Brands without Boundaries: The Internationalisation of the Designer Retailers’ Brand


Moore CM, Fernie J & Burt S (2000) Brands without Boundaries: The Internationalisation of the Designer Retailers’ Brand. European Journal of Marketing, 34 (8), pp. 919-937.

Addresses an area which has been neglected in the international retailing literature; the internationalisation of the fashion designer's brand. Initial exploratory research revealed that there were 114 international fashion design houses competing for a global market of around £24 billion. Further research by postal questionnaire to entrants into the UK market, in addition to semi-structured interviews with European and US designers, confirmed that this market was buoyant, fuelled by the development of diffusion lines for the mass market. Identifies four stages of market development: wholesale channels to department stores; the creation of ready-to-wear flagships; large diffusion flagships; the opening of stores in provincial cities. In order to acquire capital to enable this expansion, over 60 per cent of all fashion designers are now public limited companies. Even then franchising of stages 3 and 4, diffusion line development, is often franchised to third parties with the designer maintaining control over the product and its brand image. Between 20-30 per cent of gross margin is spent on advertising support to create global campaigns to enhance brand image in foreign markets. However, there is increasing tension between the desire to be exclusive yet becoming involved in product line extensions and widespread distribution which could ultimately dilute the brand's value.

European Journal of Marketing: Volume 34, Issue 8

Publication date31/08/2000
PublisherEmerald Publishing Group