It’s always fun to predict what a new year will bring. TradeStone, Gloucester, Mass., has looked into its crystal ball and uncovered three fast-growing fashion-retailing trends that it says are likely to gain increased momentum in 2007. Here’s an overview of the trends, detailed in TradeStone’s executive white paper, “The Impact of Fast Fashion on Modern Retailing”:
Fast fashion: Not everyone has the dedicated manufacturing and distribution channels of Zara. But enhanced electronic collaboration with suppliers and factories around the world is speeding product design and manufacturing at such a rate that retailers—even those with 100% global-sourcing operations—can dramatically increase collections for each calendar year. These types of smaller inventories of on-trend collections create a scarcity value that pushes consumers to “buy now or be behind the trend.”
Limited editions: Limited-edition merchandise—such as pink scarves, pins and other goods during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or holiday china available only during the month of December—creates what TradeStone describes as a “frenzied sales environment,” which gives suppliers critical visibility into demand and allows them to establish profitable production runs.
Store-refresh initiatives: Staggering the merchandise flow throughout the season—by rotating window displays and designing mix-and-match promotions, for example—keeps displays fresh and inviting, which in turn can induce consumers to extend their investments in particular looks or trends.
These three trends—fast fashion, limited-edition pieces and store-refresh initiatives—create more traffic and brand cachet than any amount of advertising, according to TradeStone.
“Combine these retail trends with a core competency in global sourcing and you’ve got the margin mix and time-to-market speed to compete and win,” the company said.