New Year, Same You?
11 January 2019
Author: Jasmine Waters
A new year is dawning, and the light feels like it could be at the end of the ‘flailing industry’ tunnel. However, more problems than solutions may now be on the horizon for fashion, which leaves us asking – what do we need to look out for, and how can we best face it?
What should we expect in 2019?
Although it is still a touchy subject, the problem of brexit will remain at the forefront of how the fashion industry functions in 2019. The on-going uncertainty is set to increase as retailers are in desperate need of clarification on important influential factors, such as import/export duties and changes to employment. Consumer attitudes will remain volatile for the foreseeable future, and it is as yet unclear how much we can change the direction of our current political climate. Something retailers can change however, is the issue of store surplus. In our previous posts, we have discussed the necessary changes the retail world will need to make in order to remain a strong player, but the extra challenge will now lie in the ability to repurpose units to keep up footfall, and keep the spark alive in community high streets.
With much of the retail market on a slow and steady decline, many stores and companies alike have turned to the quick-fix of discount sales. 72% of UK retailers took part in Black Friday in 2018, with price cuts managing a deeper annual average of 37%. 2019 seems set to be the year many will try to wean themselves away from this impulse, with retailers needing to question the true cost of discounting, for both margins and consumer effect. In contrast, a long-term financial effect for the industry will be the decision to fully commit to becoming sustainable. No longer just a buzzword, businesses now must be willing to do more to confront the issues and challenges of a largely ‘unethical’ industry in order to create growth from a more demanding consumer base. Companies will now have a greater risk of being left behind if they don’t seek out more ethical methods as 2019 continues.
Will it all be ‘doom and gloom’?
It’s not all bad news for the year ahead though – the Asia-pacific region is seeing the most significant rate of growth on a worldwide scale, with the luxury sector looking to increase profits by 51% there over the next year, and more than 300 brands are intending to open stores across India within the next two years. Sportswear looks to continue to reign supreme in terms of brand category, with the segment expected to grow between 6-7% globally over the course of 2019.
For most, the new year needs to bring new clarity – with unpredictable circumstances and unexpected obstacles showing no signs of going away soon, businesses will need to have an air-tight strategy in place, ready to face the many trials and tribulations that 2019 will definitely have to throw at them.