Retailers need to have one global team rather than segmenting different markets to be successful internationally, believes Stefan Laban, senior vice-president, strategic alliances at Gap.
Speaking at Drapers Fashion Forum 2015 at 30 Euston Square in London Laban said businesses need to “think globally” and to do away with the idea that different markets need different products.
“International division is wrong: you need a global team and you have to think as one. You need to shift your thinking away from segmenting markets.”
He added: “We used to have a small capsule collection made for Ramadan in the Middle East but we moved it to the main design team in New York and it has been really successful as they have a global overview and have placed the product in other relevant markets like the UK. Shifting your way of thinking is critical.”
Laban said tailoring product for specific markets is also unnecessary.
“The top 30 sellers tend to be the top 30 sellers across all markets. You need to embrace that to get a sense of the potential of scale. Markets are not that different.
”We got rid of our smaller-fitting products in Japan and it had no effect on sales and it saved us millions of dollars. There is no need to change the product for different countries.”