The fashion industry, once a leading global employer, is facing significant challenges. Global growth is slowing and competition is fierce. Companies must focus on sustainability, talent allocation and digitization. It also requires rethinking their business models.
While the financial crisis wrought havoc on businesses and jobs, many companies made a strategic shift to improve their performance. Some even streamlined operations. Other reshaped their business models and sharpened their customer propositions. Despite this, the gap between top-performing companies and those with mediocre results is growing. However, executives are hopeful for a swift recovery.
In the year ahead, it is critical that fashion executives keep their finger on the pulse of consumer demand and make the most of digital innovations. Companies must also pay attention to macroeconomic issues and address climate change.
One of the best ways to achieve organic growth is to deepen relationships with existing customers. This is a particularly important consideration in Asia where consumers spend eight hours a day online. As a result, companies will focus on developing products that cater to local tastes.
The fashion industry will also need to invest in technology to improve supply chain efficiency. Digital innovation will not only enable companies to better serve their customers, but will also lower procurement costs.
Finally, it is important to consider how to attract and retain the top talent. Fashion companies must make a concerted effort to understand their global markets and their customers. They must also rethink their business models, and develop new risk mitigation strategies.