If the coronavirus epidemic feeds fears of the fashion world, it does not question the adaptation of companies to new consumption habits. Precollections, collaborations … the pace of innovations is accelerating. The challenge is to bring customers back more often. And sell.
Filled cupboards, consumption, half-mast market and, what’s more, the epidemic of coronavirus: a scent of crisis hangs over the fashion world. But it continues to adapt to new consumption habits. It has increased the number of collections in recent years, as evidenced by a survey by the French Fashion Institute (IFM) for the Salon Première vision, held last week.
This large-scale survey (*) reveals that while 49% of brands offer two collections per year, 71% make 4 or even 10 deliveries to the store. Clearly, these lines are built to arrive sequenced in stores, to punctuate the arrival of new products. This pace, formerly the prerogative of the champions of Fast Fashion, with Zara (Inditex) and H & M who invented this model, has won almost the entire sector.
Luxury pressed the accelerator. Half of these labels have 4 collections per year, but part of the products are renewed in stores, every month for 20% of them. And for 12%, at least 8 times a year. A record! “This is a testament to the boom in capsule collections and collaborations. They give rise to events to attract customers more often, ”says the director-general of Première vision, Gilles Lasbordes.
Latest partnerships to date, that of Dior Homme with Nike (Air Jordan) for sneakers. Gucci, for its part, has partnered with Disney for a collection inspired by Mickey and targeting Chinese customers. These collaborations have become essential. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, their awareness rate reaches 90% among the youngest. And 50% of luxury consumers have purchased one of these pieces.
Their advantage is also to recruit new customers, who without these alliances with sportsmen, celebrities or young fashionable brands would never have bought a luxury item. Thanks to the logistical organization of luxury groups, in a few days, the iconic coat or dress is on display in the main “flagships” on the planet.
The accessible luxury brands, Sandro, APC and Isabel Marant are also betting on novelty. “They are engulfed in the pre-collection system,” says the manager. According to the IFM, if a majority offers two annual collections, three quarters have at least between 4 and 8 deliveries. This means that the first “spring and summer” models are in stores in November, before the rest of the collection in January.
For fall-winter, these pre-collections are delivered in May, two to three months before the mainline. “These seasonal entry pieces are designed to catch the eye, especially of a connected clientele,” said the study. “These premium brands imitate those of luxury. But since they have fewer resources, they cannot keep up with the same pace, ”continues Gilles Lasbordes.
For its part, La Fast Fashion has not set foot on the brake. On the contrary. The study reveals that for 40% of mass-market brands, renewal is done more than ten times a year. It is less for them to create a surprise. “Their strategy is to stick to the market, by being in the trends, and to meet expectations,” remarks the boss of Première vision. This speed, formerly reserved for leaders, has become the norm for these low-cost signs.
Multiply the proposals
Their objective is above all to “multiply the proposals to arouse the crush”. This again presupposes a very organized supply chain, while they are mainly supplied in Asia. “This acceleration shows their desire to lower the level of risk,” concludes Gilles Lasbordes. And don’t miss sales, limiting yourself to one collection per season. ”
A pace that can, however, surprise, while the supply is overwhelming and that in France, the market has been declining for more than ten years. “These are heavily exporting brands,” says the specialist. However, in the world, the production is driven by the increase in the population. H & M will thus open in 2020 for the first time in Panama.