Supply Chain Matters has provided a number of retail industry focused commentaries regarding the trend toward Fast Fashion that has been pioneered by Zara and now other retailers. We now call attention to our blog readers to an industry focused commentary that has Supply Chain Matters focused insights.

The December 2016 issue of STORES magazine, whose articles are featured on the National Retail Federation (NRF) web site, has just published an article: Staying Ahead of Fast Fashion-Quick-response inventory requires supply chain shifts.  This independent industry analyst was pleased to provide business process and technology background to fast fashion trends addressed in this article.

The significant takeaway from the article is that Fast Fashion capability: “requires more than a different calendar, it necessitates a major supply chain shift.” Correspondent Fiona Soltes observes that the latest Fast Fashion wave equates to supply chain capability:

Fast fashion has influenced retail in numerous ways, but it’s in the supply chain that the differences are most profound. Conversations about data, nearsourcing and onshoring, robotics, constant monitoring and adjustment, tracking of goods and transportation have never been more complex — or more important.”

The article profiles successful efforts underway at Xcel Brands and other retailers. Robert D’Loren, CEO of Xcel Brands captures the fundamental industry change:

Today, it’s not about the product. It’s about delivering the product when people want it. Good has to be a given. Fast has to be obtained.

I added my own observation that online commerce and social media have changed the Fast Fashion as well since retailers can literally tap into the immediate response of consumers to specific designs and accessories.  It all about the ability to sense and keep-up with demand all along the supply chain as well as to reduce the amount of inventory that ends up on the sale rack later. This report is very timely in that we are at the height of the holiday fulfillment quarter, where in-demand fashion items generally have tended to sell-out at this point.  With new advances in fast fashion supply chains, more retailers and consumers will eventually be able to benefit from a faster response to in-demand fashion.

Enjoy the article.

Bob Ferrari

© Copyright 2016. The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and the Supply Chain Matters® blog. All rights reserved.