Agape : theUK bridal wear market
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- England 
Agape is a company from Stavanger, Norway. It specialises in wedding gowns, but also offers gowns for other purposes. Agape has stores in 5 Norwegian cities, with Sweden, Denmark and Finland as the likely immediate target countries for expansion. In the long term, Agape wishes to expand its business into the UK. The UK bridal wear market value grew by 23% between 2002 and 2007 reaching an estimated £124 million. The aim of this project is to explore how Agape should proceed in entering the UK market. Qualitative research was conducted in order to obtain necessary primary data, in form of focus groups. Also, secondary data was provided mainly from Mintel Reports. Relevant theory are explained and applied in accordance to Agape’s situation. Research shows that the traditional wedding gown segment accounted for 89% of the volume and 97% of the value of the bridal wear market in 2007, and is more common among young, affluent brides. Press is the main advertising channel with bridal magazines being the most important. Primary research indicates that the quality, the detail of the gown and the fabric are the most important factors when purchasing a wedding gown, as well as the extent of delivered service. The variety of designs in the market is limited and presents an interesting differentiation possibility for Agape. The general opinion within the focus groups was that branding is of no great importance. Family and friends appear to be the most important influence for women before purchasing a wedding gown. The focus group participants reacted positively to Agape’s designs and predicted it to be a success in the UK market. Findings show that women aged 18-34 (83%) and 35-44 (71%) are the most likely to wear a traditional wedding gown, thus these age groups should be prioritised. The report shows that after gaining international experience through expanding in the Nordic region, Agape will be ready to enter the UK market by franchising.