1. Why is it important for Sainsbury’s to understand the consumer behaviour relating to its clothing range? 
  2. Why do you think consumers might be interested in buying Admiral branded sportswear from Sainsbury’s? Use two theories of consumer behaviour to structure your answer. 
  3. Suggest a suitable marketing communications strategy for Sainsbury’s to promote the Admiral clothing range. 

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Case study

Sainsbury’s revives Admiral football fever

ADMIRAL, the British sportswear brand that created the replica football kit market, is to be revived after signing an exclusive deal to be sold in Sainsbury’s supermarkets.

The sportswear range is part of the grocer’s ambition to generate £1bn of sales through its fashion business by 2020, which has until now largely relied on its Tu clothing range.

Fashion has become a new battleground for supermarkets as they compete to attract customers.

Last month Sainsbury’s reported a 10pc rise in clothing sales, despite a 0.6pc dip in total sales.

“With double-digit sales growth and increasing market share, our clothing sales have grown to over £800m this year, and we’re on track to become a £1bn clothing business,” said Sainsbury’s non-food director, James Brown.

“We’re the UK’s seventh largest clothing retailer by volume, and with only around one-in-five of our stores currently displaying our full range, we have great opportunities for growth. We were pleased with our trial of selling clothing online and we’re rolling it out nationwide later this year,” Mr Brown added.

Admiral is a 101-year-old British sportswear brand that was worn by footballers Kevin Keegan and Gary Lineker in the 1970s and 1980s as well as by the England team at the 1982 World Cup.

In 1982 it paid just £15,000 a year to have its logo featured on the England team’s shirts, allowing the business to sell replica shirts to supporters for £5. Admiral fell out of favour in the Noughties as it was overtaken by premium sports brands, but was resurrected by a Manchester-based group of investors. Admiral’s range, which has more than a nod towards the heritage sports styling of Fred Perry clothes, will start with 28 clothing items priced between £16 and £30 and be available in stores from July 14.

A more upmarket “gold” range will include cashmere and cotton knitwear.

“As the Sainsbury’s menswear design team continues to grow, we have focused on creating products that showcases both our style and design credentials,” said Seth Harrington, head of menswear design at Sainsbury’s. “We hope to inspire and expand our fan base with this heritage led collection.”

(Source: Armstrong, 2015)

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