Each week, JustStyle’s journalists explore movements in job postings that shed light on hiring trends in our sector. These job signals provide insights into where the leading companies are focusing their recruitment efforts, and why. We reveal the skills that are in high demand in the sector, and the themes driving current hiring patterns.  

This new, thematic jobs coverage is powered by our underlying Disruptor data which tracks all major deals, patents, company filings, hiring patterns and social media buzz across our sectors.  

Luxury brand LVMH and German athletic apparel company adidas led the way in supply chain hirings in the first two weeks of July, according to GlobalData’s jobs analytics. The two companies collectively recruited for 1202 roles.

Amongst others, LVMH has advertised for roles within procurement analysis, data analysis, inventory planning, logistics, and demand planning.

Other leaders in supply chain hirings included VF Corp, whose portfolio includes The North Face, Vans, Dickies and Timberland, and high-end design house Hermès International. VF Corp recruited for 135 roles, while Hermès recruited for 187 roles.

The North Face recruited for roles such as “Senior Materials Manager”, “Senior Merchandise Planning Manager” and “Costing Analyst”, amongst others.

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The importance of supply chain resilience came to the fore in 2020 and 2021 when unpredictable demand, manufacturing constraints and shipping disruptions capped profits during peak shopping seasons. Since then, supply chain roles have emerged as a critical area for recruitment within the fashion industry, as brands compete for in-demand talent across data analysis, logistics, and warehousing.

Key supply chain priorities at the moment, however, derive from a growing body of legislation, such as the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, as well as new customs regulations (such as the US ban on Xinjiang imports). In many cases, companies will need to hire dedicated staff to navigate the complexities of compliance.

VF Corp has long been ahead of the curve in this respect, having established a dedicated traceability and responsible materials team back in 2017.

Smart supply chains in retail and apparel

Beyond straightforward recruitment, apparel companies are increasingly investing in smart supply chains – that is, supply chains that leverage artificial intelligence, vehicle telematics, data analytics, automation, blockchain and other advanced technologies.

ASOS, adidas, NIKE and Harvey Nichols have all been named by GlobalData as leaders in smart supply chains, while Forever 21 and Abercrombie & Fitch have been named as losers in the theme. Forever 21’s 2019 bankruptcy, for example, was widely blamed on its failure to invest in its supply chain, whose sluggishness compared poorly to fast-fashion rivals such as H&M and Zara.

H&M, by contrast, has leveraged AI to analyse data and conduct trend analysis, allowing for a greater understanding of demand variability. This has enabled the retailer to improve its inventory control and optimally position its products on retail shelves.

Hirings leader, LVMH, has also proven its commitment to smart supply chains, having collaborated with PRADA Group and Cartier in 2021 to form the Aura Blockchain Consortium, with the aim of creating a blockchain solution specifically for luxury brands to help create more circular and transparent business models.