Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry
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Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry

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    Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry Document Transcript

    • Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry Cecilia Castelli Politecnico di Milano cecilia.castelli@polimi.it
    • Cecilia Castelli 1 Introduction The industry of luxury goods is expected to become in 2006 a $170 billion business worldwide (Egon Zhender International, April 2006), and in the recent years sales were growing 6% per year (Kwak and Yoffie, 2001). Despite the adverse economic cycle, luxury goods firms experience increasing demand: this is due in part to the increasing social relevance of owning luxury goods, in part to the strong commitment of the luxury companies in branding and communication (Castaldo and Boni, 1999). But does the success of such companies lay in communication activities only? It would be interesting to understand if – and to what extent- the choices of the appropriate operations and supply chain strategy influence the success in the luxury niche. The topic of Supply Chain Management, due to the major economic trends of the last decade (globalization of markets, outsourcing of activities, demand for growing number of innovative and customized products in small volumes, with high quality and high service level, in an unpredictable way), emerged as a promising research field and was largely studied; however the models that have been proposed don’t seem to describe properly the strategies to adopt in the luxury goods industry. A specific research project is ongoing at Politecnico di Milano, aiming at studying Supply Chain strategies in terms of goals (critical success factors - CSF), key performance indicators (KPI), intra- and inter-firm practices, and risk and benefit sharing mechanisms that are actually adopted in the field, on the base of large empirical studies in the luxury goods segment and at developing a Supply Chain strategy model that can be specific for this particular industrial niche. 2 Research background 2.1 The modern industry of luxury goods. The concept of “luxury” has its roots in the history of the great civilizations of the ancient world: luxury goods have always been associated to wealth, exclusivity and power, as long as it was identified with satisfaction of non-basic necessities. The term “luxury” itself comes from the Latin “luxus” which means “soft or extravagant living, sumptuousness, opulence” (from the Oxford Latin Dictionary in Dubois et al., 2005). The modern industry of luxury goods has its origins in the XIX century in Europe when, thanks to the industrial revolution, some entrepreneurs established companies aimed at creating exceptional products that represented the elitist lifestyle of the time. Due to the limited local potential growth, these companies had to
    • Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry expand their sales outside the country of origin in order to reach a large customer base. This put the basis for the present-day global luxury companies (Antoni et al., 2004). As business grew, the customer base became broader – as the elites of the world became larger and more diverse – and the reputation for exceptional quality evolved in well-established brands: today the brand image and characterization have become one of the most relevant aspects in order to get a positioning into the luxury market. The emotional factors have been getting more and more importance, as today’s customers are looking for goods that are characterized by reliable performances, high quality level and perfection of details but at the same time they want to be emotionally involved and feel a complete and memorable experience of shopping. Most of the authors agree that “luxury” doesn’t actually identify a category of products rather than a conceptual and symbolic dimension, defined by values which are strongly related with the cultural elements that characterize a society in a particular historical period. This is the reason why it is important to define the main characteristics of luxury brands. Reddy and Terblanche (2005) divide luxury brands into two categories: those which, in the eyes of the customer, are primarily symbolic and those which are primarily recognized for their technical features. In fact some luxury brands are valued for their functional aspects: people buy Porsche, for instance, because of the vehicles’ world-class performance and engineering. Other luxury brands, like Louis Vuitton, are valued more for the lifestyle they project than for the particular expertise or functionality they embody. Antoni et al. (2004) suggests that success in the luxury market is mainly related to the following aspects: - Excellence: the strongest association with luxury in the consumer’s mind is with excellent quality, both in product and service. It is the necessary condition that justify the premium paid by customers. The obsession with excellence has to be found in every luxury-goods company. - Brand aura: by achieving excellence, companies gained through the years a strong reputation and positioned their brands at the top level in consumers’ mind. To achieve luxury status, brands need to have a strong aura that has to be legitimate and identifiable. - Desirability: a common element in luxury-goods companies is the capacity to create and maintain desirability. One element is a strong aesthetic appeal, modern but related to traditional values; another element is the high price of items that gives strength to the social
    • Cecilia Castelli symbolism of the product; scarcity and uniqueness of the product are also elements that increase desirability. 2.2 Supply Chain Strategy Many authors dealt with supply chain management topics and proposed several different approaches in order to improve knowledge and practices in this field. Among them Shewchuk (1998) says that “one size does not fit all”, meaning that there’s a need to find the most fitting SCM approach depending on the business and the context in which a firm is operating. The main contributions to the literature so far in terms of strategy are related to the dichotomy lean vs. agile: the former is mainly focused on eliminating waste, reducing costs and increasing efficiency in general, while the latter is strongly oriented toward customer responsiveness. The lean paradigm was developed within manufacturing (Womack et al., 1990), but was soon extended to supply (Lamming, 1993) and many additional contributions have been proposed (e.g. Hines, 1994). The main focus is efficiency, which is pursued through waste elimination and activity streamlining, and the typical domain of application is a predictable and non volatile environment. The agile model has been built upon lean concepts, but focused mostly on speed, flexibility, and responsiveness, i.e. effectiveness more than efficiency, and is suitable for highly volatile and unpredictable environments. Also other authors agreed on the need to formulate a focused supply chain management strategy (Towill et al., 2002), coherently with the product/market considered (Lee, 2004) and with the critical success factors. Product features indeed influence supply chain configuration and management choices; a well established classification is the one proposed by Fisher (Fisher, 1997): functional products and innovative products. Functional products match with a physically efficient supply chain management strategy, while innovative ones match with a market-responsive strategy. It is evident that luxury goods cannot be classified into functional products, since in the luxury segment cost issues are not as relevant as for functional products, nor into innovative ones where the stress is on reactivity performances: in fact some luxury products could be classified as “innovative” but this is not necessary related to supply chain reactivity, while many other luxury products are not innovative at all, since they are valued for being “classics”. More recently researchers introduced other categories for the purpose of identifying the most appropriate supply chain configuration and strategy. A relevant category refers to unique products (Lamming et al., 2000): uniqueness is often caused by the reputation of its brand, especially in market
    • Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry segments (e.g. apparel/fashion industry) in which the brand name is a determinant of success (Bruce et al., 2004; Byrnes, 2004). Such uniqueness should be created, supported and maintained by managing in an appropriate way the various steps of the supply chain (Bowman, 2004). A further category introduced by Lamming et al. (2000) deals with product complexity. Such dimension takes into account the physical structure of the product, so that two classes can be identified, simple products and complex products, which can be combined with Fisher’s classification in order to define more precisely the most suitable supply chain management strategy. Many models have been proposed with the aim of indicating the correct matching of the company goals and success factors to the most suitable supply chain strategy (Fisher, 1997; Lamming et al., 2000; Towill et al., 2002; Lee, 2002; Cigolini et al., 2004). However such models are mainly developed for companies operating in the mass consumer goods industries and they find low correspondence in the luxury industry. Indeed the industrial segment of luxury goods seems to be one of the less studied by the operations and supply chain literature, although it could reveal interesting aspects. The literature regarding the luxury goods industry indeed is often focused on sociological, marketing and branding aspects, so disregarding almost completely the field of operations and supply chain management. From this short review of the available literature, it comes out that there is almost no intersection between research on operations and supply chain management and research on luxury goods management. This is the reason why it becomes even more interesting to merge the two fields in order to explore the relevance of operations and supply chain management for the luxury goods industry. Furthermore, the need of studying specifically the luxury segment seems to be even more interesting in the Italian context, where many of the worldwide known luxury firms have been established and still operate. 3 Research goals 3.1 The SNS project A long run research program, named Supply Network Strategy (SNS), is ongoing at Politecnico di Milano1. The program aims at developing a 1 The research group that developed the SNS project includes Alessandro Brun, Federico Caniato, Maria Caridi, Giovanni Miragliotta and Stefano Ronchi and is coordinated by professor Andrea Sianesi and professor Gianluca Spina
    • Cecilia Castelli framework model to analyze critical decision areas in the strategy formulation process. The goal of SNS project is to provide a support for the definition of the suitable supply chain configuration and practices according to the competitive priorities of the supply network. In order to overcome traditional limitations of previous research, the unit of analysis is the complete network of companies and relationships involved. In particular, the program is made of six different research streams strongly correlated among each other. The six streams, forming the overall research project and shown in figure 1, correspond to six steps in the strategy formulation process, which is considered as an iterative cycle. Stream 0 - VI: the first stream aims at analysing the critical success factors (CSF) of the supply network overall in its final market and how these factors propagate themselves across the network. Besides, critical success factors will be linked with the key performance indicators monitored, considering both the contribution of each single actor and the overall result as seen by the final customer. This stream consequently deals with the fundamental problem of evaluating performance at supply network level, which is a very open and debated issue in both research and practice (Brun et al., 2005). This is both the first and the last step of the strategy definition cycle. Stream I: this part of the project aims at investigating the relationship between the relevant key performance indicators (KPI) and the choices in terms of configuration of the network. Stream II: this stream aims at measuring the impact of supply network key performance indicators on the bottom lines of companies’ profit and loss accounts and on other non financial performances. Stream III: this part of the project aims at investigating specific practices and techniques adopted, thus identifying existing supply network strategies, which are coherent combinations of network configuration techniques, practices and tools with regard to the observed critical success factors of the chain. Stream IV: this project stream deals with suitable benefit and risk sharing tools and techniques in order to support real cooperation among the companies involved (Miragliotta et al., 2005). Stream V: this project aims at comparing two different strategic options, namely that of adopting a unique strategy for the entire network, which is made up of different products, channels, and brands, and that of adopting a focused strategy for each combination of the above variables (within the same supply network). Pros and cons of these options will be analysed in order to figure out in which industry / scenario each should be used.
    • Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry 0 – VI I Link between Link between CSF and KPI KPI and SC configuration & management V II Unique or Impact of KPI focused on business strategies? performance IV III Risk and benefit Cluster of sharing practices / taxonomy of SC strategies Fig. 1: The SNS circle 3.2 Application to the luxury segment As it emerges from the previous description, the SNS project has been conceived in order to have the potential to cover many different industrial contexts. This is the reason why it can be applied to the luxury goods segment, which is indeed a very particular field, transversal to the traditional industrial sectors. In particular, within the luxury goods segment, only the industrial luxury goods (so excluding antiques, collection objects, artworks, services and real estate) which are produced and sold under an internationally known brand will be taken into account along the present research. The considered segment is composed by a wide variety of companies: there are large established groups, as well as small family run businesses.
    • Cecilia Castelli The specific goals of the present research consist of investigating the above defined luxury goods segment on the basis of the SNS project, in order to workout a specific supply chain strategy model that could be detailed into the different streams of the SNS circle. In the following section the research objectives are presented in details. Objective 1: Assess to what extent operations and supply chain management issues are relevant in the Italian luxury goods industry. As said above, luxury is commonly considered as an industry where branding, marketing and design are the strategic areas, while operations are just ancillary to them and not critical. The first question of this study is to test whether this is actually true in today’s luxury industry. Objective 2: Find out which are the critical success factors in the luxury segment market and how they propagate themselves along the supply chain. In order to respect the SNS project in which the present research is included, it is necessary to identify which are the specific CSF for the luxury goods market, if they correspond to those suggested by the literature and how they are perceived and targeted (even in terms of KPI) at the customer level and in the upstream parts of the supply chain. Objective 3: Identify the presence of different strategy requirements among the luxury goods segment and within a single company. Given the transversal nature of luxury segment, it can be expected that some aspects of SC strategy requirements will be common while others will present differences depending on the business sector or on differences in the critical success factors. Differences in SC strategy requirements could even be identified within a single company, for instance when different target objectives are settled for different products or different distribution channels. Objective 4: Propose a model to identify the specific strategy, in terms of practices and techniques, to adopt in the various levels of the supply chain. The final goal of the research is the release of a model that could help managers and practitioners, operating in the luxury products segment, in (1) understanding whether SCM could drive improvements for their business and (2) identifying the most appropriate set of choices regarding the different levels of any considered supply chain; such model should include indications about contracts with customers and suppliers as well as risk and benefit sharing. 4 Research methodology Given the research objectives, different methodologies are taken into account in order to pursue the various goals:
    • Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry First of all, the available international literature will be constantly monitored and analysed, in order to have an updated framework of the state-of-the-art. Case studies are used to explore the various issues and investigate such complex themes in depth. Case studies are performed in companies operating in the luxury segment of different industries, in order (1) to assess to what extent operations issues are regarded as relevant and (2) to catch different approaches to supply chain strategies. Besides, case studies are performed at different stages and nodes of the same supply network in order to get a proper network perspective, thus overcoming the limitations of traditional research. A dedicated questionnaire was developed in order to support the interviewer during the case studies and in order to keep a common analysis path so to allow a comparison between the different case studies. Survey research is also adopted, to look for a broader empirical evidence, thus allowing to generalize the results emerged from the case studies. In particular, survey will be used to (1) identify the critical success factors of luxury product from the customers’ point of view and (2) to identify which alternative strategies are adopted as clusters of firms compete / cooperate under the same set of goals, operating conditions and markets. Finally, action research is envisaged as a tool to investigate the actual implementation of advanced supply network strategies in real cases, thus expanding the research interest also to the adopting process of new management solutions. 5 Provisional findings The research is currently in its exploratory stage: several case studies in worldwide known Italian companies have been conducted; different industrial sectors were involved, i.e. automotive, apparel, shoes and leather goods, nautical, watches, jewellery, furniture. The aim of this first set of case studies consisted in understanding how the involved companies have structured and manage their supply chain. The interviews were conducted by means of a focused questionnaire appositely developed for this purpose: exploring the supply chain configuration and management choices of companies and the relationship of such choices to the critical success factors of the luxury goods segment. Considering the available literature, the investigation framework adopted was structured in following areas: product characteristics; Critical
    • Cecilia Castelli Success Factors; Supply chain configuration and management; Supply chain processes (New product development, Supply, Production, Distribution). The descriptive case studies which were obtained, were then analysed in depth on the basis of the research objectives and of the SNS circle steps in order to have a first set of answers and to identify more issues to be addressed by means of a series of further company visits. Along the case studies, particular attention has been paid to the identification of those factors that each of the involved companies considered as critical for its success into the luxury market. The main critical success factors indicated by companies are: Quality: this aspect is to be considered both in terms of compliance with the specifics and in terms of superior material quality; Service level: this aspect is becoming more and more important as the customer requirements increase; Country of origin: there are products that are appreciated for being manufactured in a specific geographic area (e.g.: Champagne from France); Product display: customers require to have a complete shopping experience, in which even the shop atmosphere reflects the values of the brand; Design and aesthetic: superior material aspects are not enough for the luxury goods market, products must also convey emotions to the customer. Product design and aesthetic are very often the mean to make customers associate emotions to the products. Technical performance: the communication of emotions can be due also to a different source: best in class technical performance, which distinguish luxury products from ordinary ones. Creation of a lifestyle: the customer has to feel that he’s part of a unique style, which can be recreated in everyday life by possessing special luxury products; Innovation: in many cases luxury products need to be constantly the best-in-class in terms of technical performance, innovative solutions and state-of-the-art technologies. Therefore continuous innovation can become the way to sustain the product positioning. 5.1 Some cases from the fashion industry Not only critical success factors were investigated: supply chain configuration and management choices were explored in order to identify distinctive patterns for the luxury segment. Some examples can be reported from the
    • Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry fashion industry. A sample of ten Italian companies from the luxury segment of the fashion industry was involved in the research, as reported in Table 1. Managed Size Main Evergreen Collections Company brands Accessories (turnover) Product products per year (owned) Yes Yes Medium Beachwear, (Classic (1) 5 (5) (Sunglasses, 2 30-40 M€ lingerie white/black perfumes) lingerie) Shoes in Small Yes (2) 1 (1) exotic Yes 2 <10 M€ (Belts) leather Small Leather (3) 3 (1) No No 2 <10 M€ shoes Apparel Yes Medium Yes (4) 1 (1) (cashmere (Classic 2 50-60 M€ (Bags) wool) colours) Handbags, Yes Big (5) 1 (1) leather (Keyrings, Yes 2 >100 M€ accessories belts, shoes) Handbags; Yes Medium (6) 7 (1) leather (Keyrings, Yes 2 20-30 M€ accessories belts, shoes) Medium (7) 9 (1) Handbags No No 2 20-30 M€ Yes Medium (8) 2 (2) Shoes (Bags, Yes 2 60-70 M€ belts) Medium (9) 3(3) Shoes No No 2 30-40 M€ Handbags Medium (10) 1(1) and No No 2 30-40 M€ suitcases Table 1: Companies from the fashion industry included in the sample
    • Cecilia Castelli Their supply chain configuration choices have been investigated, such as geographical extension of the supply chain, geographical location of the actors, number of echelons of the supply chain, size and type of the actors in the various echelons, upstream and downstream integration, outsourcing choices (See table 2). All the companies involved highlighted that the most relevant core competences to be kept in house are those related to the design phase, which defines material specific, aesthetic aspect and style of the product. This is the reason why these companies relies on a qualified design team and often collaborate with external designers or brand owner’s design team (when they are licensee for other superior brands), in order to create products which are compliant with brand image as well as with customers’ requirements. In the luxury segment products must be guaranteed, so that high material have to be sourced every phase of the manufacturing process must be compliant to the desired quality level. As a consequence, often materials have to be sourced in particular countries (e.g.: leather in Italy, cashmere wool in India) and from specialized reliable suppliers. Likewise the most critical production phases (e.g.: the cutting phase) are to be kept in house while only the most labour intensive phases (e.g.: sewing) can be outsourced. Anyway even for those phases that don’t take place in house, outsourcer companies are carefully selected and the focal company usually applies some kind of control or monitoring on their operations. As regards the upstream part of the supply chain, several sourcing and manufacturing levels can be identified: apart from the focal companies, several tiers of suppliers and outsourcers exist. On the contrary, the downstream section of the chain is often very short: companies prefer (when possible) to sell their product directly to the final points of sale, so bypassing any kind of wholesaler or distributor. This allows companies to have a better control on the retailing stage, which is critical in reaching the end customers. In fact, most of the companies involved in the present research agree on one point: it is essential to build a direct contact with the consumer and this could be obtained by means of some kind of downstream integration. Consequently many companies establish – at the retailing stage – a network of mono-brand boutiques, partly owned and partly in franchising. Such points of sale are usually located in the city centre of major towns and they are characterized by an interior design that convey the style of the brand: this combination of design and exclusive location contributes to satisfy the need to guarantee a strong coherence with brand image and brand values. This allows companies not only to better understand customers’ needs and improve the relationship
    • Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry with them but also it is useful to obtain reliable sales information on which forecasting activities are based. Case Suppliers Production Design Retailing study (localization) (localization) Consumables (Italy and Cutting in house. Mono-brand boutiques abroad) Outsourcing of labor Multi-brand shops (1) In house Fabrics (Italy) intensive phases Department store Accessories (Italy) (Italy) corners Worldwide Leather and shoe Outsourcing Multi-brand shops (2) Co-design components (Italy) (Italy) Europe USA Leather (Italy) Inside Multi-brand shops (3) In house (Italy) Department stores Europe, USA, Japan Raw material (abroad) Cashmere products: Mono-brand boutiques In house Cashmere wire (Italy) in house. Multi-brand shops (4) Co-design Clothes: outsourcing Department stores (Italy) Worldwide Leather and accessories Outsourcing to Mono-brand boutiques (Italy) specialized Department store (5) In house companies corners (Italy) Worldwide Leather and special In house Mono-brand boutiques In house (6) components(Italy) (Italy and abroad) Multi-brand shops Co-design Fabrics (Abroad Worldwide Leather (Italy) Outsourcing Mono-brand boutiques In house Fabrics (Italy and (Italy and abroad) Multi-brand shops (7) Co-design abroad) Department stores Worldwide Leather (Italy) In house Mono-brand boutiques Outsourcing of labor Multi-brand shops (8) In house intensive phases Department store (Italy) corners Worldwide Leather (Italy) In house Mono-brand boutiques Special components Outsourcing to Multi-brand shops (9) In house (specific countries) specialized Department stores companies (Italy) Worldwide Leather (Italy) Abroad Mono-brand boutiques Other components Multi-brand shops (10) In house (Abroad) Department stores Worldwide Table 2: Supply chain configuration for the presented sample
    • Cecilia Castelli Anyway not only mono-brand boutiques are requested to keep safe the values of the brand: multi-brand shops and department stores are carefully selected on the base of their willingness to display the products in a proper way, following the guidelines provided by the focal company. Supply chain management choices were investigated as well, as briefly reported in the following lines. For all the study cases, demand is influenced by fashion trends and the selling season is very short: this is the reason why design activities begin very early (on average 9 months before the product is available for the consumer) and the first production launches take place soon after (7-8 months before the product is available in the points of sale). In order to avoid excessive stock, manufacturing companies often prefer to produce only on the basis of order received by the point of sale, so pursuing a make to order strategy. But the choice of a pure make to order strategy leads to an increased stockout risk due to long manufacturing lead times: in order to reduce such risk many companies chose to produce some lines (those supposed to be “best sellers”) in advance. Make to stock strategy is preferred also for those items for which manufacturing phases are outsourced in low cost countries, due to long delivery lead times: anyway along the presented sample the choice of outsourcing in low cost countries is uncommon and it is regarded as a possibility to be considered only for non critical products or process phases. On the retail side of the supply chain the companies involved in the research expressed a wish for downstream integration, as this is universally recognized as a critical aspect for success in the considered segment. The major efforts are aimed at creating a direct relationship between the consumer and the company through the redesign of the retailing system: this means creating a network of mono-brand company-controlled (owned or franchised) boutiques as well as improving the service to this kind of retailing channel in terms of delivery lead times, product availability, direct communication with the focal company, replenishment programs, support to the sales people, information sharing. In order to better match production and demand, information exchange on sell-out data and forecasts between focal companies and retailers is very frequent: some companies register very detailed information not only about the products but also about the customers, e.g. day and time of the transaction, sex and age of the customer, weather conditions. In many cases retailers can access a reserved area of the company website and put replenishment orders that will be registered on-line.
    • Supply Chain Management strategies in the luxury industry Information exchange is less frequent in the upstream part of the supply chain where production plans are made by the focal company and communicated to suppliers and outsourcers only trough specific orders: this is due to the fact that outsourcers and suppliers are mainly small or artisan companies, and the focal company believes they are not yet ready to understand a wider point of view and deal with supply chain planning and management. Anyway some of the studied companies are introducing some collaboration programs in order to increase the level of integration with first tier suppliers and improve coordination with outsourcers (see details in Table 3). In some cases this gave place to a performance measurement system which overcomes the boundaries of the company and includes KPI related to the logistic performances of the supply, outsourcing and retailing network. 6 Final remarks and conclusions This first exploratory phase led to a set of considerations that allow to suppose that supply chain and operations management have been found to be very important for the success of companies that operate in the luxury segment of all the industrial sectors considered: Most of the companies involved, stressed the fact that in their business sector a product can access the luxury segment only if it is manufactured into a particular geographical reason, namely Italy for apparel, leather goods, shoes, jewellery, furniture and Switzerland for watches; offshoring some product lines to low cost countries means reducing the target positioning of the brand. As well, raw materials and components, subassemblies and competences have to be supplied from particular geographical zones (e.g. mechanical components from Germany, design competences from Italy), which are specific for each business sector. In addition, suppliers have to be selected mainly on the basis of quality of materials and operational processes, in order to guarantee a very high quality level which is considered a market qualifier factor for the luxury market. On the distribution side, the importance emerged of having flagship stores that can transmit the values of the company’s brands. In many cases also the choice of points of sale location is an essential aspect. It is worth noticing that – differently than in the mass consumer goods industry – supply chain practices are mostly aimed at increasing business effectiveness than at reducing costs. For instance, in most of the case studied, supplier selection is not based on cost performances but on quality, reliability
    • Cecilia Castelli and innovativeness. However, this does not mean that costs are neglected; indeed also luxury firms need to manage their profitability accurately. For instance, the low volumes of these products do not allow economies of scale. Also the relevant investments in innovation, communication and marketing cannot be split among a high number of units sold. Finally, the need for high quality, reliability and customer service easily makes costs raise. Therefore also luxury firms need to take care of their costs and to manage their supply chains coherently. Efforts are mainly aimed at aligning the overall supply chain management and configuration to the brand values as well as at corresponding to the customer feelings. This is a clear signal that the choice of the appropriate operations and supply chain strategy could be the base on which the brand’s excellence promises will be kept and supported. REFERENCES: Antoni F., Burgelman R. A., Meza P., (2004) “LVMH in 2004: the challenges of strategic integration”, Harvard Business School case Bowman R. J., (2004) “Using Supply Chain excellence to build brand reputation”, Global Logistics and Supply Chain Strategies, August Bruce M.,Daly L.,Towers N., (2004) “Lean or agile. A solution for Supply Chain Management in the textile and clothing industry”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 24 (2) 151-170 Brun, A., Cagliano, R., Caniato, F., Fahmy Salama, K., Sianesi, A, Spina, G., (2005) “Supply Chain Performance Measurement Systems: how to evaluate their performance?”, Proceedings of the 2nd European Forum on Market Driven Supply Chain, Milan, April, 5-6. Byrnes J., (2004) “Supply Chain Management in a Wal-Mart world”, HBS Weekly Publication, August Castaldo S., Boni S., (1999) “La dimensione emozionale dello shopping: una ricerca esplorativa sul ruolo del punto vendita”, Economia & Management (in Italian) Cigolini, R., Cozzi, M., Perona, M., (2004) “A new framework for Supply Chain Management: conceptual model and empirical test”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 8, 1-13 Dubois, Czellar, Laurent, (2005) “Consumer segments based on attitudes towards luxury: empirical evidence from twenty countries”, Marketing Letters 16 (2) Fisher M. L., (1997) “What is the right Supply Chain for your product?”, Harvard Business Review, March-April, 105-116 Lamming R.,Harland C., Zheng J., Johnsen T., (2000) “An initial classification of Supply Networks”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 20, 675-694 Lee, H. L., (2002) “Aligning supply chain strategies with product uncertainties”, California Management Review, 44, 105-119 Lee H. L., (2004 ) “The triple-A Supply Chain”, Harvard Business Review, October, 102-112 Kwak M., Yoffie D. B., “Gucci Group N.V.”, Harvard Business School case, 2001 Reddy M., Terblanche N., (2005) “How not to extend your luxury brand”, Harvard Business Review, May Shewchuk P. J., (1998) “Agile manufacturing: one size does not fit all”, Proceedings of the IFIP WG 5.7 Conference on Strategic Management of the Manufacturing Value Chain, Kluver Academic Publishers Towill D. R., Childerhouse P., Aitken J., (2002) “Analysis and design of focused demand chains”, Journal of Operations Management, 20 675-689.