Marketing capabilities and firm performance in fashion retailing
Intense competition and short product life cycles in fashion retailing present a number of marketing challenges for retail firms in both the USA and abroad. In order to survive in this industry, it is vital for participants to develop and leverage core marketing capabilities. The current study examines the effectiveness of different marketing capability factors in a cross-section of the US specialty apparel and footwear retailing sector (n = 60 retail firms). Data were collected from marketing executives in a national mail survey. Specifically, marketing capabilities in image differentiation, promotions, external-market knowledge and customer service are examined for their impact on firm level performance. A two-stage structural equation model is used to test the study's hypotheses. Results suggest that the most effective marketing capabilities, in terms of performance, are image differentiation and promotional capability.