Fast Fashion: A Clothing Retailer’s Dream?
By Sarah Stefanson March 8, 2010
You may have heard the term “fast fashion” being thrown around lately. For those of us without tons of disposable income, fast fashion is a trend that can allow us to don the latest looks walking the runways at a fraction of the cost of designer clothing. Clothing retailers such as Zara, H&M and Forever 21 are taking advantage of the fast fashion business model to get pieces similar to the ones presented by the world’s top fashion designers on their shelves in no time flat. When new collections are shown in the fashion capitals of the world, these stores use the buzz on the new creations to sell look-alike pieces for a much lower cost than the originals. To achieve the goal of producing items quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, retailers have employed several innovative new management, marketing and production techniques. A major part of the fast fashion concept is the exchange of information. This requires all levels of the clothing company to be in communication at all times, where in the past, each department was responsible for its own duties and there wasn’t much interaction between them. Store employees and managers receive feedback from customers and are able to report on which designs and trends sell the best. Their accounts are shared with market specialists, designers, buyers and production staff. With efficient links between the creative team and the production, warehouse and distributor staff at the company, essential information is shared in a timely manner, allowing the company to get the latest designs on their shelves in record time. The business model mould for fast fashion was first perfected by Spanish clothing retailer Zara. By trying out unconventional methods of design, production and distribution, Zara began a revolution in the fashion retail industry. These days, Zara has the ability to take an item from the design stage to the store in just...
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