Best Practices in Fashion Retail. Article 1 of 3.

This is the first article in a series of three:

  1. Challenges
  2. Opportunities
  3. Using new technology

 

The majority of all retail surveys performed in the period 2010-2011 clearly showed that many retailers anticipated on the current “crisis” situation by changing processes and focusing on assortment planning and store communication.

The number of visitors in the individual stores dropped dramatically. The core focus moved towards increasing conversion ratio. In other words as soon as customers enter the store, how do you manage converting them to buying customers?

While analyzing the current process at top performers (sales improvement of minimum of 5% “year on year”), it appears that these companies are using integrated planning and are digital communicating with stores. Another differentiator is the involvement of store personnel in the process. When analyzing feedback from the store, structured information on customer behavior is available at head quarters.

The following key business challenges are identified:

Lack of centralized planning is one of the most important business challenges for retailers. Merchandise and assortment planning must be an integrated part of the process. It starts at the beginning of the season, and needs to be one of the main focus points throughout the whole process. It should not only focus on a single product, but ultimately it should be planning on collection/theme level, per store clustering.

To support the change of process, many winning retailers are moving away from “home-made” systems towards integrated standard solutions, that are developed from fashion industry best practices.

However, thats only one part of the truth. Stay tuned on our blog for further readings!

Stephen WarrComment