What does the current year have in stock for the Apparel Retailing business?
Across time, there are big
changes in any business from a mere communication of the product or service to
sophisticated, and multi dimensional strategies. But, the ultimate goal has
always been the same. Profits. Changing trends will have a major impact in the
businesses in the short term. There are many apparel trends that will
manipulate the financial performance of a business, but a few of them are more
vital than the others.
- Changing dynamics of Departmental stores
- Embedding sustainability in the brand image
- Increase in the retail technology spend-trend
- Expansion of US stores into the Chinese market
- Consumers will seek more for off-price retailers
Key luxury players such as; Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks feel the heat of prices of online retailers such as Vent-privee.com, Rua-La-La etc. To defend themselves in the online battle, these retailer players are maximizing their store counts of both their specialty stores, and off-price outlets. Mid level retailers such as JC Penny and Kohls attempt to push on their private labels, and exclusive brands which involves good profit margins.
Fast fashion retailers will see a robust growth, especially for womens apparels as they have a short life cycle. Forever 21, H&M, Mango etc are a few to name. Specialty retailers attempt to distinguish themselves through unique designs, while over priced brands like Banana Republic, Fitch, etc will claim the responsibility of recession for their slow sales.
Sustainability in apparel
business is picking up steam, and will have a vigorous growth with more and more
new brands entering this arena. Brands like Urban Outfitters, Polo Ralph
Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Guess will extend their operations in Asia, and Europe portraying a sustainable brand image.
Advertising has become a powerful business. Starting from a small scale business, to huge employers with thousands of employees, and billion dollar revenues, every business depends of advertising powers such as print media, television, hoardings and many others. Now, with the advent of the internet, advertising has become the next big thing only to business itself. Though internet has been among us for a significant period, brand building and increasing commercial viability of a business has become a recent boom. Internet offers infinite number of choices with the user in control. Companies will tent to spend more on research and advertising.
During 2008, US retail giants like ZARA, and H&M were having a few number of stores in Beijing. Now more number of stores are springing up in cities like Tianjin, Wuxi, Qingdao, and Zhengzhou. Chinese apparel market has great potential, and many international brands have been rushing into the market during the recent past. Luxury brands like Burberry, Bottega Veneta, and Gucci will be opening more storefronts in more cities in China.
Imperfection is what that makes
off-price models available in the market. When a renowned brand miscalculates
the customers perceptions and over manufactures a particular product, the
excess inventory will be sold at a huge discount. Merchandise will be sold at
20-60% below the department store prices. The profit margin for the brand on
selling these products will be lesser, comparatively over specialty stores.
Fickle minded and selective consumers keep this market running. Major companies like Tommy Hilfiger, Express, Calvin Klein and many others will be shedding their inventory like this. More consumers will start seeking for off-price firms, value shopping options, encouraging its growth in the coming years.
Retail apparel industry is optimistic for a quick growth in the current year making up for the losses of recession. Industry owners positively hope that during 2010, the industry will grow and build prosperity. Adopting potential strategies will prove vital to accelerate the growth of a business in the long run.