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This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.

Gaian Adventure Fabric and Notions is a start-up company.  Marketing is critical to success and future profitability.  The store offers a wide variety of outdoor fabrics and notions to both the Eugene area as well as globally through their website.  The basic market need is a comprehensive source for all materials associated with construction of outdoor products and clothing.

Market Summary

Gaian possesses information about the market and knows a great deal about the common attributes of our most prized and loyal customers.  Gaian will leverage this information to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how Gaian can better communicate with them.

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis
  20012002200320042005 
Potential CustomersGrowth     CAGR
Walk-ins9%3,6543,9834,3414,7325,1589.00%
Internet individuals12%26,54529,73033,29837,29441,76912.00%
Internet company customers8%1,2451,3451,4531,5691,6958.02%
Total11.51%31,44435,05839,09243,59548,62211.51%

Market Needs

Gaian is providing its customers with a wide selection of outdoor fabrics, notions, and accessories.  Gaian seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to their customers.

  • Selection: Gaian will have the largest selection on the Internet.
  • Accessibility: Gaian has the ability to ship to any national or international address.
  • Customer service: The customer will be impressed with the level of attention that they receive.
  • Competitive pricing: All products will be competitively priced relative to the competitors.

The market trend for this industry is for increased selection.  This trend is fueled by the Internet and ability for anyone anywhere to access an online catalog and order from anywhere at anytime. 

Before the Internet there were several different mail order companies that would ship nationally, but their selection was somewhat limited.  Since the Internet a few new companies have popped up, however the established mail order houses have not flocked enthusiastically to the Internet for unknown reasons.

So while the trend is to embrace the Internet due to its enormous reach and efficiencies, the established competitors have not embraced the WWW.

Market Growth

In 1999, the outdoor fabric and notions retail industry reached $24 million in sales.  The industry is expected to grow at 5% for the next several years.  This growth is in part fueled by the desire of people to save money by making products that they need instead of purchasing them.  Additionally, people have very custom, unique needs that are not commercially produced.  In order for their needs to be met, they make the products themselves to their own specifications.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within the company, and describes the opportunities and threats that Gaian faces.

Strengths

  • Strong relationships with manufacturers and wholesalers.
  • Excellent staff who are highly trained and very customer attentive.
  • High customer loyalty among repeat customers.

Weaknesses

  • A lack of awareness of Gaian among its national and international target population.
  • A limited marketing budget to develop brand awareness.
  • The struggle to continually forecast buying trends and stock inventory accordingly.

Opportunities

  • Growing market with a significant percentage of the target market still not aware that Gaian exists.
  • Increased sales with a global market.
  • The ability to continually improve margins through efficiency gains.

Threats

  • Internet competition from an already established brick and mortar or mail order house.
  • A slump in the economy decreasing people's discretionary spending.
  • A significant increase in shipping costs.

Competition

Gaian Adventure Fabric and Notions faces competition from several sources:

  • Mail order companies: these companies for whatever reason have not yet made it on the Internet and therefore are not that significant of a worry.  They typically will print a catalog or some sort of flier and mail it out.  The company will accept orders either over the phone or via mail/fax.  By virtue of the fact that these companies have yet to migrate to the Web indicates a fairly stagnant management team/business direction, therefore these competitors are not of great concern.

  • Internet retailers: these companies are similar to Gaian Adventure Fabric and Notions in that they offer their products to basically anyone using the efficiencies of the Internet.  There are approximately four Internet retailers.  None of these sites are close in terms of product offerings compared to Gaian Adventure Fabric and Notions.

  • Retail outlets: these stores take the form of either dedicated fabric stores like Gaian Adventure Fabric and Notions' brick and mortar store front, or outdoor retailers such as R.E.I. that carries a LIMITED selection of hardware, notions and fabric.  These retail outlets typically serve the local area and not much beyond this.

Product Offering

Gaian Adventure Fabric and Notions will sell a variety of outdoor fabrics and notions for outdoor applications.

These products include:

  • Fleece including Malden Mills 100, 200, 300, power stretch, wind bloc, and thermal stretch.
  • Coated nylons including ripstop, taffeta, oxford-poly, oxford-nitrile, packcloth-poly, packcloth-PVC, 1000 denier Cordura, 500 denier Cordura, and ballistic.
  • Breathable fabrics including noseeum netting, sport mesh, micromesh, leno mesh, supplex, and taslan.
  • Waterproof breathables including 3-layer GoreTex, 2-layer GoreTex, Sympatex, and Ultrex.
  • Notions including Nikwax waterproofing, hook and loop, nylon and polypropylene webbing, grosgraine ribbon, poly herringbone, zipper tape and fixed length zippers, thread, assorted plastic Fastex brand hardware, as well as various patterns.

Keys to Success

Wide selection, a robust website, and outstanding customer service.  Additionally, Gaian Adventure will:

  • Generate repeat business.
  • Increase the transaction amount per customer.
  • Increase the transaction frequency of long-term customers.

Critical Issues

Gaian Fabrics and Notions is still in the speculative stage as a brick and mortar retail store and e-commerce site.  Its critical issues are to continue to take a modest fiscal approach; expand at reasonable rate, not for the sake of expansion in itself, but because it is economically wise to; and build brand awareness which will drive customers to the store and website. 

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