Blog: Leonie BarrieNew businesses shaking up a broken retail model

Leonie Barrie | 23 October 2018

The convergence of disruptive new technologies, easy access to cheap capital, and changing consumer attitudes are shaking up an already-broken retail model, according to speakers at last week's IAF World Fashion Convention. But rising Phoenix-like from the ashes are nimble new players building a smart future for fashion.

The same event also saw executives from Hugo Boss and Mango share their experiences of how new tools and technologies are helping the apparel industry to build smarter, transparent – and more trusted – supply chains.

Apparel brands and retailers in Europe and the United States must take the lead on nearshoring, automation and sustainability, and establish a demand-focused apparel value chain if they are to meet customers' needs in the future, a new study suggests. Here are four first steps to nearshoring apparel supply chains.

Canada is the world's fifth-largest apparel market, and one of its fastest growing importers – and we’ve taken a closer look at the country's key sourcing patterns.

Speakers and exhibitors at the recent Africa Sourcing and Fashion Week are optimistic at the continent's capability in the textile and apparel sector – but concur that many challenges remain before it can reach its full potential.

But Haiti garment workers are planning protests after trade union representatives rejected an increase in the minimum wage proposed by the government.

As consumer buying habits and demands become ever more complex, inventory management is key to ensuring companies can quickly respond to any fluctuations in customer demand and maintain the flow of product availability.

And British luxury fashion brand Burberry is to launch monthly product releases, joining a number of high-end rivals in experimenting with shorter production cycles in a bid to keep customers hooked.

Meanwhile in other news, industrial thread manufacturer Coats has opened a global innovation hub in North Carolina; Adidas has recalled children's swimwear due to a potential safety risk; H&M has hit back at reports it incinerated around 100,000 pieces of clothing; Sears has filed for bankruptcy; and Walmart has bought online intimates retailer Bare Necessities.

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