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NEW YORK – All fashion retailers are under pressure to to adopt a fast fashion mindset to remain competitive. This is one of the conclusions of a survey into young consumers. The report concludes that all brands are having adopt quicker cycle times to “cater to the needs of a technology-obsessed consumer base.”

The survey found exactly half of respondents want to buy a fashion trend within the same week they discover it while 30 per cent purchase fast fashion at least once a week, and two thirds purchase multiple items. The fickle nature of modern shoppers means all brands are under pressure to meet market needs or risk losing customers, in an environment where brand loyalty is fast disappearing.

Based on a survey of 500 consumers, the survey was conducted in June 2022. It focuses on changes in fashion shopping, analysing changing consumer demands, speed to market and brand loyalty; and provides guidance for fashion brands navigating the current environment.

The study also found that:

  • 49 per cent of survey respondents buy their fashion trends online, while 35 per cent shop for them in physical stores
  • 32 per cent get their fashion inspiration on social media, while 39 per cent get it from retailer website
  • 30 per cent of respondents purchase fast fashion at least once a week, while 65 per cent purchase multiple items
  • Almost half of respondents said they’d check another retailer if a trend is not available; only 30 per cent will check back with the same retailer for the same trend again

The study found that fast fashion is poised to retain much of the ground it has gained during the pandemic. “As trend-conscious fashion shoppers became accustomed to shopping online for a plethora of instantaneously available new designs during the pandemic, even some high-end fashion brands and retailers are finding they need to adopt a fast fashion mindset to be successful,” said study co-author Michael Prendergast, managing director at Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer Retail Group. “Retailers who are able to read social media sites for viral data indicators, deliver those or similar designs, and then adjust based on which ones do well or don’t on their own websites are on the right track.”

“This craze reflects a massive opportunity across apparel retail—brands need to get the equation right and provide trends quickly and accurately, or risk losing out,” said Joanna Rangarajan, senior director at Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer Retail Group and report co-author. “Companies can take steps to shrink their calendar, adopt a flexible and rapid design-to-delivery model, and make bold, data-informed decisions to keep pace with today’s insatiable customers.”

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