Two apparel retailers, Coldwater Creek and Men's Wearhouse, havemarketing strategies going forward that are as different as theclothes they sell. But both of them are putting those initiativesin place to attack a tough economic environment.Coldwater Creek,the Sandpoint, ID-based retailer that targets women over 35, plansto cut advertising by 70%, according to this article. "We're not going to market our way to greatness,"says Daniel Griesemer, the company's president and CEO, stressingthat Coldwater needs to focus more on fashion. "It's got to comefrom an incredible product."Houston-based suit-seller Men'sWearhouse is going the other route. The company is stepping up its efforts "to not onlybring in new customers but to strengthen the brand as well," saidChairman George Zimmer during a conference call.Bothretailers were hit hard by slumping fourth-quarter sales.Coldwater's same-store sales plunged 19.2% year over year, and thecompany posted a $17-million net loss. Men's Wearhouse experiencedan 8.6% dip in its US stores, and net income fell to $14.8 millionfrom $52.3 million during the same year-ago period. "It certainlyfeels like a recession," Zimmer said.One thing we think is curiousabout these differing strategies is that we don't ever recallseeing a Coldwater Creek commercial. But who can forget Zimmer'ssales pitch?We'd gamble that he's a more recognizable retail executive to thegeneral public than Lee Scott!So arethese two retailer's situations so different that they need toemploy contrasting tactics? Or is there a clearcut way to battlethe downturn by spending more, or cutting back, on marketing?

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