- May-Anne Oltmans |
The winner of this year’s TMO Business Battle is Bradley Macquiné, who came up with a new retail concept which is specifically targeted at older consumers. The Dutch fashion business school annually organizes the TMO Business Battle in which entrepreneurial high school students are challenged to come up with a concept for a new fashion product, service or retail concept. The student with the best idea is rewarded with a full scholarship for the Fashion Management programme at TMO.
The retail concept which Macquiné developed is titled ‘’Forever Young’’ and is aimed at older consumers which the 17-year old student calls ‘Generation Grey’. By offering fashionable items in a store in which a good customer experience is key, Macquiné wants to “make the Netherlands a more fashionable place and make sure the elderly are not forgotten”. According to the TMO Business Battle winner, the population is ageing fast but mature consumers are still interested in clothing that is temporary. “This group has sufficient financial means, a young spirit and they no longer think like the generations before them but want to move with the times,” explained Macquiné. “The only thing that was missing, was a link to the consumer market, which I have now tried to establish with Forever Young.”
TMO Business Battle: 3 steps to creating a fashion empire
Participants of TMO’s Business Battle were given twelve weeks in which they had to complete three assignments. The first task that they had to complete, was to signal a societal trend which the fashion industry has not yet responded to. Next the students needed to think of a product or service with which they could leverage this trend. Lastly, the participants had to come up with ideas on how they would promote their business. On the day of the finale, the four finalists were asked to pitch their ideas.
In addition to Macquiné, high school students Zoë Poel, Gabriëlla Steenbakker and Aimée Adriaansen were chosen by the jury to present their ideas at the TMO Business Battle finale. The ideas that the other finalists had come up with, included an app which allows consumers to make a wish list and see where these items are sold and an online search engine for sustainable clothing. According to the jury, which consisted of five fashion- and retail experts, Macquiné’s idea was “the most realistic, well-thought out and contemporary” amongst all finalists. Poel, Steenbakker and Adriaansen were all rewarded with a ‘Fashioncheque’ worth 250 euros.
The students who were part of the competition did not have to come up with everything on their own, as TMO Fashion Business School had assigned them a Business Expert who could offer advice. This year’s experts were TMO alumna Britt Fontijn (buyer at Bol.com’s bag department), Jeroen de Graaf (omni channel consultant at Oxyma), Jeroen Janssen (consultant at Capgemini) and Arnoud Reijmers (retail service organization ANWR-Garant). Furthermore, communication professional Kim Swagemaker was appointed as ‘Social Expert’ who advised the students on how they can use social media in the future to grow their business.
TMO Fashion Business School is a private institute based in Doorn, the Netherlands. The school has organized the TMO Business Battle for the third time. This year’s jury consisted of Jan Meerman (Chairman of Dutch retail organization INretail, Han Bekke (Chairman of fashion industry organization Modint), Liesbeth Cloosterman (CEO B32 Group), Krein Bons (CEO shoe retailer Van Haren) and Chris Veldhuizen (manager TMO).