Giordano’s Secret of Delivering Great Customer Service and Other Lessons for Clothing Retailers

In 1985, Giordano opened its first retail shop in Singapore. It was the beginning of expansion for Giordano. In 1987, the competitive market forced Lai to redefine its corporate strategy and introduce unisex casuals that were attractive and affordable for men, women, and children. It was highly innovative and firmly used unit sales of value-for-money merchandise as against profit margin to maximize its revenue. The strategy was a huge success helped it to maintain its competitive advantage within the market. Giordano’s expansion also resulted in differentiating its product line into well-defined categories and specialized outlets that catered to more trendy casuals and semi-formals for men, women, and children through its brands like Giordano, Giordano Ladies, Giordano Junior, and Blue Star Exchange.Giordano’s corporate strategy is aligned with its corporate vision. It relies on exceptional customer service, quality, knowledge, innovation, and simplicity. It judiciously applies FSA (feasibility, sustainability, and acceptability) tools on its strategic options to optimize its productive outcome. It meets the needs of the customers by implementing the desired changes within its operations and production. Its sales team is highly skilled and equipped with socio-psychological tools to deliver exemplary service to its customers. Performance is evaluated not only by the firm’s supervisor and auditors but also by the customers. It believed in limited variety within its core items so it can maintain quality. Knowledge management was a critical aspect of its operational success.Giordano continuously strives to learn from its past errors and uses technology extensively to improve and improvise its processes vis-à-vis inventory management, supply chain, analyzing the changing trend in customers’ preferences, etc. With low inventory and effective supply chain, it is able to provide customers with the latest trend fashion wear. At the same time, using a centralized distribution system, low store inventory also enables it to exploit store space innovatively that attracts customers. The real-time production, based on current sales greatly facilitates in meeting the changing demands of the customers. Moreover, the short cycle of its products save expenses of dead inventory or slow-moving inventory, thus making its operations cost-effective.According to Kotler and Keller (2012), the position is a critical element of the market that helps create an image that is preferred by the customer. The major aim is to ensure that the consumer identifies with the brand when product or service is required. As such, repositioning becomes a highly desirable strategy for firms that deal with consumer goods and constantly need to meet the challenges of changing customers’ requirements. Repositioning strategy provides the businesses with great leverage to introduce new products or add value to existing processes or products to meet the fast-changing dynamics of the markets. In 1987, it had to reposition its strategy of exclusive men’s casuals with unisex clothing to target women’s segment also.With the changing external environment, firms need to adopt new strategies to compete and maintain their niche market position (Kotler et al., 2010). While Giordano’s core competency has always been its customer service, its value-for-money was a hugely successful strategic option. In the highly competitive environment of global business, especially when Giordano needs to expand beyond its traditional market of the Asia Pacific and the Middle East to venture yonder to Australia, etc.