By: Tanvir Orakzai

The apparel businesses comprise of countless skills and variety of industries, ranging from fashions designers to manufactures and distributors; but the real ounce lies on sellers. Today apparel retail is billion-dollar business, it is not just selling the clothes but the retail is setting the fashion trend. Rapid changed in technology has enabled todays retail industry not only to maximise their growth and profit, but also enabled companies to change the fashion trend. Time is money and in fashion industry change is must; the retailers who do not change are doomed to die. To survive in the market means constantly evolving business strategy and at the same time offering hundreds of innovative products to the customers every year.

Sunwear Pacific is a leading retailer of casual apparel, accessories, and footwear catering to teens and young adults with a target population of 32 million (mainly teenagers and younger people) with a spending power of US$170 billion. Pacific Sunwear started as little shop in 1980 in Newport Beach California. California is basically a beach deserted in winter. The founder of SunWear came up with a idea to open a shop at California mall.

Sunwear CEO mentioned the reason for company success in the following words We listen to get the trends, the solutions and find out what we're doing right. The rest, of course, is history.

Unique and Impressive Mall Store Format:

Sunwear average store is about 4100 square feet. The main products include casual apparel, footwear, and related accessories. The wide wardrobe selection is offered with other emerging brands. However there are also d.e.m.o stores introduced in 1998. These stores have about 24000 Square feet of space and is meant to target male and female between 16 and 24 of age. Most of them are added with hip-hop music and similar apparel.

Unique Merchandise:

Pacific Sunwear add-on its branded merchandise with other private brands, which contribute to its status as key fashion resource for casual lifestyle apparel, providing a difference with its competitors. The private label products are internally developed giving greater control to inventory control and also adds to profit.

Multi Brand Approach:

The Companys multi-brand approach stands in contrast to typical vertical brands, such as American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch or Aeropostale, where there is only one brand and a single point of view is offered. The company believes that this trend works only when retail brand has reached acceptability point, but in the case of changing trends, differentiation is essential to individuals in the urban outfits and contemporary collections.

Targeting women:

The Company is targeting more women due to the market saturation of male apparel. Sunwear Pacific has increased percentage of female wear from 47 percent to 60 percent in 2005. This step is meant to wider the female product and increasing the margin for women wear due to greater demand, however women wear (girl wear) drive is s short-term goal.

Effective Use of Information Technology:

For any successful business, retailers have to optimize their merchandise process, which Sunwear has been doing effectively with the help of information technology. The Sunwear Pacific president of Information mentioned reason for success in the following words. "Retailers need intelligence to effectively run and grow their businesses. We recognized this early on when we initially implemented the Island Pacific merchandising solution. The software from Island Pacific gives us the information we need to manage the products that we carry, and understand their performance. At the same time, the IBM hardware is extremely reliable, and equally important for us, scalable as well."


SunWear is relatively new company and its target is younger people. Sunwear has grown up leap and bounds in a short span of time of three decades. Sunwear is aggressive and its business strategy is to set the trend. It is also flexible and constantly changing style to meet the mood of the younger people. Sunwear is constantly offering innovative products which are unique and different from other brands. There is no magic bullet of success in business; its rather the combination of right strategy and right idea; which if click together gives birth to successful selling.

Pacific Sunwear is on a hot streak that shows no signs of cooling off.They succeed where others fail because they listen and change.With more stores planned, and revenue that continues to rise, Island Pacific has helped Pacific Sunwear become a retail success story.


Tanvir Orakzai is holding Masters in English Lit, IT and currently doing Doctorate in E-Commerce in Singapore. He has been working as a freelance writer since 1996. Tanvir has been writing on various issues ranging from politics to foreign policy, business and literature. Tanvir is a keen observer of life and like to depict life from a different perspective to his readers.



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