Travelling through Europe, Asia, U.S. and Canada, it is an eye-opener to visit and meet a broad spectrum of dynamic people in high-end fashion retail. The various fashion retailers included, but not limited to, first-time entrepreneurs, small / medium / large companies and corporate multinationals. Among the many, through Omni Channel Sales, fashion products and accessories are continually expanding and growing in market-share with ever increasing consumer demand worldwide. This is especially true with respect to Haute Couture, Ready-To-Wear, Intimate Apparel, Activewear and Accessories.
In most regions, seasonal styles and collections are typically Fall / Winter and Spring / Summer. There is a pre-season launch phase (branding strategy & major media promotion) followed by aggressive execution through Omni Channel Sales in order to achieve peak retail sales. This is followed by post-season phase-out through deep discounts via either traditional brick & mortar and/or e-Commerce.
For retail customers, traditional brick & mortar continues to provide the physical shopping satisfaction and proper fitting experience along with exposure to new arrivals, wide array of styles, collections, and sizes. In addition, there are ample up-selling and cross-selling opportunities for retailers to monetize upon. The e-Commerce retail path has grown leaps and bounds in the last five (5) years in attracting online shoppers by offering larger discounts, free-shipping and in most cases free-returns. The e-boutique or e-store usually covers discontinued styles offering minimum style selection and fewer styles and sizes along with options for drop-shipment or direct shipment depending on the brand and/or online store as well as current inventory. With Omni Channel Sales, digital marketing, mobile etc., it will be interesting to see a likely dynamic convergence in high-end retail.
In the current “big picture” economic scenario and outlook, some of the common and typical themes which arise, regardless of market segmentation (demographics, geography etc.) are summarized in below figure(s). Among the many high-end fashion retailers visited, an important and critical focus area for them is the managing of their high-end retail assets as highlighted below.
In summary, high-end fashion retail is a multibillion dollar industry and continues to be a mainstay in various parts of the world. Purchasing power is one of the main factors among the various customer market segmentation such as; demographics, geography, purchasing trends, and consumer behavior. Effective and timely management of high-end fashion retail assets can enable proper mitigation of risks associated with any potential adverse macroeconomic changes which may appear on the horizon.