Responsive Retail: How Faster, Smarter Supply Chains Can Limit Discounts
In a perfect world, apparel stores would predict consumer demand with prophetic accuracy, order the exact inventory needed months in advance, and sell every item at full price, leaving customers delighted and stocks depleted.
How Brands Get Stuck With Discounts And Stockouts
As products linger on the racks, companies slash prices to make them more compelling. In fact, the industry’s reliance on discounts has largely trained consumers to expect prices to drop, sending them straight to the sale section while sneering at full price items.
On the flip side, brands lucky enough to hit on a trending style may face frustrating stockouts and leave disappointed customers looking elsewhere for a similar style. By the time their supply chain can replenish the hot item, fashion may have sprinted forward forcing retailors to turn back to discounts to move last cycle’s winning inventory.
Supply Chain Solutions To Faster Fashion
The perfect solution to an imperfect world? Faster, smaller orders and more of them. Why take the shotgun approach to your inventory when you could place well-timed, precise surgical strikes?
If you had the ability to restock in weeks instead of months, you could order everything in small amounts, see what’s selling, and respond to demand as you go, offering exactly what your consumers want at full price.
Relationships: Communicate with Your Entire Supply Chain
If you only work through the fabric manufacturers, you’re relying on them for all sourcing decisions. Need a fast order? If you can’t get right yarn quickly enough, you’ll have to change suppliers, which changes the fabric giving your customers an inconsistent experience and risking lost loyalty. Successful, fast fashion brands establish lines of communications with everyone along the supply chain, from yarn spinners and knitters to the partners who cut, sew, trim, and dye.
“It’s not just a winning business strategy; it’s a path to greater peace of mind. By relying on your entire supply chain to guarantee rapid production, you can stop and start as the market demands without worrying about excess waste and offer your consumers the products they want today” commented the president of Grupo Denim, Salomón Juan Marcos Villarreal.