like pandas in the wild, must be protected. All the name brand manufacturers guard this type of information in fear the others may steal it and harm their business. Competitors were few. However, there are now at least 30 specialty shops for outdoor sports clothing in Beijing alone. Even peddlers in the wholesale market claim that they have their own product advantages and mimic the latest styles. The professional outdoor sports clothing market used to be luxury items for an elite minority, but now the new entrants are penetrating the broader market. Overnight, or so it seems, the market is booming and moving toward the mass market. In 2002, the outdoor sports outfits’ sales in China amounted to RMB 1.5 hundred million, while the global sales of outdoor sports outfits in 2001 reached $15 billion. At the present, there are over 200 clubs for outdoor sports in China and the annual rate of increased have been 30%. Accordingly, expenditures on clothing have been increasing continuously. Consumer spending on clothing in 2001 was 3.21 times more than in 1990, and the consumption of the clothing per person in 2001 increased by 6.63% from 2000. Lifestyles have changed; more and more people are beginning to walk in the countryside to enjoy nature. Many residents of China's medium and large cities now participate in outdoor recreation, such as mountain climbing, fishing, hiking, and camping, as well as domestic travel.

While reviewing some data, Mr. Durhan discovered that the number of people who participate in hiking and camping is larger than those of fish. People will go on a trip's also outnumber mountain climbers who require longer trips. Overall, these statistics indicate a significant preference for outdoor sports that only involve one-game round trips. If these consumers were offered have good-quality outdoor clothing at an acceptable price, more people would wear them. Mr. Durhan believed that in satisfying the ordinary customers’ desire for outdoor recreation, high-quality products sold at a moderate price would find an enormous market. In 2001, outdoor recreationist in China accounted for 9.7% of the population, a year-to-year increase of 1.5%. In 2002, the figures were 15.8%, over 200 million people, and double the number in 2000. Sales to this market increased 39.3% in 2003. This indicates that there is still substantial room for development of the outdoor recreation clothing market. Although participants of outdoor recreation represent only a small portion of the outdoor population, these consumers have been increasing rapidly each year since 2001. The X-L brand has also paralleled the pace of development. At present, the company has opened 14 shops in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and has more than 140 employees. Sales volume has exceeded RMB90 million. The growth of the X-L brand has reflected the development of the market, as well as the tremendous potential of the market. Mr. Durhan believes that the principal condition for growth of the enterprise is to guarantee the quality of the products. He assures this quality through control procedures in the production process that checks each critical process. The raw materials and finished products go through individual technical checks and measurements to ensure that defective products are corrected or destroyed. The human design of products also reflects his pursuit of perfection. While wearing the X-L brand, outdoor enthusiasts feel that all their needs have been considered by the designer. The protective zipper is softly blocked off from irritating the wearer’s skin. The waterproof slot concealed in the fringe provides protection from the rain. Likewise, the stitch joints have been covered with glue to prevent rain drops from intruding. A functional pocket has even been provided for a mobile phone with special passages for wires from a headphone. Such designs can be found in other products. Consumers are highly satisfied, and the X-L brand is recognized for its superb design advantages.

Mr. Durhan has also aggressively promoted his products and reinforced his brand position by associating with newsworthy special events. By sponsoring the Chinese Mountain-Climbing Team in their quest to climb the world's highest peak, he showed how first-rate products can help conquer the most challenging outdoor task. It's not only built the brand image, it also sent a strong message to the younger generation to challenge nature and themselves. The Chinese Mountain Climbing Team’s established position in the professional outdoor market was instrumental in gaining market share for X-L and increasing its sales volume. But Mr. Durhan still worries. To him, the rag trade is not a trade that involves high technology, and competitors entering this market in China using cheap labor could do so quite easily. Holding the leading position in the high-end market is not guaranteed. After all, the consumers of
X-L represents only a small part of the overall Chinese market. High prices can only be supported by small minority, and the mass market can easily be attracted to other brands. This reveals an enormous gap between the needs and pricing for the mass market, compared to the high level products/market. Price had always been the most important factor that prevented outfit for outdoor sports outfits from being accepted by the mass market. In particular, college students really like the X-L gear, but they could not afford high-quality products. Therefore, Mr. Durhan considered setting up another brand to compete with the mid-market. The outdoor clothing market includes many genuine products and knockoffs where quality is suspect. Although there are currently more than 10 major international brands of outdoor gear, only four to five brand names are available in a Chinese market. Furthermore, none of the major brands in China have focused on the local market. They have not conducted any specific market research, nor have they created any special designs for the Chinese consumers. And, they have only agents and intermediaries in China's selling their products.

The reality is that the foreign competitors have claimed only a small share of the market, while the lion’s share is going to the lesser-known companies and knock-offs. In addition to the knockoffs, there are a significant number of inferior products in the market. The inferior products are often made from leftover materials that have not been inspected and come from secondary suppliers who use untrained and inexpensive laborers. The X-L Company chooses not to use “uncontrolled” materials from secondary (and cheaper) suppliers because they worry about the quality. In outdoor activities, such as mountaineering and exploration, outfits are critical to the health and safety of the sportsman. Knockoffs or unqualified products may cause injury or loss of life. Even if the products are used for casual camping, those with poor ventilation or waterproof performance can harm the user. Chinese consumers have little knowledge of outdoor sports clothing. They also lack the ability to adequately judge product quality. This creates opportunities for the franchisers and agents to produce and sell knockoffs, and it prevents the major brands from taking a larger market share. This has resulted in the foreign brand companies devaluing this type of product line in the Chinese market. The primary condition for entering into the mid-level market is the reasonable price and quality. Mr. Durhan believes that there is no need to increased investment in the current production capacity. X-L’s design capability could create an attractive product, and its quality control system could guarantee the quality of a new products. By selecting lower-cost cloth, while meeting the general functional requirements of the outdoor clothes, the new products could be priced lower, making it possible to enter the midmarket. To create a competitive advantage for his products, Mr. Durhan emphasizes that the products must be designed to meet the functional requirements of the consumers, including the waterproof and ventilating characteristics. At the same time, the price of the products must be acceptable to the ordinary consumers. However, for the new products, the original distribution channels are not appropriate because:
1.The original brand, whose products are purchased by superior sports enthusiasts, might be harmed and result in the loss many of those customers.
2.The distribution pattern is selective, using specialty shops and limited availability to establish an image of top grade products. The sales force is well-trained and locations are only in primary cities. The sales force is expensive to train and maintain.
3.The new products require sales volume, broad distribution, and quick expansion to establish a strong position in the middle market.

To make the price more competitive, Mr. Durhan believes that they should not use national sponsorships (such as the Olympic team) and that advertising expenses should be used for special events that are related to popular outdoor activities and mass-market advertising. As Mr. Durhan finishes his cup of tea, the plane is approaching the runway, and he will soon have to make many decisions about the new market that offers so much potential. “Please pull your seat backs forward, lock your trays in their upright position, and make sure your seat belts are fastened,” a flight attendant announced. Mr. Durhan smiled as he thought about his plans for expansion into China's huge potential market and hoped it would be a safe and happy and landing too.

Excerpt From Essay:

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