SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMW226501
Module Leader Timothy Jackson
School GCU London
Subject GCU London
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module provides a critical analysis of management trends and developments with respect to the retailing and distribution of luxury goods and services. It examines their routes to market both domestically and internationally, as well as the geography of luxury distribution. The module considers, the importance, role and function of intermediaries (such as wholesale agents and distributors) and partners (such as franchisees and licensees) within a luxury brand's international distribution strategy. Consideration is also given to direct-to-consumer retailing both digitally and through physical stores. In respect of physical stores, both mono-brand directly operated stores and multi-brand environments will be explored. Although the digital ecosystem has expanded online purchasing through largely mobile smartphone devices it's important to recognise that physical stores remain a key channel for the luxury goods consumer. This is both as an environment to research the physical product before buying on-line and vice versa. This module will examine the different consumer preferences according to nationality; in China and some SEA countries, the vast majority of purchasing is via mobile apps whereas in Europe, physical stores remain important. Students will also examine evolving business models including digital market place platforms such as FarFetch, rental, resale, consignment and sharing platforms where they represent a new distribution channel opportunity for brands. The combination of channels is now key to the success of a brand and so students need to conceive an omnichannel distribution strategy that takes account of how consumers engage differently with each distinctive touchpoint


Physical store retailing; DOS, multi-brand environments Flagship retailing and virtual / digital flagships Brand experiential spaces Pop-ups and collective rentals / market places Digital retailing strategies The evolution of M-commerce to Discovery-commerce Direct to consumer models of distribution 5G technology and its impact on digital retailing and experiences Brand distribution partners; franchising, licensing and wholesale Market entry strategies including joint-ventures Resale, consignment and rental channels as routes to consumers Blockchain in supply chains

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:-1. Critically evaluate trends and developments in the digital and physical distribution strategies of luxury goods and services.2. Demonstrate understanding of the distinctive capabilities of distribution channel options for luxury brands.3. Create a strategic omnichannel proposal for a global luxury brand4. Exhibit an understanding of distribution theories, tools and industry practices specific to the luxury industry

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning strategy consists of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Lectures are used to communicate key theories and practices on branding theory while the seminars involve case analysis with an emphasis on applying theoretical knowledge to real-life situations. Seminar groups are also used to discuss brand management issues, often via case studies. Formative feedback is provided in tutorials. Directed study takes the form of reading and group discussion outside of class. Field visits and guest lecturers will be drawn upon to enhance students' learning. All module materials are made available to students via the University's VLE, GCU Learn. Online learning can be used to complement face-to-face learning in a blended delivery and also as a pure online mode through the GCU Learn Blackboard VLE. The online pedagogic approach involves the use of uploaded learning materials, learning activities and engagement through both synchronous and asynchronous tools; including discussion boards, padlet, quizzes and Collaborate.

Indicative Reading

Ozuem, W. and Patten, E. (2019), Harnessing Omni-Channel Marketing Strategies for Fashion and Luxury Brands, Brown Walker Press Fernie, J. and Grant, D. (2019), Fashion Logistics: Insights into the Fashion Retail Supply Chain Paperback - 3 Nov 2019, Kogan Page Waller, M. et al (2019), Integrating Blockchain into Supply Chain Management: A Toolkit for Practical Implementation, Kogan Page Edger, C. and Emmerson, A. (2015), Franchising: How Both Sides Can Win, Libri Publishing Schaefer W. & Kuehlwein J.P. (2015) Rethinking Prestige Branding: Secrets of the Uber-Brands, Kogan Page Bauer, L (2009) Luxury Stores : Top of the World, TeNeues, Berlin Varley, R et al (2018), Fashion Management, Macmillan Education UK Chadha, R. and Husband, P., 2015. Cult of the Luxury Brand: Inside Asia's Love Affair with Luxury. Nicholas Brealey Publishing Xiang, Gang. (2000), Magnificent box: Global luxury brand flagship store design, Tianjin University Press Pu Chevalier M & Gutsatz M., (2012) Luxury Retail Management, John Wiley and Son Perrin A and Lent R (2009), Selling Luxury, John Wiley & Son Jackson, T. and Shaw , (2004), Mastering Fashion Marketing, Palgrave Alexander, N. & Docherty, A-M. (2009), International Retailing, Oxford Press, London Kapferer J-N. (2015) How Luxury Brands Can Grow Yet Remain Rare, Kogan Page Retail Design Institute (2011) Stores and Retail Spaces, ST Media Group International Inc. Shah, O. (2018), Damaged Goods: The Inside Story of Sir Philip Green, the Collapse of BHS and the Death of the High Street, Penguin Harris C. (2017) The Fundamentals of Digital Fashion Marketing, Bloomsbury Publishing Clark, J. (2014), Fashion Merchandising: Principles and Practice, Red Globe Press Varley, R et al, (2018), Fashion Management: A Strategic Approach, Springer Nature Ltd. Journals International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management Journal of Retail, Distributon and Consumer Research Journal of Retailing and Consumer Service Journal of Product Innovation Management Journal of Brand Management Journal of Fashion Marketng and Management Journal of Retailing Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services Journal of Marketng European Journal of Marketng Websites Retail Week Business of Fashion The financial Times Fashion WGSN Luxury Daily Luxury Society Drapers Retail Business Retail Trade Review

Transferrable Skills

Presentations and verbal communication skills, Teamwork Research skills Critical thinking Synthesis and application of concepts Working to deadlines Reflection on performance Written and academic referencing

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (BL) 72.00
Tutorials (FT) 2.00
Seminars (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 40.00 45% 15min Presentation and portfolio for both campus and distance learning students
Course Work 02 n/a 60.00 45% Written response to contemporary industryscenario 2000 words; submitted through VLE