Brand networks in the apparel sector: diversified structures around own-brands
In the competitive market for apparel, France's specialized retailers have joined forces to develop brands, notably via integrated networks or networks of self-employed franchisees, commission-based affiliation, or groupings. In 2006, more than 300 networks specialized in apparel, totalling nearly 22,000 sales outlets. One-half of the networks are mixed. They either combine shops owned outright and outlets under contract, or they comprise at least two types of contract. The other half consists of “pure” networks. In both cases, integrated networks are the prevailing form. Brand networks develop specific sales strategies in terms of image and positioning, by relying on their own brands. They are run by “network-head” companies that are closely involved in defining product assortments in stores and monitoring sales.