Apparel Product Life Cycle

The demand for a product generally tends to follow a predictable pattern called product life cycle (PLC). It describes the period of time over which an item is developed, brought to market and eventually removed from the market. PLC is a set of business processes and supporting tools which help apparel industry to improve the way they manage their product development. Products go through a series of stages beginning with start-up or introduction of product followed by rapid growth, maturity or saturation and finally the decline of demand. The time spans of stages of these products very considerably across industries. These time spans vary from a few weeks or months (for apparel and fashion goods) to years.
product life cycle
Fig: Product life cycle
Garments or Apparel product life cycle:
Like other products, apparel products contains five stages or phases during whole servicing period. These stages are given below:
  1. Product development
  2. Introduction stage
  3. Growth
  4. Maturity
  5. Decline
All product life cycle stages are briefly described below:

1. Product development:

Product development begins when the company finds and develops a new-product idea. During product development, sales are zero, and the company’s investment costs mount.

2. Introduction stage:
This stage marks the introduction of the product into the market. It may be an entirely new product in the market or old product to the new market. The demand is low as customers do not know much about the product. So, the organization has to invest heavily in advertisement to make the product familiar to the customer. The volume of sales will be low and if proper care is not taken, the chances of product failures become high.

3. Growth:
Once the product passes through the introduction stage, the sales start increasing because of the acceptability of the product by the customer. The sales growth rate is high because of limited or no competition i.e. it follows a positive trend pattern.

4. Maturity (Saturation):
The sales growth reaches a point above which it will not grow. This is due to the market share taken by the competitor’s products. Thus, the sales will be maintained for some period with a good profit.

5. Decline:
The competitors will enter the market with better product features, advanced technology and reduced prices. This is a threat to the existence of the product as the sales start declining. If proper steps like addition of special features, design changes etc. are not incorporated there comes a time when the products are to be taken back from the market.

Table: Characteristics of the phases of PLC

1. Product variety
High variety
Increasing standardization
Dominant design feature of product
High standard commodity
2. Volume
Low volume
Increasing volume
High volume
Decreasing volume
3. Industry structure
Small competition
Few large companies
4. Form of competition
Product characteristics
Product quality and availability
Price and dependability
You can also like:
  1. Product Development in the Apparel Industry
  2. Future Product Development Trends in Apparel Industry
  3. Production Management System in Apparel Industry  
  4. Production Planning and Control in the Apparel Industry