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Posted on July 15 at 12:20 p.m.
This is true... When Cornerstone started driving how Territory Ahead was to function, things started to drastically change. The management of Territory Ahead was done by two people who were there almost from the beginning, then Cornerstone changed the CEO of the company over to George Ittner to try and turn it around, using Frontgate's revenue as a guideline, ignoring the fact that Territory Ahead may be high end in clothing, it wasn't mature enough and a bit niche to really make it a continual growth.
Some of the management decisions prompted Cornerstone to want to switch to yet another CEO to turn it around, but to be honest, some of the attempts with the management then and following that were not going to turn it around due to some of the bad decisions already made and further pushing the agenda of trying to force all brands to 'follow' suit with one brand's vision.
On The Territory Ahead Sold to Massachusetts Company
Posted on July 14 at 12:24 p.m.
Look at the current issues with companies like CompUSA, Best Buy, Circuit City and so forth. While they are not clothing, three tech based retailers have closed or slowly closing stores in favor of the internet.
Tech does require a little interaction as well, same with clothing, however, there are also some things where people would be willing to deal with the hassle of getting it because of the one simple problem for Brick and Mortar stores for getting clothing or anything else... Size.
Remember, Brick and Mortar locations have to maintain a level of inventory, but that draws a problem more so with clothing. Compare the following: 4-6 different iPads vs 15 different styles of one item (Remember, for clothing, you have Small, Medium, Large... But also in some cases, there is Petite (XS), XL, and for some places, XXL, so that means 3-6 sizes, and that isn't counting possible color, which can then go from 3-6 types to 6-12, 9 to 18, 12-24...) As you can see, the Gadget market will not do as bad or won't stock nearly as much as clothing, but then again, you have a better chance of selling gadgets regardless, but when you mass produce clothing that comes in different sizes and colors, but at the same price... You aren't making nearly as much money against a gadget you can sell at two or three different price points and still unload it. Which makes purchasing from the internet easier, because stores will sometimes won't have a color or size you want, so you end up having to order it anyways.
Niche Clothing stores, like Territory Ahead, will have problems 'growing', just as Eddie Bauer because they cater to a specific color scheme and style. And after a while, that style, while not appealing to the lowest common denominator and having problems featuring other 'styles' because of the niche it has made for itself.
Territory Ahead's clothing was also at a very high price point, which puts them at a harder to spend, and with the economy still at a low, their revenue growth will not go nearly as well as other retail or catalog groups like Frontgate and Garnet Hill, because clothing is not nearly as long lasting as something around the house. Territory Ahead's stuff is rather 'rustic' and 'earthy' in most cases, which leans more towards a heavier specific niche.
You will also find that return policies for some companies lend to promoting the use of the internet purchasing... Territory Ahead's earlier "No questions" type return policy, for example, allows Catalog and Internet purchases to be almost 'guilt free'. And some companies also allow people to return items after getting it.
Posted on July 14 at 12:58 a.m.
To be honest, what happen to The Territory Ahead is due to how they were managed by Cornerstone Brands and what IAC/HSNi was doing with the brand with their expectations.
When HSNi spun off to do their thing, they made changes with Cornerstone Brand and expecting all of Cornerstone Brand's Companies to fall in line, one of which, was to put the President of Garnet Hill in charge of Cornerstone Brands and then applying Garnet Hill's business practices to other brands that wasn't exactly the same.
To make matters worse, some of the upper management within the company itself has made bad internal decisions which was pushed by said Garnet Hill President, as well as just plain questionable ones such as management placement or decisions on how to handle their own product, similar to what Blackberry has been doing to themselves.
What made Territory Ahead decent until recently, was actually how it was run prior to 2003, but with the current economy and also as mentioned above, niche fashion apparel, which Territory Ahead is, there is no real 'drive' to get what Territory Ahead sold and with Brick and Mortar Retail Stores losing out to the ease of internet ordering and just direct to home delivery... It's growth would be limited based on its niche and the economy.