Specialty store strategy within Japanese apparel wholesalers: an empirical analysis
Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to highlight two important strategies (private label strategy and specialty store strategy) of the Japanese wholesale apparel market and then to clarify the characteristics of those apparel wholesalers who own or intend to establish specialty private label stores. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A questionnaire survey was carried out on 3,008 apparel wholesalers in Japan and probit regression analyses were applied to identify what types of apparel wholesalers already own or whether they intend to establish specialty private label stores. Findings ‐ The main findings are as follows: large-scale apparel wholesalers tend to own specialty private label stores but these wholesalers experience a worse financial outcome; apparel wholesalers with brand strength tend to possess their own specialty stores; and apparel wholesalers, who do not currently own specialty stores, plan to strengthen their brands in order to take advantage of apparel distribution channels. Originality/value ‐ Because of a lack of published data, no empirical studies have investigated the effectiveness of private label or specialty store strategies developed by Japanese apparel wholesalers. The present study has sought to address this problem by conducting questionnaire surveys with all Japanese apparel wholesalers and has, therefore, been able to clarify the situation regarding survival in the apparel market by considering those apparel wholesalers that already own or intend to establish specialty private label stores.