After unpacking Business Model designs, Market Analysis & customer development, as well as Competition & Positioning, the participants took a closer look into distributions strategies.
“A distribution channel strategy allows you to reach customers in geographical areas or market sectors that a direct sales team couldn’t reach. Whether you chose wholesalers, distributors, retailers and/or the internet, entrepreneurs must look at each channels options carefully” says Tania, Threads co-founder.
The module was taught by Tania Habimana, joined by guest speakerships from Broll Real Estate representatives Lesley Campbell leasing manager for retail & shopping malls, Matt Crawford specializing in commercial leasing as well as Roderik Vinkesteijn, director of store operations for Converse EMEA. Designed to enable participants in understanding the different channels and format, Threads interactive action learning methodology encouraged entrepreneurs to revisit their current distribution channels.
Sabiha Badsha shares “Being an online exclusive store, the demand for us to have a physical store is increasing, yet we are skeptical about entering this arena. The session was beneficial in teaching me both the pros and cons of physical retail, and pushed me to think out the box about the meaning of physical retail”. The participants learned the benefits of each of the distributions channels explored from retail, to online, to traditional shopping malls, to ways in which they can create an omnichannel shopping experience for their clients.
The course also explored ways in which they can not only optimize but negotiate the best returns and conditions for each of these channels.
“To say this session was just interesting would be an understatement. I have been exposed to new dimensions of the fashion industry. I have a much broader understanding of how a solid distribution channel will tie back to a business’s Customer Value Proposition; and ultimately to the customer.” says Kim Nokowa, editor of lifestyle blog An Ode To Style, who joined the Cape Town Classroom.
The module also explored Retail Identity, from transferring brand codes in term of style and communication into a retail space, visual merchandising, staff persona to customer experience.
That’s it for Week 5 of the Business of Fashion Accelerator program in South Africa, Threads – stayed tuned for the next module on Operations.