Latest technology, integration, innovation and personalization are the major factors involved in the global fashion retail industry in the recent years. The year 2019 in the global apparel retail industry appears to be stable, but not a magnificent year for the market. The maximum sales are primarily led by direct-to-consumer channels and international growth. Studies suggest that the apparel sector need to work harder than ever to remain a priority for the consumers’ to spend on apparels. Globally, the younger consumers seek and spend more on apparel services and gain more experience. In the coming years the apparel retail market will witness innovation with new ideas in terms of technology and experiments on the apparels. The apparel retail industry growth will witness sales through online and offline shopping or at stores along with consumers and stores using technology more intuitively. These improvements attract what consumers wear, buy, shop and where to shop.
With the increase in the competition among the online stores, some of the online stores are likely to shut down. Few department stores continue to struggle to survive by offering discounts, contemporary styles and fashion. The major factor affecting the global apparel retail industry is the increasing cost of the real estate space occupied for stocking or selling of the apparels. The declining department store sales led to establishment of store known as Bonobos store that showcase their products without any stocks and the customers require to make their purchase online. Researchers say that these types of showrooms can help solve the difficult problem of markdowns, and help retailers limit in-store inventory.
Normally, in a store the apparels are stocked according to size, colour and designs which occupy more space in the inventory. Whereas, the latest Bonobos store do not stock apparels but display more number of apparels with five styles in five washes and with 44 sizes. The global apparel retail industry is experimenting on various types of showrooms to evacuate the existing stores with very large inventory and reopened smaller showroom in the same place. Majority of the leading apparel companies in the world are looking forward to expand into their own branded physical retail spaces in order to approach consumers directly. Look for competitors are looking for pop-up shops and other flexible physical channel activations to become more popular and brands are experimenting while growing out their physical channels. Retailers are embracing artificial intelligence for greater personalization. Leading retailers are taking advantage of advancements in machine learning, deep analytics and AI for a more targeted and personalized shopping experience.
The changing fashion trend is the overall casualization of fashion that has expressed itself as athleisure. The increased drive toward casualization across all global apparel channels has led to the next generation of casualization that will be pajamas as weekend wear. Pajamas are not a new concept in fashion industry because majority of the college students worldwide have been wearing it for years that will now go main stream. New developments and growth in apparel industry is witnessing an explosion of sub-categories such as athleisure highlights how retailers are evolving into lifestyle brands. Many leading competitors launched active wear and athleisure lines collaborated with celebrities. Customers wear relaxed clothing and majority of them are choosing to shop at home which gives more personalized services such as tailored subscription services.
Leading companies in apparel retail industry are more focused on lifestyle than performance with lifestyle brands becoming more active-oriented. Digital integration has led to big deals across all apparel retail channels. The year 2019 is a year of the smart stores. Internet of Things (IoT) technology is deployed in this sector at a quicker pace that will affect systems and processes across the entire apparel retail enterprise, particularly at the supply chain.
Retailers are using technology to harvest data and are using it to develop solutions for the most pressing pain points in shopping journey, including fitting room problems, order fulfillment issues, tiresome checkout processes and others. Automatic checkout through digital pay systems makes shopping experience more fun for consumers. Innovative solutions in the retail supply chain include digitally enhanced inventory transparency and searches for out-of-stock replacements. Today’s world’s population is choosy about their mobile devices for internet-based activities such as shopping, therefore, smart phones have becomes the dominant platform. Majority of the apparel retailers are depending on social media and the latest applications in virtual reality to promote their apparels.
Global apparel retail industry is dominated by the Asia Pacific, with a rapid growth in the middle class, urbanization, stable economy, availability of trained manpower at competitive cost, and local availability of most raw materials in India, China, and Japan. The favourable demographics in the global apparel industry are the increase in consumer spending limit, new shopping malls, ecommerce portals and modern lifestyles. These factors maintain the balance between price and quality which is the biggest challenge for the industry. This trend will witness a positive growth in the apparel retail industry in the coming years.