Retailers working to keep pace with fast fashion

Consumers want apparel to wear immediately.

It seems the demand for fast fashion will only continue to grow as younger generations become consumers. According to Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy, 1 in 8 young consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 shops once a week and buys a fashion item at least once every two weeks. 

“Young consumers have a ‘see now, buy now, wear now’ mentality when it comes to fashion, which has been driven by big fashion houses making the latest designs and styles available to buy straight from the catwalk. This is challenging retailers to improve their operational agility to meet rising demand for current trends,” said Dan Murphy, managing director at Kurt Salmon, told FierceRetail. “This insatiable appetite for fast fashion will inevitably continue as these shoppers age. There is no reason to believe that younger consumers, who have grown up wedded to devices and social media, will expect anything less than instant gratification in years to come, and continue to possess the same sense of style and image.”

Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy, conducted a study with executives at global fashion retailers to learn about the latest trends driven by consumers.

Many admitted to trying to reduce lead times to meet the demand of fast fashion and one top retailer said it now delivers new lines in two to three weeks. But producing the fashion is only part of the equation, as retailers need to be in the position to analyze data in real time so that they can react quickly. On average, there are only 24 to 36 hours between when a consumer browses to when they make a purchase. 

Also important to consumers is the speed of delivery of online orders. The survey found that 1 in 5 shoppers ages 18 to 20 wants same-day delivery and 13% want delivery in less than half a day. Almost a third of shoppers who are a bit older, ages 21 to 37, were okay with next-day delivery. 

In addition, consumers want apparel to wear immediately. The study found that 53% of respondents wear the items within a week of purchase, and 15% wear the items the same day. For 18- to 24-year-olds, 60% wear items within a week of purchase and 1 in 5 wears the items on the same day as the purchase.