Blog: Fast fashion
Leonie Barrie | 16 December 2003
In contracting Exel to provide a range of logistics services for its children’s wear Zip Project, Marks & Spencer will be banking on some hefty returns in terms of lower costs and improved lead times. The move is also significant in that it marks the growing trend for fashion retailers to outsource specialised aspects of their supply chains in an attempt to give them a competitive edge. M&S says it wants Zip to be a "world-class benchmark" in its industry and has no doubt studied the stellar rise of Zara with its finely-tuned high-speed, frequent delivery supply chain strategy. However, Zara has just posted a salutary lesson in its third-quarter results, blaming the hot summer for a drop in sales as shoppers bought cheaper summer clothes and shunned more expensive items such as coats. It seems that no matter how innovative the business model, the weather is something that cannot be predicted.
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