Analysis of The Limited, Inc.

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Analysis of The Limited, Inc.

History

The Limited, Inc. was founded by Leslie H. Wexner on August 10, 1963, beginning with one store located in Columbus, Ohio. During its first year in operation, this store achieved sales of $157,000. His strategy was to provide a "limited" assortment of quality, fashionable sportswear at medium prices. The "limited" concept worked well and by the late 1970s, Wexner began a twofold strategy of market development and product development. New stores were opened and acquired an appeal to women of different ages, sizes, and budget limits.

The Limited, Inc. is comprised of a unique family of brands. Since the grand opening in 1963, the Company has grown to over 5,633 stores and 13 retail businesses. Businesses that fall under the umbrella of The Limited, Inc. are: Express, Lerner New York, Lane Bryant, Henri Bendel, Structure, Limited Too, and Galyan's Trading Company. The Limited, Inc. also owns 83% of Intimate Brands, Inc., IBI, which consists of Bath & Body Works, and Victoria's Secret.

Instead of offering a wide-variety of types of clothing, the stores offer a limited assortment in large quantities and a variety of colors. The company emphasizes rapid turnover of inventory so only the newest fashion is in the stores at all times.

As of 1997, the Limited, Inc. is a $9.2 billion specialty retailer selling women's, men's, and children's apparel; lingerie; personal care products, and sporting goods through its 5,633 stores and a catalogue. The past few years have seen significant change in the business. In May 1998, The Limited, Inc. completely divested itself of Abercrombie & Fitch stock. They gave shareholders the choice of exchanging their Limited shares for shares of A&F in a process known as a modified Dutch tender.

Today, The Limited, Inc. operates as four separate business groups: Women's Brands, Emerging Brands, Intimate Brands, and Support Businesses.

Women's Brands:

Express:

The Express underwent reconstruction in the early 1990s to have a more sophisticated European image instead of the neon-lit high-tech store of the mid-1980s. The company now describes its Express stores as providing "hot new fashion to young women in their early twenties." Merchandise includes "young and spirited fashions of good taste and quality." A private label brand created for the Express is called Compagnie...

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...are both involved in Market Penetration. The first strategy would be to create additional market share through innovative and stylish advertising. The next market penetration strategy would be to develop new and fresh ad campaigns to compete with competitors new ads. The last strategy suggested would be of Forward Integration. This strategy would put Henri Bendel stores in more large cities. These five strategies have brought themselves to light through the TOWS Matrix.

Evaluation of Alternative Solutions

All five of these suggested solutions are within The Limited, Inc.'s capabilities, although some fair better than others. The cost of all of these solutions would be very expensive, this is why the firm can only take advantage of a few of these solutions. Funding these projects is the main problem. All of these solutions would also call for extensive research. This research would be involved in the beginning phases of each of the suggested solutions. Those are the two biggest cost of the recommendations.

The benefits out weigh the costs in a few of the solutions. Gaining a large number of sales would actually fund the projects themselves. If the firm can be.

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