The big fashion retail trends for 2020

Stephanie Aslan
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In the non-stop world of fashion, change is a certainty. In that respect, 2020 certainly won’t disappoint! Here are some of the big trends in fashion retail to look out for this year.

Sustainability sells

With sustainability becoming increasingly prominent in the public agenda and the increasing emphasis on a circular economy, sustainable sourcing  will become even more important for fashion retailers. Operating sustainably has become not a nice-to-have, but an essential element of running a progressive, credible business. Indeed, sustainable business practices can improve an organisation’s processes and facilitate growth, as well as strengthening its reputation. Last year, Adidas gained widespread acclaim for introducing a 100% recycled shoe.

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The second-hand surge

In a time of rising bills and property prices, more and more people are turning to second-hand clothing. Fashion lends itself very well to cast-offs, so you can easily pick up high-quality garments that are in good condition and to the outside observer, might as well be new. With the charity shop now a recognised staple of the UK high street, this is only likely to continue.

Household names are now dipping into the resale market, with Selfridges opening a second-hand clothing concession with Vestiaire Collective and Ralph Lauren launching Re/Sourced, a collection of vintage products available on resale app Depop. These ranges allow customers to pick from carefully-crafted second-hand lines in their preferred style, while reducing their environmental impact. As more customers turn to second-hand clothing, we could see more retailers introducing these selections in the coming year.

Fast fashion speeding up

The fast fashion industry  has grown 21% over the past three years, which is by far outstripping luxury fashion. With lifestyles getting busier all the time, fast food and dating apps are gaining in prominence and similarly, inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers is the perfect option for a busy professional who’s always on the go.

With the fast fashion revolution continuing to gather momentum, the likes of Boohoo Group and Missguided have shown that the most successful fast fashion retailers will be those who invest in improving their logistics and supply chain, getting fashionable clothing onto the market quickly and cheaply.

The digital drive

AI is allowing retailers to tap into the customer psyche more than ever before. Thanks to data analytics and market intelligence, businesses can capture deeper insights, make sales predictions, anticipate customer needs and tailor the retail experience more closely to what individual customers want. With these new tools at their disposal, retailers have a genuine opportunity to hit new heights. In 2016, Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba opened its first Hema store in China, combining elements of online and offline shopping to create the ultimate retail experience.

Business rates and rising rent prices mean retailers need to think of innovative ways of making their physical premises more enticing and cost-effective. It's also important that they upskill their staff to perform a wider variety of specialized tasks than putting stock on the hangers and processing customers' purchases.

In an ever-changing world, innovation will be the key to staying relevant and staying successful. Catapult’s  innovative shared workforce tool connects flexible workers to retailers looking to maintain productivity whilst reducing recruitment and employment costs. Our smart AI-driven technology allows you to tailor your workforce, at scale, by assessing and matching people’s skills and personality to your business.

If you want to find out more about what this year holds for fashion retailers or you need more advice about attracting the best fashion retail talent, speak to one of our experts.

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