CCMB Strategic Consulting Agency. Strategic Consulting Analysis of Fossil Inc.

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1 CCMB Strategic Consulting Agency Strategic Consulting Analysis of Fossil Inc.

2 Letter to Fossil Inc. s Management and Board of Directors CCMB Strategic Consulting Agency is thrilled at the opportunity to analyze Fossil Inc. and work with the established watch manufacturer and retailer. CCMB is positive it is the right company for the job. We have experience in the watch industry and know that with our strategic solutions, we can make Fossil a stronger company. The Consulting Agency would like to extend its gratitude to Fossil for its choice of the firm. We here at CCMB are excited and thankful to get the opportunity to work with Fossil. Fossil will not regret its decision to allow CCMB to recommend strategic actions based on the company s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. CCMB s analysis will contain the following portions: an external analysis of the watch industry, an internal analysis of Fossil, and recommended actions based on the Company s position. CCMB s expertise lies in analyzing underling conditions like economic indicators and existing operations. If CCMB s recommended actions are implemented, Fossil will secure a competitive advantage relative to its competitors. These actions will also serve to increase the Company s market share across the globe. Fossil can solidify its position in the watch industry by following the advice of CCMB Strategic Consulting Agency.

3 Executive Summary This report gives an extensive look at the external environment of the watch industry as a whole. It includes a brief history of the industry, its structure, driving forces and the competitive forces influencing the industry. We then summarized the opportunities and threats that the watch industry faces. Following this section, we provide an internal analysis giving a detailed outline of Fossil Inc. including company history, evaluation of current strategy, valuation of departmental operations benchmarked to a competing firm, and the strengths and weaknesses that Fossil faces. Based on the research conducted from the internal and external analysis, CCMB then created a comprehensive SWOT matrix with sixteen options that Fossil can utilize to better perform in the industry. We then selected and expanded thoroughly on two options that we felt would best fit Fossil in the short-term, as well as two options that would set Fossil up for sustainable success in the long-term. The two short-term recommendations are to set aside reserves of cash for the potential switch from LIFO to FIFO, and to reduce current inventory levels. The two long-term recommendations are to expand its creative product development department, and to expand into emerging, profitable Asian markets. We are confident in our strategic solutions based not off intuition but on extensive research conducted both inside and outside Fossil Inc. We believe that if these recommendations are implemented, Fossil will be better positioned in the current market and well prepared for the future of the industry.

4 Table of Contents I. Brief Historical Review of the Watch Industry... 1 II. Industry Structure... 1 A. Define the Industry... 1 B. Structural Features Strategic Groups Product Characteristics Market Size Market Growth Number of Companies in the Industry Concentration Ratio Stage & Life-Cycle Scope of Competitive Rivalry Customers Degree of Vertical Integration... 9 III. Driving Forces A. Economy General Economic Indicators Consumer Economic Indicators Manufacturing Economic Indicators B. Demographics C. Governmental Regulations Environmental Protection Agency Food and Drug Administration U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Internal Revenue Service Federal Minimum Wage D. Product Innovations E. Process Innovations F. Global Issues... 32

5 G. Social Issues H. Entry and Exit of Firms I. Diffusion of Proprietary Knowledge J. Changes in Who Buys the Product K. Climatic Issues IV. Competitive Forces A. Potential Threat of Entry Deterrents Barriers B. Potential Threat of Substitutes C. Bargaining Power of Buyers D. Bargaining Power of Suppliers E. Intensity of Rivalry V. Strategic Issues and Problems for the Industry (Opportunities &Threats) VI. Fossil Inc. - A Brief Historical Review VII. Evaluation of Current Strategy A. Mission B. Vision C. Performance Indicators Stock Price Market Share Sales Growth Net Profit Margin Return on Assets (ROA)/Return on Equity (ROE) Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) VIII. Evaluation of Company s Position Relative to Competitors A. Administrative Systems Human Resources Culture Information systems B. Marketing... 57

6 1. Market Position (Identification of the company s customers) Product (Tangible) Price Promotion Place C. Finance Profitability Ratios Liquidity Ratios Leverage Ratios Activity Ratios Other Ratios D. Research and Development E. Production/Operations IX. Strategic Issues and Problems for the Firm (Strengths & Weaknesses) X. Recommendation A. All Options Matrix Strength/Opportunity Options: Strength/Threat Options: Weakness/Opportunity Options: Weakness/Threat Options: B. Recommendation: Short and Long-Term Options to Implement... 96

7 I. Brief Historical Review of the Watch Industry Fossil, Incorporated (Company) is primarily a member of the watch industry, as approximately 70 percent of its sales are generated from watches. The other 30 percent of Fossil s sales arise mainly from sales of fashion accessories; accordingly, this industry discussion will be weighted towards the watch industry with additional discussion of fashion accessories. Telling time has been a valuable tool in the history of mankind, and in recent history watches have become fashionable devices as well as tools. The first regulated mechanical time device was a clock developed by monks. These clocks would eventually be downsized enough to become bulky versions of watches. The British were the first to dominate manufacturing of watches because of railroad precise time demands. In more modern history, Switzerland has dominated the watch industry in high and medium value watches. Swiss watches have conquered the industry in recent years due quality, precision, a centralized location in Europe, and a solid reputation. Wrist watches were not preferred over pocket watches for men until after WWI, when it became evident that wrist watches were much more practical. Recent developments in watches include electric watches (battery powered) and more accurate time telling. The Japanese and Chinese have become market leaders in low to medium value watches because of their low cost labor and extreme efficiency. According to, Jewelry Stores sales (the NAICS Code watches fall under) were expected to be nearly 30,000 million dollars in 2011 (Industry Statistics Sampler). Sales for watches have increased recently in part due to a change in fashion: consumers have begun purchasing multiple watches for different activities and/or outfits. The growing market and sales numbers have also increased competition. Today the watch industry has a large disparity 1

8 between prices for high end and low end watches. This results in more intense competition between companies with similar price, quality, and target markets. 2

9 II. Industry Structure The following section will attempt to define the watch industry using NAICS and SIC codes as well as other distinguishing features. The industry s structure will be described in greater detail by discussing strategic groups, product characteristics, market size, customers, and more. A. Define the Industry Fossil, Incorporated (Ticker: FOSL) sells its products in two main NAICS codes: and , Jewelry and Clothing Accessories, respectively. The corresponding SIC codes for the Company are 7631 and In the past three fiscal years, sales from watches have accounted for approximately 74.9%, 71.8% and 69.9% (Fossil 10k, Page: 10). Sales from fashion accessories for the same three years have accounted for approximately 22.9%, 26.0% and 27.4% (Fossil 10k, Page: 13). These two segments account for around 98% of FOSL s annual sales in recent history. The Company sells watches to many different target markets while attempting to avoid cannibalization of their own sales. FOSL believes that the current watch market can be divided into four segments. These segments are found in Table 1 on the following page. 1

10 Watch Industry Segments Segment: Fine Watches Premium Watches Fashion Watches Digital/Analog Watches Price: $4,000 - $20,000 $495 - $5,000 $60 - $795 $7 - $60 Burberry Burberry Fossil Private for Wal-Mart Fossil brands: Michele Emporio Armani Skagen Private for Target Michele Relic Skagen Zodiac Competing Rolex Gucci Anne Klein II Armitron brands: Piaget Movado Guess? Casio Omega Seiko Kenneth Cole Timex Cartier Tissot Swatch As evidenced by the preceding chart, Fossil has attempted to diversify its sales across the watch market s customers. Fossil produces inexpensive watches for Target while simultaneously selling some watches for thousands of dollars through its Burberry and Michele brands. The Company sells watches across the world, with a large market presence in North America, Europe, and online. Fossil also sells fashion accessories such as leather goods, handbags, belts, gloves, hats, and socks. The Company competes in [m]oderately priced fashion accessories [that] are typically marketed in department stores (Fossil 10k, Page: 9). The Company s main competitors in fashion accessories include Coach, Guess?, Nine West, and Kenneth Cole. The industry competes on price, quality, and brand name. Fossil is exposed to stronger competition in the fashion accessories industry because of established brand name domination of the market. 2

11 There is a high amount of brand loyalty in fashion accessories, which the Company has attempted to utilize in order to increase sales of all products. B. Structural Features 1. Strategic Groups Strategic Groups Price, Quality, Brand Image Low Average High Car0er Audemars Pignet Omega Rolex Armitron Casio Timex Gucci Seiko Movado Fossil Guess Kenneth Cole Swatch Dealers Mass Merchandisers Private Label Mix of Channels 2. Product Characteristics Fossil offers a wide number of branded watches under their proprietary brands and license agreements with some of the most prestigious brands in the world. Fossil designs, markets, and manufactures private labels for certain retailers and owned brand watches. They perform production, design functions and management of those functions if outsourced. The 3

12 private label watches allow Fossil to take advantage of economies of scale by reducing costs and increasing their relationship with manufacturers. 3. Market Size Market size can be difficult to determine with a globalized economy where the retail industry is expanding to new markets that have not been exploited before. Companies in the industry actively trade worldwide in an attempt to access all potential markets. For example, American spending accounts for nearly 25% of the overall market ( The retail industry is a major portion of GDP and is a leading economic indicator of the overall health of the economy. The global clothing and accessories market reached $1.2 trillion worldwide in 2012 ( 4. Market Growth In the last year the clothing and accessories market grew 3.5%, and the market overall percentage is anticipated to grow for the next four years. Economists anticipate consumer spending to increase into the future which would effectively grow the market. The current market growth rate is indicative of the mature market of the retail industry ( 4

13 5. Number of Companies in the Industry Rolex, Gucci, Anne Klein II, Piaget, Movado, Guess?, Omega, Sieko, Kenneth Cole, Cartier, Tissot, Swatch, Amitron, Swiss Army, Amitron, Casio, and Timex. These are just some of the numerous amounts of companies that compose the industry of watch manufacturers. 6. Concentration Ratio Fossil s NAICS code includes a large number of jewelry stores that would alter a concentration ratio based on watch competition. Fossil s competition also includes private companies that do not release financial data to the public. Therefore, it is impossible to determine an accurate concentration ratio. It is, however, safe to assume that no company holds over 10% of the total watch market since there are countless watch brands. 7. Stage & Life-Cycle The industry is in a mature age of its life cycle. Clocks have been around for a long time, dating back to when the British would give them to the Chinese as gifts for trading products such as porcelain. They have come a long way since then, as we began placing them in a pocket and around the wrist. The watch grew itself into a large industry that has spawned many companies to compete for different parts of the market. This growth stage of the industry created intense competition among firms, with brands coming into the market and others being cannibalized. After years of growth, the industry has now reached its maturity stage. The watch industry still fulfills the needs of consumers, generating copious amounts of revenue each year. 5

14 Many of the companies in this field have secured economies-of-scale, satisfying consumers in their respective segments. The watch industry is a fad that has an ever-expanding bell curve, but has yet to enter a declining stage of its life. It will continue to thrive as long as consumers are able and interested in the product. We predict it will stay in the period of maturity for a foreseeable amount of time into the future. 8. Scope of Competitive Rivalry Fossil s scope of competitive rivalry is international. The company is currently present in fourteen countries across the globe. Its international markets are broken down into four categories: Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific. Americas include the countries of The United States, Canada, and Mexico. Europe represents the largest international market, with a presence in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, The United Kingdom, and The Netherlands. Africa s market is limited to South Africa. Finally, Asia Pacific is represented by Australia, China, Japan, and Korea. 6

15 Countries by International Market with Fossil Presence Americas Europe Africa Asia Pacific United States Austria South Africa Australia Canada France China Mexico Germany Japan Countries Italy United Kingdom Netherlands Korea The company has three reporting segments based on geography. North American Wholesale represents the largest geographically based segment, with 37.9% of sales. Next is European Wholesale with 24.4% of sales. Finally, Asia Pacific Wholesale represents the smallest geographically based segment with 12.7% of sales. These wholesale sales add up to 75% of sales. The remaining 25% of sales is trough ale directly to the customer. 9. Customers Watches are considered luxury goods, meaning that they are not essential to own for consumers. Watches on today s market go beyond just telling time, consumers purchase watches for a large variety of purposes. Europe has the largest customer base for watches. Consumer confidence has been high in the past couple of years since the economic downturn in In 2009 this downturn caused 7

16 consumers to forego the purchase of new watches. The watch industry suffered most in the mature markets of Europe and the United States, but since then consumer confidence has increased and watch sales are beginning to recover. Although Europe has proven to have the largest customer base, Asian markets have seen the highest growth in people purchasing watches. It is projected that the market will have the fastest growth of 3.6% through 2017 ( Large retailers buy watches directly from companies to sell in their stores; these retailers include companies such as Macy s, Younkers, Lord and Taylors. These retailers provide a major outlet for the distribution of products. They are the main channel between the watch producers and the final consumer (Fossil 10k, pg. 24). There is a watch market for nearly every person. The watch industry encompasses virtually all market segments including children, young adults, men, and women. Niche markets exist within the larger segments. Many firms in the industry will target individual market segments such as Nike producing watches designed to fit the needs of runners ( One of the main reasons why people buy watches is for accessory purposes. Watchmakers creatively design their products to appeal to people who wish to wear them as an accessory to match their clothing. Designers focus on fashion trends that are popular, and they craft their watches to meet consumer demand. This market is anticipated to grow as fast as 3.6%. Fashion trends drive the watchmaking industry, and having an attractive watch design is highly sought after ( As mentioned above, some watches are designed to help athletes in their training. Watches can be used to measure heart rates, track GPS for runners, and even measure calories 8

17 burned. Runners and other athletes purchase these specialized watches to track their progress and performance in a workout. Hikers can also purchase watches with features that help when scaling mountains. Watches that are specifically designed for hikers include compasses, barometers, altimeters, and thermometers ( These features integrated into the watch face allow hikers to reduce the amount of gear required on trips. Waterproofing and water resistant technology has allowed watches utilized by the scuba diving industry. Divers can monitor their dive times while keeping track of the amount of air left in their tanks. Watches remain water resistant depending on the quality of the watch. The finer quality watches remain water resistant up to 300 meters ( 10. Degree of Vertical Integration Watch companies today use forward vertical integration to control their operational chain. Companies also use forward vertical integration in their internal operation. This integration assists in minimizing costs associated with filling the roles outside of the firm. The production of watches is also utilizing forward vertical integration. In 2012, over 61% of non- Swiss made watch production was assembled in majority-held and fully held factories (Fossil 10k, Page: 18). This helped to increase the speed of assembly, communication, quality, and save financial resources. 9

18 III. Driving Forces This section will describe the driving forces behind the watch industry that Fossil Inc. operates within. Driving forces are those conditions that have a large effect on industry success, neutrality, or failure. Some of the driving forces that will be covered include the economy, demographics, government regulations, innovations, global issues, climatic issues and more. A. Economy The overall direction of the economy will be analyzed in the following discussion of economic indicators. General, consumer, and producer trends will be analyzed from the standpoint of the overall economy in order to determine its performance in the future. 1. General Economic Indicators a. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Interest Rates The overall economy will be a major driving factor for Fossil s sales. Fossil currently has sales in emerging and developing markets, but eventually these markets will mature and likely grow in line with the overall economy. Since 1990, U.S. GDP has averaged a real growth of 2.6 percent per year. The chart on the following page shows the real growth rate for U.S. GDP since 1990: 10

19 Real GDP Growth since As can be seen from the chart above, it is unrealistic to assume Fossil can achieve sales growth of over 3 4% for the long term. Recently, interest rates on U.S. Treasuries have been artificially decreased by Federal Reserve spending. As a result the current 10 year U.S. Treasury rate is 1.85% (4/3/2013); this is well below its long-term and more realistic average of 4 5%. Although this artificially low rate is meant to encourage borrowing (and in turn buying), it has had little to no effect in increasing economic growth thus far. b. Housing Starts and Unemployment U.S. economy housing starts for February were up 0.77% from January and up 27.72% from a year ago (US Housing Starts). These starts indicate a recovering economy from the 2008 crash. The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.7% percent for February 2013, down almost two and a half percent from the spike in This more recent signal in employment and housing indicate that consumers may have more disposable income in the future. 11

20 c. Trade Balance and Currency Exchange Rates The United States trade deficit has decreased slightly since the 2008 recession. It has improved nearly $20 billion reaching close to a deficit of $40 billion in 2013, signaling a rebound of U.S. manufacturing exports that may lead to increased disposable income in the United States. Recent currency exchange rates have revealed that the market has little confidence in the European economy and its recovery. However, currency exchange rates in Asia and South America have been more encouraging. d. Leading Economic Indicator (LEI) and Wage Rates The index of U.S. leading indicators rose more than forecast in February, indicating the world s largest economy is strengthening. (Chandra) These indicators and a survey of economists indicated an increase of 0.4 percent for the economy. Some of the leading economic indicators that contributed to this increase in projections were declining jobless claims, increased hiring, rising stock prices, and more building permits. The United States is climbing steadily out of its long recession, which may be a sign for the global economy s steady recovery. Recently in the United States, there has been a push for increased minimum wage rates. Currently the federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. However, there has been discussion in the government for a potential increase to $9 - $10 per hour. Although higher wage rates increase labor expenses for corporations, they are often associated with increases in worker morale and productivity. An increase in minimum wage could signal increased consumer spending, and in turn higher economic growth. Although these developments are significant, minimum wage when adjusted for inflation is lower today than it was in

21 The real value of the minimum wage from can be seen in the chart below (Rebuilding an Economy): 2. Consumer Economic Indicators a. Consumer Price Index and Retail Sales Over the past twelve months the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased 2.0 percent for all items. This increase was largely driven by medical care, gasoline and other fuel prices over the past year. The increase in the CPI indicates that there may be lower consumer spending if prices continue to rise at relatively high rates. However, if it is only one year with a 2 percent increase consumers are likely to continue their normal purchasing routines. The Consumer Sentiment Index has also showed negative signs recently. From March to April of 2013, the 13

22 index fell 5.1 percent. In the prior two months the index had risen 9.9 percent. Volatility in the index indicates that consumers are still not confident in the global economy. Total United States retail and food service sales were up 4.5 percent from a year ago. This large increase in retail sales also hints at an economic recovery. b. Personal Income, Disposable Income, and Consumer Debt Personal income increased 1.1 percent in February 2013 compared to a decrease of 3.7 percent in January Disposable income also increased 1.1 percent in February 2013 compared to a large decrease of 4.0 percent in January Without a steady trend in these levels of income, it is difficult to determine increases in spending, retail, and GDP. Until the fourth quarter of 2012, household debt levels in the United States had been falling. During the fourth quarter, debt levels increased slightly. Consumers have been holding large amounts of debt since the 2008 crash, and these debt levels can be expected to decline as the economy recovers. Overall the economy can be expected to grow between 2-5 percent in the next few years and 2-4 percent in perpetuity. The range in the near future is higher due to recent economic indications that the economy is recovering from the recession. These indicators include housing starts, stock prices, unemployment, and wage rates. These estimations may be high if consumers continue to show decreased confidence, high debt levels, and low levels of personal income. 14

23 3. Manufacturing Economic Indicators a. Producer Price Index According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction. The producer price index measures the increase or decrease in prices of purchasing of materials used in production ( The producer price index is very volatile month to month. Overall the producer price index has shown growth over the past decade. Currently the producer price index is low compared to the previous years, and should grow to a more comparable number to previous years. 15

24 b. Purchasing Managers Index The purchasing manager index is a measure of economic health based on five indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment. Growth in the purchasing managers index indicates growth in the manufacturing sector of the economy. After a decline in 2012, the purchasing managers index has slowly been increasing from June 2012 to March 2013 ( The purchasing managers index has shown a cyclical pattern in the past, therefore potential declines may be in the future. In particular, the seasonality fluctuations of the retail industry could cause lower production levels in the upcoming months. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC c. Commodity Price Index Production of watches is directly affected by the future price of commodities. The prices of base metals can affect profit margins by increasing product costs in the watch segment of the company. Since this segment of the business records the largest sales it is important to pay close attention to the commodity price index. 16

25 Along with base metals, the livestock portion of commodity price index is very important in relation to product costs. Many companies that sell watches also retail products including wallets and handbags. Many watch straps are produced with leather from cattle. The commodity price index has seen a relatively stable increase over the past seven months, and will continue to see a stable increase that will affect the cost associated in producing watches and other products ( d. Productivity Productivity is a major contributor to the growth of the economy, and is measured by the number of outputs per input units. Increases in productivity can be attributed to the industry s investment in capital, improvement in processes, technological advancements, and even an increase in laborer education. 17

26 The labor productivity index, output per hour, has been volatile over the past four years. Fluctuations have occurred in the past four years, and there has not been two consecutive years of growth from 2008 to 2011 ( Since the economy is improving slightly overall, companies may find themselves in better positions to make investments to improve productivity. Based on these assertions, labor productivity index will increase slightly in e. Inventories Inventories carried by the retail industry are at its highest point since 2000 ( The anticipation of future sales is high as the retail industry is optimistic about 18

27 future periods. This is very important looking forward into the future because there is opportunity to capitalize on projected future demand. The figure above shows a promising outlook in the increase in demand in consumer goods. The exhibit above is seasonally adjusted to show the true amount of inventory carried by companies throughout the year. The retail industry is highly dependent on the increase in sales over the holiday season. High inventory levels can have negative consequences such as having too much cash tied up in inventories and the risk of inventory becoming outdated. Inventories will fluctuate with seasonality, but the high levels of inventories will drop as the spring season product line is sold. B. Demographics Fall 2011 Product: Apparel/Accessories Watches - Brands Any watch Bought/last 12 months Adults Index Total 100 Men 89 Women 110 Educ: Graduated college plus 121 Educ: Attended college 99 Educ: Graduated high school 88 19

28 Educ: Did not graduate HS 76 Educ: Post graduate 119 Educ: No college 85 Age: Age: Age: Age: Age: Age: Adults Adults Adults Men Men Men Women Women Women Occupation: Professional and Related Occupations 123 Occupation: Management, Business and Financial Operations 112 Occupation: Sales and Office Occupations 104 Occupation: Natural Resources, Construction and Maintenance Occupations 83 Occupation: Other employed 107 HHI: 150, HHI: $75,000-$149,

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