Thursday, November 20, 2008

How has the housing crisis affected home fashion retail?

Quality vs. Quanity

The two main things that have been affected by the diminishing housing market are quality and quantity. Not only has home quality gone down, because every contractor is trying to build the cheapest home and still make money, but they quantity of homes being built and the contractors building them has gone down significantly. If homes are not selling and homes are not being built then people are losing money and they are losing jobs.


In regards to home furnishings it's the battle of the Q's. Again quality vs. quantity comes into play again when people are buying furnishings for their newly purchased homes.

The first group of people are buying quality homes and either buying cheaper furniture to compromise with their expensive home, or just not buying as much furniture as the usually might. These people have adopted a mentality along the lines of not caring so much about the quality of the inside of their home, so long as the outside looks nice. Some people might do a combination of the two. 

The second group of people are buying less expensive homes in hopes to lavishly furnish them. Whether the home is smaller or just of lesser quality I do not know, but their are people spending less on homes in hopes of decorating them the way they wish on the inside.

My personal thoughts would be to have a combination of quality and quantity. No one wants an ugly house on the outside, or a tacky house on the inside. So, to solve this problem with the modern economy in mind, one must opt for the smaller home in hopes to furnish it elegantly. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Challenges of Apparel Retailing

A Hard Concept

Apparel retailing is a difficult process because of the work required to make any line successful. Design is hard because on one hand you want to be innovative and unique, but on the other hand you want your merchandise to sell. It’s hard to be original, but be on the same wave of originality as designers coming out with lines at the same time. As a designer you don’t want to miss the trends for each year because it could be detrimental to your business.

Another hard aspect of retailing is the marketing of a line and its presentation. In the modern world a manager needs to have their products in malls, online, and in catalogs to be successful. Managers also need to hire the correct people to accurately market their line. The line needs to be presented to the target market in an approachable way. Consumers need to be attracted to displays and showrooms, and advertisements need to catch their eye.

Color forecasting and color story are challenges for apparel retailing. The right color is an important issue in regards to retailing. When the economy is bad some designers want to use bright fun colors in hopes that they will lighten consumers mood and make them happy, hopefully if their happy they might ignore their economic troubles and by something for the heck of it. Other designers choose dark colors when the economy is bad to symbolize the "darkness" the country might be experiencing.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Exploitation & Greed

Sweatshops are defined as having: difficult and dangerous working conditions, along with limited rights for their workers and few ways for their voices to be heard. Sweatshops can expose an employee to harmful or hazardous materials while already working at excruciating temperatures. In my opinion the employers inflict this type of abuse.

I understand that most people working in these third world sweatshops are doing it because they have chosen to. This doesn’t mean it is right. Employers are exploiting these citizens because they know that the employees will continue to work under the current conditions because the money is there. This brings me to an even worse situation, one regarding wages. It is sick how meager the employees wages are. It doesn’t matter to me that these people are making “enough” to survive. It is inhumane to exploit them in this way when we can afford to pay them more for their efforts.

Child labor in completely inhumane and the laws prohibiting this act should be intensified. Their is absolutely no excuse for child labor and the people continuing it should be jailed. Regardless of whether the child's parents allow it for their own selfishness or employers are forcing them it should all be the same in the eyes of the law.

Through the continuation of sweatshops these countries will continue to live in poverty because they allow companies to make their wages so low. Companies pay the bare minimum because they are greed driven, and provide only enough so their employees can survive. The only way to stop sweatshop labor is to boycott the buying of the products they produce. This is much easier said than done, especially considering the United States imports a significant amount more than it exports.