Fast fashion and e-commerce have been two of the most disruptive forces in the apparel industry in recent years. In fact, the explosive growth of e-commerce has caused some industry pundits to predict the demise of brick-and-mortar retail.
Brick and mortar retailing is alive and well, though. That was the consensus of a panel of experts at Sourcing Journal’s “Currents of Change” Summit last month in New York.
Our own Mark Burstein, NGC’s president of sales, marketing and R&D, participated in a lively panel discussion with Janice Wang, CEO of Alvanon, an apparel sizing and fit company; Hebe Schecter, president of textiles company Kaltex North America; and John Harmon, senior analyst at Fung Business Intelligence Center.
Panel participants touched on a wide range of topics – improving speed to market, understanding what consumers really want, making stores more relevant – and ultimately, how supply chain and other advanced technology can give brick-and-mortar retailers and brands a competitive edge.
Sourcing Journal recently wrote an article summarizing the panel discussion, and we think you’ll enjoy it. Let us know what you think:
Ask anyone in the know what turned the apparel industry on its head and the answer is likely to be one of two things: Zara or e-commerce. Both helped to fan the flames of consumers’ desire for new styles at relatively cheap prices however and whenever they want to shop—and brands and retailers alike have been playing catch-up for years.
But there are still plenty of lessons to learn from both business models, as a panel of experts stressed to attendees at Sourcing Journal’s “Currents of Change” Summit last week in New York.
“Brick-and-mortar is not going away,” stated Mark Burstein, president of sales, marketing and research and development at NGC Software. “It will never go away because a lot of times you go shopping with your family, you go shopping with your friends; it’s a memory event. But the goal is to really get the product that the customer wants and the one finite constraint with brick-and-mortar retailers is retail space. You can’t build more walls as quickly as you can get the right products.” Read on »