As most fashion brands in North America and Europe are reopening their stores, following strict hygiene and distancing controls remains a bone of contention. Therefore, the brands need to be more cautious as the conversation to change the fashion system picks up among industry players. However, the fashion industry's business experts anticipate that consumer spending would slump by 20 percent this year. On the other hand, they are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel if the sector revamps its business strategies and models in the coming days.
How New Trends Will Accelerate Online Retailers
Before opening the stores, many leading brands surveyed across France and said to have received rather positive feedback from the customers. Yes, there would be lower traffic, but the good news is that there would be a higher conversion rate. Department stores and shopping centers of over 40,000 sqm in the Île-de-France region around Paris remain closed until 10 July.
Let's look at the new trends that are all set to drive the fashion market:
Online Retailers See Opportunities
Companies that are unencumbered by massive debt have been less disrupted by the pandemic thanks to their substantial online presence sense opportunities. The online retailers will have better working opportunities and robust trading. The online community of businesses is likely to take advantage of numerous opportunities that are likely to emerge in the global fashion industry over the coming months.
E-commerce soared in April worldwide, with the general retail sector experiencing 209 percent growth compared to the same month last year. Especially in the US, online apparel sales are rising exponentially year-on-year on the back of heavy discounting. Besides, as customers are likely to spend less time in stores, the key is to increase digital capabilities and move customers to a digital relationship. They can make appointments online, click and collect or download a payment app, which also solves social distancing at the cash register. The online clothing design software works on the similar lines and will help retailers to accustom with digital technology.
Reshape the Business System
Leading designers and retailers, ranging from Dries Van Noten to Selfridges and Hong Kong's Lane Crawford, have issued a collective call for sweeping changes to the high-end fashion system, posting a petition online. A core proposal would play down pre-collections and rework the Autumn/Winter season to last from August to January and Spring/Summer from February to July. The traditional fashion show format has also come under intense scrutiny.
Besides, the fashion supply chain is also expecting a massive disruption (although it already did) as manufacturers in Bangladesh have lost $3.18 billion in export. Their orders have been canceled or suspended, according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). It could get worse for suppliers in Asia as retailers in the West are likely to shift more sourcing closer to their markets, shortening lead times.
The urgent need to shift stock is a key talking point across all levels of the fashion industry. Many retailers are 'hibernating' stock, which means warehousing basics that can be resold in spring 2021, to avoid discounting. Many retailers in the UK have already identified their several stocks from this spring that can be sold in 2021.
New Rules for Physical Stores
Customers turned out. Signs explain the new rules: wear a mask; respect social distancing. On the beauty floor, makeup artists don't make applications. Fitting rooms are disinfected after each client with sanitizing wipes, one sales assistant says. Any clothing tried on but not purchased is cleaned with a steamer and quarantined for 24 hours.
To sum up the blog, it can be said that COVID-19 has taught us many new lessons. It has prompted an on-going debate about how the fashion system should reshape its business lines. The online apparel design software by iDesigniBuy will help the leading retailers and designers that are seeking alternatives to reshape the shopping behavior.