Friday, 2 July 2010

Mighty odd merchandising choice

I just received a press release from High & Mighty on the launch of its new website. As well as the usual “we’ve made it easier to shop” and “we aim to offer advice, style tips and a discussion forum”, High & Mighty has also announced it was selling home and electrical goods online.

Yes, it’s part of the N Brown stable--which through its myriad titles (just take a look at sells apparel, homewares, consumer electronics, white goods, and lots more--but seriously, is this the right move for High & Mighty?

The decision to sell electrical goods strikes me as a bit of a disconnect; the release says High & Mighty wants to be a “one-stop lifestyle channel for online shopping”—but why? For what it’s worth, I believe High & Mighty would be better off concentrating on getting deeper into its niche. Its database includes big and tall men that find it difficult to find clothes that fit on the high street, so why dilute the brand by adding fragrance and shaving products that can be bought in almost every other shop?

I once asked this question of consultant Meg Macmillan and she told me that “The most successful ventures have been those that built on existing core strengths of the brand, building on customer confidence in quality and value and offering products that were a natural progression and held true to the brand values.” I don’t see how High & Mighty selling plasma TVs fits into this (unless, as my colleague points out, it was a TV on a very tall stand!).

With Figleaves to become the latest brand to join the N Brown stable, does this mean we will see it selling fridges alongside knickers?--MT

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