Speed comes first in the world of fast fashion: Survey

Younger consumers' insatiable appetite for new styles is urging fashion retailers to fast track the release of their collections.

April 19, 2017

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Younger consumers' insatiable appetite for new styles is urging fashion retailers to fast track the release of their collections.

Image source: Unsplash, Pixabay

The penchant of many younger consumers to search constantly for style inspiration from social media to the high street has mounted increasing pressure on the backs of retailers to deliver new collections in record time, a recent research by market intelligence firm Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy revealed.

According to the report, one in eight consumers aged 18 to 24 goes shopping every week and purchases a fashion item at once a fortnight. This is prompting retailers to develop strategies to meet growing demand for fast and on-trend styles. One surveyed company, for instance, releases a new line every two or three 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. "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."

The rate at which online orders are delivered is also important to consumers. The Accenture research highlighted that one in five 18 to 20-year-olds want items to be brought to their doorsteps on the same day while 13 percent prefer less than half a day. A third of buyers in the 21 to 37-year-old bracket are fine with receiving orders the next day.

The study also found out that several shoppers buy for the present. Fifty-three percent of all those surveyed said that they wear the items within a week of purchase while 15 percent wear them on the same day. For the 18 to 24-year-old segment, the figures go up at 60 and 20 percent, respectively.

The majority of younger consumers claim that ethical sustainability is a key factor influencing their purchasing decisions. Their behavior, however, suggests otherwise with less than half of the 18 to 24-year-old respondents admitted to recycling their clothes.

On the retailers' side, 50 percent said that they are exploring actively new ways on extending product life spans, using recycled materials, and facilitating clothes swapping and sharing to avoid wastage and ease the strain on natural resources.

The researchers conducted interviews with 23 chief executive officers and senior executives at leading global fashion brands to see their readiness to deliver, and 2,000 consumers for the UK to understand consumer behavior.

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