BBC Breakfast spent this morning discussing fast fashion. Business is booming in the UK for retailers such as Primark and Boohoo – with Boohoo seeing a 37% increase in revenues. Gate One Manager, Jen Nixon, was invited onto the show to share her views on how these low-cost players are delighting their target audiences whilst others are floundering.
Fast fashion is all about rapidly mass producing inexpensive clothing in response to the latest market trends. Speaking to business journalist Sean Farrington, Jen explained that Boohoo and Primark are succeeding in the UK because “they know their customer. They understand exactly what they want and they target them. They know that they don’t appeal to everybody, but they can get those sales through.” This targeted approach is very different to the likes of Debenhams who we have seen struggling this year and who aim appeal to a much broader market segment.
With affordable fast fashion encouraging consumers to purchase yet more clothes, Sean asked what Primark and Boohoo are doing to address the obvious challenge around their sustainability credentials. Jen explained, “there is always going to be a demographic where they want affordable fashion, but people are more conscious now about the environment.” These retailers understand this and are responding with innovative thinking on recycling, return policies and supply chain transparency. “H&M has done a great thing where you can click on a product online and see exactly where it was made and what materials are in it. People are starting to move towards that and I think that you’ll see other retailers following suit.”
Jen has recently penned a Gate One article titled ‘Green is the new black’ about how increasing consumer environmental awareness is impacting retailers.
Ben Tye, Client Director and Retail Sector lead, says “Consumers are becoming more sophisticated. Their wants are often conflicting and extend way beyond the traditional product and price. Lucrative niche markets are accessible for those retailers who really know their customers and can meet their needs precisely.”
Gate One is an award-winning digital and business consultancy that helps organisations to better understand the wants of their customers and then transform to better meet those wants. If you want to know more about how Gate One can help your organisation contact Ben.
You can watch the full interview with Jen on BBC Breakfast through iPlayer.