Suitsupply: Expanding into China?
(9 pages of text)
Suitsupply was founded in 2000 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The vertically integrated company made its breakthrough in the Dutch suit market, a market highly saturated by up-market luxury brands and a few lower-end and low-quality brands, by offering bespoke high-quality suits at accessible prices. Through using provocative marketing techniques, challenging retail regulations and laws, and educating consumers on overpricing by its competitors, Suitsupply had successfully expanded to the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Lithuania and Belarus by 2012.
With the Western market conquered, the founder of Suitsupply picked up a new challenge: China. The rise of the Chinese economy had introduced a new subset of Chinese consumers: the “nouveau riche” — consumers exclusively attracted to expensive international brands to demonstrate their newfound wealth and luxurious lifestyle. With this in mind, the founder wondered how “accessibly priced” Dutch suits would be perceived in this market. Would Suitsupply’s provocative approach to marketing and its audacity in the face of retail regulations and laws be sufficient to pierce the market of conservative, government-controlled China?
This case is designed for students with a basic knowledge of key entrepreneurship, entry mode and strategic management frameworks. If focuses on different aspects of international entrepreneurship and strategy, namely:
- The role of the entrepreneur in the success of his or her business.
- How to create and sustain a competitive advantage in a fast-moving environment.
- Choice of entry modes (e.g., franchise, joint venture or wholly owned subsidiary) in different countries/markets.
China; The Netherlands, Large, 2012
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