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Skim’s Now Sells Shapewear for Men

If there was any doubt that shapewear for men was becoming a growing, and competitive category, then Kim Kardashian’s Skim brand has put the issue to rest. Skims has just added men’s boxers, briefs, t-shirts, tanks, and more to its product offering.

But what is shapewear? Briefly (no pun intended), shapewear is tight-fitting underwear that controls and shapes a figure. This is a significant industry segment that is estimated by market research firm Circana to reach nearly $6 billion in the last 12 months.

The latest trend in the industry today? The hottest trend in the shapewear industry are garments designed specifically for men. Just as for women, the men’s shapewear is intended to help men look their best under clothes.

The upmarket Skims brand is seizing an opportunity to bring higher-end products to men’s wear, long comminated by mass brands selling multi-packs and discount-priced items. Skims, along with several other higher-end brands, is taking a different approach, showing men there is a different level of comfort and performance for their under garments.

Skims is using star athletes to promote the brand, including soccer stars, NBA players, and NFL players in its ads. Sports is a good place to reach men who are looking for performance wear.

Skims launched in 2019 with women’s shapewear and lingerie and is expected to have revenues of $750 million this year. Skims also stated that it started its menswear line at the request of its female shoppers.

What will you buy?

 Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has bought higher-end shapewear for themselves or others? Why?
  2. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  3. Where is women’s shapewear on the PLC? Where is men’s shapewear?
  4. Show websites for men’s shapewear: Skims for Men:
  5. Spanx:
  6. Core Wear:
  7. HisRoom:
  8. Students may also look for additional manufacturers. What are the main marketing messages being used?
  9. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a PLC and plot various clothing and accessories on the chart.
  10. What does it take to reposition a product on the PLC?

Source: Lieber, C. (23 October 2023). Kim Kardashian wants men to wear Skims, too. Wall Street Journal; Valinsky, J. (23 October 2023). Kim Kardashian is making Skims for men. CNN; other news sources.

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Netflix Ends DVD Rental

Oh, the red envelope in our mailboxes made us happy. But after 25 years in the DVD subscription business, Netflix DVD mailing is going away. Yes, Netflix has sent out its last red envelope, telling customers they could keep the DVD without any charge. (It even offered 10 free movies for subscribers at the end of the service.)

You may not remember, but Netflix started as a DVD rental-by-mail service back in 1998. At that point in time, DVDs were the way to watch movies and most consumers had to go to their local video rental store to get the discs. (Remember Blockbuster?) In 2007, Netflix shifted to a streaming service, moving away from the physical DVD.  But, by 2021 DVD rentals accounted for less than 1% of Netflix revenue.

According to Digital Entertainment Group, sales of physical discs and rentals have fallen by 30% to $361 million in the first quarter of this year compared with last year. On the other side, streaming subscriptions have increased more than 22% to $8.7 billion in the first quarter of this year.

Speaking of moving away from physical DVDs, Best Buy has announced that it will stop selling DVD movies both in stores and online in early 2024. This shouldn’t surprise most college students; they most likely only stream movies online. But, we have to consider how the way we watch movies and TV shows has changed over the decades. It’s a great example of a product life cycle and how services have evolved.

Want to watch a movie?

 Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has used the DVD mail service from Netflix? Who watches DVD?
  2. Show a video:
  3. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle.
  4. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  6. Make sure to have them include movie watching such as VHS, DVD, and streaming on the PLC.
  7. Next, have students brainstorm on how to revise or reposition products in the last stages of the PLC to move them into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source: Kelly, S. (29 September 2023). Netflix shutters its DVD rental business, marketing the end of the red envelope era. CNN Business; Norfleet, N. (14 October 2023). Best Buy to end DVD, Blu-ray sales next year. Minneapolis Star Tribune; Ugwu, R. (24 August, 2023). Netflix says you can keep their DVDs (and request more, too). New York Times.

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Uber ~ It’s Not Just for People Anymore

In case you haven’t noticed, Uber isn’t just for people ride-sharing anymore. It has expanded its service to include delivering and returning packages for shipment. Uber’s new “Return a Package” feature adds on to “Uber Connect” by picking up online returns and delivering them to predetermined shipping points (e.g., UPS, USPS, FedEx) for a fixed fee.

It can be a pain to return something. And we bet you have something in your house that you bought online and want to return, but just haven’t gotten around to it. (No shame.) After the box is packed, we have to get in the car (perhaps calling an Uber for a ride?) or on a bus and travel to a return spot such as the U.S. Post Office, FedEx, or UPS. (And doesn’t it always seem as if the line gets longer just before you enter…)

Returning packages bought online is a growing practice in the U.S. According to the National Retail Federation, online customers last year returned 16.5%, more than $212 billion worth of purchases! Many of those purchases will be rejected by consumers and need to be returned for a credit.

So, Uber is now making it easier to return those online purchases. Using the Uber app, you can schedule a pick-up and delivery for a flat $5.00 fee. A courier will pick up your prepaid, packaged item and drop it off at a predetermined destination. The service is available in more than 4,950 cities in the U.S.

Uber isn’t the only company trying to cash in on a growing practice. DoorDash began a similar service in January, and Walmart offers at-home return pickups for subscribers in its Walmart+ membership program.

What are you going to return?

 Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has used Uber’s ride services?
  2. Poll students: What are the issues involved when they need to return a purchase via shipping? Does anyone have something that they haven’t gotten around to returning yet?
  3. Show a video about the new service:
  4. Show the news release from Uber:
  5. Poll students: Who would use this service? Why or why not?
  6. Divide students into team. Have each team work on a possible SWOT analysis that led Uber to its decision to launch the new service.
    1. Strengths: what is company good at?
    1. Weaknesses: what needs work?
    1. Opportunities: what is going on in marketplace?
    1. Threats: what should company be wary of?
  7. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?

Source: Durbin, Dee-Ann. (10 October, 2023). Uber adding package return to services in 5,000 cities. Associated Press.; Lukpat, A. (4 October 2023). Uber introduces package return service. Wall Street Journal.

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