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Nexia Ebner Stolz

Economic Sectors

Textiles / Apparel Industry

What is worrying clothing manufacturers and clothing retailers these days? Which factors influence their sales the most?

Fusion of sales chan­nels

One of the big­gest chal­len­ges is dyna­mic custo­mer beha­vior across the tra­di­tio­nal sales chan­nels. Online shop­ping is beco­ming inc­rea­sin­gly popu­lar, which is dri­ving up pro­duct and price tran­s­pa­rency. Smart­pho­nes are fusing over-the-coun­ter retail sales and online sales. Where and how the purchase takes place is beco­ming less and less important to the con­su­mer. Howe­ver, multichan­nel sales need to be bar­rier-free and fast. And if they are sta­ged as an expe­ri­ence and dis­co­un­ted, even bet­ter. Not only must the clot­hing indu­s­try be seen to meet these requi­re­ments, but the inter­nal sales chan­nels must also be seam­lessly connec­ted. The sales chan­nels must func­tion along­side one ano­ther in the com­pany wit­hout com­pe­ting. This unri­va­led coe­xis­tence makes it ulti­ma­tely irre­le­vant for clot­hing retai­lers through which chan­nel the custo­mer obta­ins infor­ma­tion or purcha­ses items.

Focu­sing on custo­mers, focu­sing on the essen­tials

In the future, sales of items of clot­hing will need to be gea­red more toward custo­mers if they are to be suc­cess­ful. On this basis, the brand must be cle­arly defi­ned and the range of pro­ducts focu­sed on the tar­get group. Ins­tead of inc­rea­sin­gly expan­ding pro­duct ran­ges, pro­duct deve­lop­ment should be struc­tu­red and fol­low cer­tain gui­de­li­nes. Taking a defini­tion of the tar­get custo­mer as the star­ting point, this requi­res pro­duct mana­ge­ment that works in line with the tar­get group and incor­po­ra­tes any inter­me­dia­ries. Focu­sing the pro­duct range squa­rely on the custo­mer makes it pos­si­ble to have a smal­ler num­ber of line items, thus redu­cing com­ple­xity, espe­cially in pro­cu­re­ment, pro­duc­tion, and logistics. Fashion can be a very emo­tio­nal pro­duct for con­su­mers. Howe­ver, the deve­lop­ment of a fashion pro­duct, put­ting toge­ther a col­lec­tion and the final eco­no­mic result depend to a large extent on tech­ni­cal fac­tors, not just crea­tive aspects.

Not jeo­par­di­zing brand posi­tio­ning through knoc­k­offs

Avo­i­ding knoc­k­offs is cru­cial in the clot­hing indu­s­try. In addi­tion to care­ful pro­cu­re­ment plan­ning, this requi­res a deg­ree of fle­xi­bi­lity in the design of the pro­duct range that is defi­ned from the out­set. A smal­ler num­ber of col­lec­tion cyc­les ine­vi­ta­bly redu­ces the fle­xi­bi­lity to react to exter­nal influ­en­ces and trends. What is nee­ded here are more fle­xi­ble col­lec­tion models. Short-term flash pro­grams in parti­cu­lar can gene­rate more inte­rest. Effec­tive inventory mana­ge­ment and cle­arly defi­ned chan­nels for sel­ling off old stock help to main­tain a posi­tive per­cep­tion of the brand.

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