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Ultrafast fashion brands gain ground with ability to deliver latest trends quickly


Ultrafast fashion brands gain ground with ability to deliver latest trends quickly


From brick and mortar stores, fashion retail is moving towards fast and decentralized world of e-commerce. Consumers are opting for new ultrafast sales model as it is faster than fast fashion. Retailers like Boohoo, Asos, Shein and Missguided are gaining traction with their ability to match supplies with changing demands, says a Apparel Resources report. New styles are being launched within days as against weeks earlier.

Online platforms’ score with full inventory display

One factor working in favor of ultrafast fashion retailers is their ability to cater to consumers’ changing demands. Retailers create in-demand dresses within 10 days or a week. Some are also launching new designs in real time. Being online-only channels enables them to show all their offerings at one go. It also enables them to introduce tempting and trendy offers to boost sales. For instance, Asos introduces over 4,500 offers each week. Shein launches around 1,000 styles everyday on its site.

What’s more these retailers use advanced data analytics tools and centralized communication platforms to meet demand. Social media is used productively to meet brands’ goals. AI image recognition tool are being used to study fashion images. It helps retailers collect information about particular components and attributes of these images, and use machine learning algorithms to forecast future trends.

Enhancing connectivity through social media

Influencers are being roped in while advertising on social media channels are done to improve consumer connect. Shoppers’ on mobile apps or online are collected to personalize their shopping experiences. Working on a central platform enables them to get a complete view of orders placed by customers. Through this, they can implement short-term production change more quickly and effectively.

Flexible inventory management enables retailers to produce small batches of inventory and monitor the performance of each style in its catalogue. This data helps retailers know styles most in demand and customize production accordingly.

Nearshoring enables them to deliver products quickly and at affordable rates. For instance, most of Shein’s fabric and garment suppliers are based in Guangzhou, where several thousand manufacturers make clothes. Boohoo also makes most of its clothes in its home country, the UK.

Improving bottom lines

Focus on local manufacturing, on-demand production, inventory management and faster deliveries enables ultra fast fashion retailers to improve profits. Boohoo expects full-year profits for 2022 to reach £125 million as sales have grown 61 per cent from its pre-pandemic levels. Asos also expects FY ’22 revenues to surge 10 to 15 per cent and adjusted profit before tax to range between £110 million and £140 million.

Panned for unsustainable operations

Despite quicker turnaround times, fast fashion retailers continue to be criticized for their unsustainable production models. These retailers are known to dump over half a million tons of unwanted garments in landfills every year. The volume of their garments being thrown away every year has doubled over the last two decades.

Fast fashion retailers are also known as one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide. They are also often accused of exploiting workers for producing garments quickly and at affordable rates. Given this scenario, how ultrafast fashion retailers perform, remains to be seen.


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