Hardly any industry today is as much changing as the fashion industry. New collections, new styles and trends emerge faster than ever before. Brands that are "in" today can be "out" tomorrow and vice versa. In addition, consumer behavior in the fashion industry changed significantly over the last two decades mixing and mingling fashion segments into individual styles that combine both high and low-end fashion items.
In order to keep up with the pace of the industry, players have to define and create ever innovative means to distribute their merchandise this applies for budgeters like C&A as well as for luxury brands like Gucci or Prada. This paper aims to assess those emerging forms of distribution channels by outlining the prevailing formats and exhibiting examples of such innovations by the means of a mini case study for each respective innovative distribution channel.
Characteristics of the Fashion Industry
What Is Fashion?
"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months." (Oscar Wilde) Fashion is a means of non-verbal, visual and individual expression. It contains not only of clothing but also of accessories and personal styling. Thus, it provides information to others about an individual's personal lifestyle and social background respective the lifestyle and social background the particular individual wishes to belong to. When speaking about fashion one mostly refers to luxury designer brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton which produce a vast variety of fashionable items namely apparel, leather goods, cosmetics, perfumes and accessories. However, companies such as Zara (Inditex), H&M or Diesel are also players in the fashion industry since they offer own designs and collections. For the purpose of this paper, the fashion industry shall contain players who design and market their own merchandise and shall focus on the clothing (apparel) sector only. The Fashion Industry...