What Happened to Bebe? 10 Marketing Lessons
What Happened to Bebe? 10 Marketing Lessons
Bebe, the women’s clothing and accessories retailer, went from being one of the most successful retail chains in the country to filing for bankruptcy and closing all of its stores, with a more detailed write-up on this to be found over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. This article will look to take a close look at what happened to the company, why it failed and any marketing lessons we can take from the same.
As is the case for many failing brick-and-mortar businesses, the growth of online retail has had an impact on Bebe. As per the subject matter experts over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, many consumers now prefer to shop online, due to its convenience and low prices, as compared to heading over to a physical shop. This is a lesson worth taking on board, as it shows the major role digital marketing and e-commerce are set to play now and going forward.
It lost touch with its base
The changing consumer tastes meant that Bebe had been struggling to resonate with female shoppers in what was yet another reason why the company had been struggling to make sales, making losses in 4 consecutive years as discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. An important lesson we can take from this is the importance of making sure you have the pulse of your audience and know what it is they are looking for.
The decline in mall foot-traffic
There was a time when going to the mall was the “it” thing, and that was the time when retail stores linked to malls, such as Bebe, thrived. However, in the last couple of years, this has changed, and as more and more people have preferred to make orders online, mall foot-traffic has declined, and as a result, retail chains like Bebe have lost customers and declined.
The emergence of new brands
While still grappling with competition from online retailers, Bebe has also in recent years had to deal with the threat of new brands such as Nasty Gal. These new brands, as discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, are fresh and hip, and have been a hit with the younger generation of women, who have begun to view Bebe as yesterday’s news, which has also not done the company and its fortunes any favors.
Competition from trendier brands
Bebe’s strategy revolved around designing and selling its line of women’s clothing, as covered over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. Trouble began when they started to face competition from trendier brands such as Zara, who had trendier and more fashionable clothes than them, and at very competitive prices to boot. The lesson we can take from this is the importance of making sure consumers don’t begin thinking that there are better options than you in the market.
As per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, one of the things that could make a consumer forego the convenience of online shopping is if they feel they will have an excellent shopping experience at a physical store. However, this is yet another thing Bebe could offer its customers, as their stores were bland and lacking in atmosphere. You didn’t feel like you had an unforgettable experience when shopping at their stores, which led to them losing most of their customers. As a marketing lesson, this shows the importance of providing your audience with excellent user experience.
Lack of investment in their staff
Many brick-and-mortar companies that have managed to survive the retail apocalypse have done so by investing in their workforce and making sure they offer excellent customer service to customers, as discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. This is yet another area where Bebe failed, with customer service in its stores not being great, and some of them even being understaffed. This is yet another reason behind their decline, and yet another lesson worth learning.
While Bebe was known for making its clothes and accessories, its branding wasn’t that great. This became more apparent in recent times when branding and visibility is everything, according to the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. The company struggled to put itself in front of its audience, and it was outshone by new brands that had better branding and imagery, leading to the company’s eventual decline.
The fact that the company was making its products also led to issues with quality control, as customers began finding items with issues from poor finishing to poor fit and so forth. This, as is discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, eventually led to most of its customers leaving, leading to declining sales and consequently the company’s decline.
The company also came under increased pressure due to the large amounts it owed as rent, which became an issue as its stores weren’t bringing in enough revenue to warrant the exorbitant amounts the company was paying as rent. This is one of the main reasons that led to the closure of all of its stores and shows the importance of making sure you keep your costs in check, staying within budget as far as your business operations and marketing strategies are concerned.