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Modern Mums International Marketing Plan

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Established in 2000 by Mary Polion, Modern Mums is a small company situated in Dublin, specializing in maternity wear. The company has established sales in Ireland through establishment of outlets in department stores and other independent outlets. It hastily won recognition and sales for its modern clothes, which proved particularly popular with working-class women. It has established a good sales base in Ireland and is selling in the UK to such prestigious retailers such as Harrods, John Lewis and Selfridges. Today the company employs 80 people manufacturing and selling maternity wear for the Irish and the export markets. Until now, export activities have been concentrated in the UK market (primarily department stores like Harrods). The firm depends heavily on a personal approach to secure orders. Potential buyers receive a presentation on the range from Mary herself or from Celine Murphy, the firm’s Chief Designer. In recent years, Modern Mums has come under increasing international competitive pressure in both the domestic and UK markets. Chain stores from the UK and mainland Europe have made significant inroads in the Irish market. Several of the European chains use global sourcing and large volumes to keep prices down. Mary has decided to fight back by expanding her business to mainland Europe and has identified three countries including Germany, France and Italy. The most effective market among the three options the company has identified is Germany. This paper discusses the international marketing plan that Modern Mums can adopt to establish competitive advantage in Germany. Current Business Situation in Germany The prominent drivers of the maternity wear markets in Germany include fashion, consumer confidence and the increased income levels. According to Rama Rao, (2008), the maternity wear market grew over 1% in European countries within two years to 2009 to reach 140 million dollars. Germany is the largest clothing and maternity wear market in the European Union with an estimated purchase of 51 billion pounds. The German clothing industry forms the second largest consumer industry being excelled by food and beverage industry. Germany is the largest importer of maternity clothing in the European Union with the imports accounting for 90% of the maternity wear sold in Europe (Hauser, 2010:2). The market has not grown as strongly as the regular women’s wear maternity wear is relatively expensive. Statistics indicate that trousers are the most popular maternity wear item that is purchased in the market followed by tops and jeans. The difference in the popularity of these items is caused by the variation in age. Pregnant women under the age of 25 years would buy more jeans and tops compared to their elder counterparts. The increasing number of mature first time mothers i.e. between 25-35 years of age has widened the market for maternity wears targeting older women in Germany. Most of them are career people who would require an outfit that would enable them carry out their official duties without clothing stress. The increased preference of small families implies that people have more resources for spending during pregnancy than when handling larger families. Additionally, most German women are choosing to