Can Fashion Still Be ‘New’?
20 July 2021
Author: Jasmine Waters
Summer is here – we have more freedom, we’re inspired, we want to go out and do things. Naturally, the perfect summer wardrobe is a desired goal too, and many consumers are seeking out the very best that retail has to offer. Despite this, many consumers have been left feeling unsatisfied. The cautious approach retailers have taken have left consumers with the idea that nothing new is on offer to them. What’s been happening, and is there any way to win consumers back?
What are consumers feeling?
It’s fair to say that few anticipated how quickly the global fashion industry would bounce back after COVID-19. The consumer desire for ‘newness’ now doesn’t match the current capabilities industry has, with many roadblocks to overcome on the road back to normal. Some have given up on the idea of their summer wardrobe having a refresh altogether, likely fuelled by the emergence of similar styles across many popular brands. Although fashion business is leaning towards the ‘going out’ philosophy in strategy, this often isn’t translating to the types of garments currently seen on any local high street. Thanks to the nature of the last 18 months, many brands have been left trying to shift last year’s styles, from a-line to puffy sleeves.
Why are brands struggling?
This time last year, the pandemic was in full swing, with no tangible end or answer in sight. Rightly so, many of us were unwilling to take a gamble on new looks that may not have any profit or longevity attached to them. Small and independent brands were handed the hardest deal of them all, less likely to be as financially protected from the lockdown impact. Many stores have found they have struggled to stock any limited selections they may have, with global backlogs slowing production. Particularly in the US, shipping has also been a particularly big issue, with many calling on the White House to implement proper support and change to keep things moving.
Whereas apparel sales were more stilted in the beginning of the pandemic, they’re now back with a huge vengeance. If brands don’t act quickly and flexibly to offer a compelling reason for a consumer’s return, restock sales could quickly evaporate. That being said, new styles may not last long as it is. Fall stock is soon to hit the shelves, with resort fashion now more able to see and buy in person. We are likely to see an ongoing demand for sexier clothing items as consumers get their freedom back, which brands can now be one step ahead to prepare for. As businesses look to come back collectively stronger than ever, and novel and emotion approach to the next retail quarter will translate as a confident one.
Image source: https://fushr.files.wordpress.com/