module specification

MC6006 - International Fashion Strategy (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title International Fashion Strategy
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 40%   Individual written examination (unseen) 3 hr
Group Coursework 30%   Group report 3000 words
Group Presentation 30%   Group presentation 20 Mins
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Friday Afternoon
Year City Friday Morning

Module summary

This module extends prior learning on the fashion industry, consumer research, supply chain management, online fashion retailing, branding and marketing communications and fundamentals of management in order to focus on the motives and explanations relating to strategic decisions made by fashion retail businesses both in the UK and internationally. Examples of strategic issues include: engagement in e-commerce and m-commerce, branding strategies, luxury fashion strategies, differentiation strategies in fashion businesses, fashion sector analysis, competitive advantage, critical success factors, strategic brand positioning, international entry modes. The module covers the most recent developments in international retail management, international management of resources, strategic marketing planning and corporate strategy. International Fashion Strategy differentiates itself from other level 6 planning and strategy modules in that it brings together knowledge from the fields of corporate strategy as well as international business; furthermore it applies this combined knowledge to real-time fashion businesses. During this module, students are presented with the main international business concepts, frameworks and theories which form the basis of their understanding of international retail strategy. This advanced module is supported by academics and practitioners with experience in international retail.

Skills development includes: problem-solving, academic reading, researching, critical thinking, and academic writing, digital literacy and IT skills, time management, team skills, independent working, referencing skills, intellectual discussion and awareness of contemporary debates in the business management related disciplines.  Assessment components provide the vehicle for skills development.

Module aims

The main aims of the module are to:
- develop students' understanding and knowledge of the main theories, models and concepts of international strategy with direct application to the fashion retail environment
- develop students’ understanding and knowledge of the internationalisation process and the various options available for international SME and LSE expansion
- develop an understanding of the scope of marketing research in designing and implementing successful international marketing strategies
- assist students in developing a global perspective on the commercial marketplace and the environmental factors which impact upon it
- enable students to enhance their critical thinking abilities and their capabilities to develop strategic solutions to businesses in a variety of retail contexts and situations
- enable students to improve their analytical and presentational skills necessary to permit them to comment accurately, insightfully and articulately on the strategic situation faced by fashion business organisations, on the strategic options available to them and on issues of strategy implementation.


- Definition, scope and challenges of international business expansion with application to fashion retailers
- Defining domestic, international, multinational, multi-domestic and global operations
- The internationalisation process: SMEs vs LSEs; comparative analysis; patterns of internationalisation in fashion retail
- Motives for international fashion expansion
- Introduction to corporate strategy: mission, vision, objectives, goals (short, medium, long-term), unique selling proposition; definition, scope and challenges of strategic planning; classic theories, strategic vs tactical plans
- The decision of whether or not to go international
- Key stages in strategic management: planning, organising, leading and controlling
- Sources of information and the role of primary and secondary data in market screening; opportunity assessment and segmentation (including cluster analysis)
- Analysing the international markets (theoretical frameworks, e.g. Hollensen and Porter)
- Macro and micro environments of international business and the impact of these and other factors on fashion retail activities; e.g. SWOT, PEST, GAP analysis, portfolio analysis, BCG matrix, GE matrix, key factors to success, emphasis on competitive benchmarking in fashion retail
- Market selection/screening/ranking and entry decisions; risk assessment; classical frameworks and models
- International business plan implementation and coordination; fashion retail mix decisions
- Selection of appropriate market entry strategies; B2B, B2C, B2G (and other formats) solutions
- Product strategies, international product life cycle (IPLC), diffusion of innovation and the role of branding in international markets; branding strategies, brand: values, salience, equity, collaborations (in the supply chain); fashion and charities; characteristics of born-global fashion retailers
- International communication strategies; selecting a partner; B2C and B2B selling; sales strategies and the linkage to corporate strategies; the value of sales teams in international fashion retailing
- International pricing strategies and practice, including the mechanics of price setting in international markets.
- International distribution strategy, e-commerce and the changing international marketplace;
- E-tailing and m-tailing strategies;
- Physical evidence; marketplace vs marketspace – the retail environment, layout, atmospherics
- International value chain, focus and customer value in international environments
- Implementation of the international plan: International human resources allocation decisions; working with expatriates, B2B account management; cross-border selling and negotiations; the influence of culture on management and leadership in international environments
- Controlling operations in international environments; aspects of organisation behaviour
- Managing risk, change and crisis in international environments; specific challenges of fashion retailers
- Evaluating international fashion strategies
- Aspects of entrepreneurship in international environments
- Global issues affecting international fashion strategies

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered over a 30 week period and consists of 1.5 hour lectures and 1.5 hour seminars each week. Exceptions to this are the designated employability week and teaching weeks: 13 and 28 (where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year) which are used for research and preparation for examinations.

The module is delivered via lectures and seminars. Supporting material will be made available via Weblearn, which facilitates a blended learning approach to include wider reading and other materials to support the syllabus. The seminars serve to anchor knowledge imparted in the lectures and provides a forum for:

  • A better understanding of lectures through small group discussions, case study/ journal article/problem solving analysis and interchange of questions and answers.
  • Assist students in relating their knowledge to the fashion retailing discipline and profession
  • Applied understanding of technical skills required for carrying out research in order to assist in employability skills for future careers in fashion retailing. Students will need to consider this aspect of the module as part of their personal development and be able to produce examples in a portfolio of the research skills for a future employer.

In addition, the seminars incorporate summative and formative feedback in order for students to have an opportunity to reflect upon and evaluate their performance.

Activity Week – usually Week 7 (where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year)
Activity week 7 is used to stimulate ideas and activities for students from different subject groups taking this module to enhance PDP.  Activities allow students to further develop their team skills, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students will be able to:

1. Exhibit a critical understanding of the main theories, models and concepts of international strategy with direct application to the fashion retail environment
2. Demonstrate understanding of how fashion retailers develop their strategies within domestic, international, multinational, multi-domestic and global contexts
3. Critically audit all environments affecting a fashion business
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the stages of internationalisation
5. Demonstrate an understanding of the processes underlying the development of fashion business strategies
6. Appreciate the value of business planning as part of an international expansion strategy
7. Evaluate international business strategies and offer recommendations for improvement in key areas
8. Demonstrate an understanding of the main challenges fashion businesses face when expanding their activities outside their domestic market; identify, evaluate and communicate the cultural dimensions and challenges in international fashion retail and the means of addressing them.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy consists of three components, which aim to assess the module’s learning outcomes. These assessments require students to think critically and apply the knowledge gained during the module.  The deadlines are set based on Week 1 being the first teaching week of the academic year.
1) a 3-hour individual written examination (unseen); weighing 40%; weeks due: 15
2) group report of 3000 words; weighing 30%; week due: 26
3) group presentation; duration: 20-mins; weighing 30% ; weeks due: 23-26 

1) Individual written examination (unseen)
Students’ depth, breadth, knowledge and understanding of the first thirteen weeks of taught material is tested through a 3-hour individual written examination. Students are required to make use of advanced reading from many academic journals articles in order to critically review a given body of international fashion strategy concepts, frameworks and theories.
Learning outcomes assessed: 1,2,3,4,6
Skills development: improve one’s ability to think critically and write effectively in relation to current issues in fashion retail strategy (I,P,A), develop the skills to analyse, synthesise and evaluate a large body of concepts, ideas and theories related to fashion retail strategy (I,P,A); individual research skills (P,A); time management skills (P,A); intellectual discussion and awareness of contemporary debates in the business management related disciplines (I,P,A).

2) Group report
Students are required to work in groups of 3 to 5 for this presentation. Each group should assume the role of a fashion retail consultancy and develop certain areas of an international retail strategy for a given fashion business. This is a practical report where students demonstrate their awareness of foreign environment factors and ability to create solutions in a real business environment. Individuals must demonstrate in-depth/advanced grasp of the theoretical frameworks supporting their business solutions. Students must also propose ways to evaluate the strategy. Referencing must be carried out using the Harvard System. The report should be no longer than 3000 words; weighing: 30%; week due: 26. This group report is complemented by a group presentation, detailed in assessment 3 (below).
Learning outcomes assessed: 2,3,5,6,7,8
Skills development: research skills (P,A); skills collation of relevant data and the synthesis of information to make meaningful analysis (P,A); critical judgement regarding the quality and validity of data and the analysis of information to develop appropriate plans (P,A); improve the ability to work independently (P,A), significantly improve one’s entreprise skills, including taking initiative, showing leadership, taking calculated risks (I,P,A), completing tasks and projects (I,P,A); referencing skills (A).

3) Group presentation
Each group is required to present their assessment two findings by means of a 20 mins oral assessment focusing on the proposed strategy and the rationale behind each recommendation; aside from assessing subject knowledge, the presentation assesses students’ ability to work independently, to formulate and defend a complex argument in a logical manner and their ability to work well in a team; more details on the presentation will be given via the module handbook and in class; weighing: 30%. Weeks due: 23-26.
Learning outcomes assessed: 2,3,6,7,8
Skills development: oral presentation (P,A), researching and analysing data (P,A), problem-solving (P,A), team skills (P,A), synthesis skills (P,A), time management skills (A) digital literacy and IT skills (P,A)


Johnson, G., Whittington, R., Angwin, D., Regnér, P. & Scholes, K. (2014)  Exploring Strategy (Text and Cases), 10th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Mintzberg, Lampel, Quinn & Ghoshal (2014) The Strategy Process: Concepts, Contexts, Cases, 5th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Hollensen, S. (2014) Global Marketing, 6th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Ciravegna, L., Fitzgerald, R. & Kundu, S. (2014) Operating in Emerging Markets: A Guide to Management and Strategy in the New International Economy, Financial Times Press
Berman, B.R. & Evans, J.R. (2013) Retail Management, International Edition, 12th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Evans, V. (2013) Key Strategy Tools: The 80+ Tools for Every Manager To Build a Winning Strategy, Financial Times Press
Kotler, P., Keller, K.L., Ang, S.H, Leong, S.M. & Tan, C.T. (2013) Marketing Management: An Asian Perspective, 6th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Hollensen, S. (2010) Marketing Management: A Relationship Approach, 2nd edition, Financial Times Press
Caro, F. & Martínez de Albéniz Margalef, V. (2009) Fast Fashion Retail Strategy Flying Off the Racks, Springer
Alexander N. & Docherty A. (2009) International Retailing, Oxford University Press
Doyle, P. & Stern, P. (2006) Marketing Management and Strategy 4th edition, Financial Times Press
Strategic Management Journal
Long Range Planning
International Journal of Strategic Management
International Review of Retail Distribution and Consumer Research
Journal of Marketing Management
International Journal of Sales, Retailing and Marketing
International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing
Financial Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, China Today, Marketing Week, Business Week