Copying to be unique? An analysis of high street retailers' product differentiation strategies
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Schulz, S. (2018) Copying to be unique? An analysis of high street retailers' product differentiation strategies. In: Carlotto, F. & McCreesh, N. C. (eds.) Engaging with Fashion: Perspectives on Communication, Education and Business. Leiden: Brill | Rodopi, pp. 19-40.
Based on empirical data from 20 semi-structured interviews with designers, buyers and merchandisers of UK-based multiple womenswear retailers, this chapter examines the variations in retailers’ working practices with a particular emphasis on their product differentiation strategies. The theme running throughout this chapter is that of differentiation and similarity – a topic of enquiry commonly associated with Simmel’s essay on fashion.1 This discussion of the womenswear retailing industry demonstrates that, more than one hundred years after Simmel published his work, the dualistic tendencies of similarity and differentiation continue to fuel the modern fashion system.