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H&M is universal clothing retail operating in over 73 markets worldwide. H&M, short for Hennes & Mauritz is known for its trendy clothing line for customers of all ages and genders. Founded in 1947 in Stockholm, Sweden, H&M has employed approximately 179,000 employees and has an operating profit of USD1.8 billion. H&M values constant improvement and a strong work ethic. By staying open-minded, approachable for the development for the staff as well as working safely, effectively, and taking pride in their work.
Gucci, founded by Guccio Gucci is one of the oldest Italian luxury brands still in operation today. Gucci has a brand value of USD7.1 billion and is the 38th most valuable brand worldwide. Headquartered in Florence, Gucci has roughly employed 2097 staff based in 550 stores globally. Gucci commenced as a luggage manufacturer for Italy’s upper-class and equestrian customers. They value respect to human rights and equal opportunities as well as valuing diversity. No matter the culture, gender or disability, Gucci recognizes the importance of equality for customers and employees.
H&M and Gucci are internationally renowned brands in the fashion industry. Both started in the early 1900s, H&M and Gucci are value-driven and customer-focused. H&M’s slogan “the H&M way” represents H&M who they are, what they do, and how they do it. They provide fashion at the best prices, which clearly defines their culture. Gucci’s logo represents grandeur and authenticity. With the interlocking G’s symbolizing Guccio Gucci, the brand has become the definition of extravagance and sophistication.
The purpose of this report is to compare H&M and Gucci’s customer service experience from four different aspects: target markets, meeting customers’ needs and expectations services provided by the business as well as training that employees go through.
H&M provides customers with fashionable and trendy pieces. H&M targets mainly young women, while Gucci targets middle and high-class customers from ages 20-50.
Both H&M and Gucci operate in the fashion industry. Gucci’s market has altered in a way that it is now also accessible to individuals of under 20. Over the years, Gucci has become affordable to the majority of middle and high-class customers. Having used to target Italian equestrian customers, Gucci is still considered a luxury brand which has become more accessible to other markets. Due to the changes in trends and culture, H&M and Gucci have overlapping markets where H&M might be more appropriate for children to young adults and Gucci might be more suitable towards teenagers to adults.
Furthermore, Gucci customers are often individuals who appreciate Italian heritage, luxury, and timeless pieces. Yet Gucci’s target market has changed since the 1900s, where teenagers have the opportunity to utilize more luxurious accessories. In the late 1900s, Gucci and H&M had completely different markets, where Gucci customers valued the history of the products. Nevertheless, H&M launched a new line named “Nyden” to sell luxurious and affordable fashion, which would expand their target market towards upper-class customers.
When meeting customer needs, both H&M and Gucci have used technology to assist them with connecting with customers. They provide customers with different products and services therefore, employees will need to adjust their dialogue with each customer.
Since 2010, customers in 44 out of the 69 markets who shop at H&M have access to online shopping. Recently in the US, H&M launched an app available for customers, which provides them with alternative ways to pay for items. In 2013, H&M started a garment collection initiative, to minimize unwanted garments to end up in landfills. Customers who donate will receive a voucher which can be used towards the next purchase. Along with online shopping, H&M also provides customers with the free choice of delivery or “Click & Collect”.
Like H&M, Gucci also implemented an online shopping option for customers. They provide customers with high-quality images allowing customers to observe products in detail. While in-store, customers get the opportunity to test the interactive life-sized screens which enable customers to examine the products from a full 360° angle. As Gucci products are costly, they provide customers with a one-year warranty on all products. Customers are allowed to obtain unlimited free repairs from Gucci providing that it is within one year after the purchase date. There are locations where in-house repairmen are available, which enables customers to shop while the repair is being completed.
As both companies have different qualities of products, they provide different services which benefit the customer. H&M’s products are more affordable which means no special or extravagant services like gift wrapping is needed. While Gucci is a very high-class brand which would mean that customers would expect more personal services.
The services that H&M provides is very simple. Online shopping as well as the option of delivery or “Click & Collect” is available to all customers. Shoppers also have access to the new “Scan and find” feature, enabling customers to locate an item at their nearest store. The garment collection initiative also allows customers to donate unwanted clothing to in turn receive vouchers. This also acts as a loyalty scheme which makes customers return to the store.
Contrastingly, Gucci’s products are luxurious and classy, customers want something that they have a deeper connection with. As a result, Gucci started personalizing gifts by adding initials to the products. Not only that, but Gucci recently started “Drawing Gucci DIY” where artists worldwide hand-drawn illustrations using mediums like acrylics on paper and digital-drawn sketches to personalize products to each individual customer. As mentioned above, Gucci also provides customers with free repairs within one year of the purchase date.
H&M and Gucci are two very different businesses: middle and high class, therefore the trainee’s preparation into working as an employee in the business will contrast. Training in Gucci compared to H&M is lengthy and very detailed oriented, where aspects like a uniform and overall appearance are very strict and could affect the reputation of the business.
In H&M, training depends on your position. Trainees either train for 4 or 13 weeks. In the 13 weeks of training, trainees have the opportunity to learn the roles of various positions such as sales advisor, store or department manager. Trainees spend their time at the cash registers and sales floor, dealing with back-of-house routines, stock management, and building an attractive store environment. After 13 weeks, trainees are prepared to become store or department managers.
In contrast, Gucci’s training are sophisticated and lengthy. Generally lasting over six months, Gucci training is taught by Gucci’s artisans, managers, and retired employees. Trainees spend their months in three different schools: craftsmanship, factory, and technical. Craftsmanship school is a six-month program devoted to leather goods design held at the company’s Artlab in Scandicci, Florence. Factory school is a bimonthly course dedicated to raising artisans skilled in specific leather goods manufacturing, aiming at school graduates. A technical academy is intended for employees who are regularly trained depending on the company’s needs.
From the research that I have done, I would prefer to work in Gucci. Although Gucci fashion is not a brand that particularly attracts me, the experience that can be gained through working in a 5-star upper-class Italian luxury brand compared to a 3-star middle-class multicultural brand is a job opportunity that cannot be passed.
With experience from such a high-class Italian company, the job opportunities in the future will be limitless. I believe that training with Gucci means that future jobs would be to Gucci’s competitors such as Prada or Chanel, which would mean that working at Gucci would provide me with very specific job positions.
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