The paper "Fashion Brand - FCUK" discusses the cause of FCUK’s current financial crisis and propose methods that can help the company re-strategise their branding and market position. French Connection or popularly known as ‘FCUK’ is a fashion-led clothing retailer and wholesaler business that was founded and based in the United Kingdom. Its retail and wholesale business operates mainly in the UK, in other parts of Europe, in the U.S., and other licensed stores around the world carrying several products such as its own French Connection/FCUK brand, a designer label called Nicole Farhi, a popular UK whole sale brand called Great Plains, and the mail-order business known as Toast. Aside from their clothing lines, French Connection has also expanded its product range by producing what they call ‘complimentary products’ to their fashion collections. These complimentary products are in the form of eyewears and various fragrances. The company was founded in 1972 by its current chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks. FCUK had eventually made its mark in the fashion industry by introducing fashionable clothes at very affordable prices catering primarily to the middle-market customers with ages ranging from 18 to 35 years old (News, 2006). For so many years, FCUK have managed to put up a competitive brand against its High Street counterparts; however, just recently, FCUK had been continuously incurring noticeable decline in its sales and profits. There were actually several reasons. behind this high turnover for the company's revenues, primarily it is due to the soaring up of its prices which seems to have become quite expensive for their High Street target market to afford; another reason would be the company's effort of changing its image - trying to level it with competitors of bigger labels in an attempt to improve its market share and position thus resulting to pricing themselves out of the High Street competition; and finally, the recent advertising tactics of the company simply did not made an impact to its target market, not only in Europe but in other parts of the world as well which even contributed to driving its customers away from the brand.
FCUK Current Situation
Since 2002, FCUK's annual reports on its sales and profits all over the world have been progressing positively; it only means that the company has been performing well on the High Street market competition. However, due to recent events, it would really be alarming to know that the company this year has been continuously issuing warnings to investors that profits would surely be lower than expected (News, 2006). French Connection has reported a substantial pre-tax loss of 3.6 million in the first half of the year which ended on the 31st of July 2006 compared with the 5.1 million pre-tax loss it incurred the previous year; group revenues had also fallen by 6% from the previous year to 112.2 million (Interim Statement French Connection Group PLC, 2006).
The problem of these declining figures originated mainly from a range of smaller problems that the company must resolve in order to hopefully gain back its losses in the future. It was found that one of the problems is that the company gravely needs to rethink of the prices it is setting on the range of their clothing lines in relation to their target market - which is