Speed is This Season’s Hottest Fashion Trend, According to Research from Kurt Salmon, Part of Accenture Strategy

Retailers need to get in shape to meet consumer demand for a fast
fashion fix

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WORLD RETAIL CONGRESS -– With one in eight younger consumers (18 to 24
year olds) shopping every week and buying a fashion item at least once a
fortnight, retailers are gearing themselves up to meet growing demand
for fast, on-trend, fashion-led styles, according to new research from Kurt
Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy
. Speed and agility are the top
priorities for every retailer competing in fast fashion.

“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, Kurt
Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy
. “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 interviews with 23
Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and senior executives at leading global
fashion retailers to explore the ‘see now, buy now, wear now’ trend and
the readiness of retailers to deliver. A survey of 2,000 UK consumers
was also conducted to understand current appetite for fast fashion.

‘See now’

With many younger consumers constantly searching for style inspiration
on everything from social media to the high street, retailers are under
increasing pressure to turn around new lines in record time. Many have
been working hard to reduce their lead times to meet this growing demand
for fast fashion. One leading fashion retailer is now delivering new
lines in two to three weeks; yet speed is only part of the success
equation.

“Retailers need to accurately analyze what is selling in real-time and
be in a position where they can react quickly,” explained Murphy.
“According to one major fashion retailer, there is now only a 24 to
36-hour window from browsing to buying. Retailers that actively engage
with their customers, analyze shopping and social media habits, and
pre-empt future trends, will be the winners in the fast fashion market.”

‘Buy now’

Speed of delivery of online orders is also highly important to
consumers. Accenture
research
highlights that one in five of 18 to 20 year olds want same
day delivery, and a further 13 percent want delivery in less than half a
day. Twenty-one to 37 year olds are slightly more relaxed with almost a
third happy for their orders to arrive the next day.

‘Wear now’

The study found that shoppers buy for the present, with 53 percent of
all consumers surveyed wearing items within a week of purchase, and 15
percent wearing items the very same day. For younger consumers (18 to 24
year olds), the numbers increase; 60 percent wear items within a week of
purchase, and one in five wear items on the same day of purchase.

While the majority of younger shoppers claim that ethical sustainability
is a key factor informing their purchasing decisions, their behaviour
suggests otherwise; less than half (48 percent) of 18 to 24 year olds
recycle their clothes. Additionally, half (50 percent) of retailers
surveyed say they are actively exploring new ways to extend the product
lifecycle, using recycled materials, or facilitating clothes swapping
and sharing.

Please find further information about the report here.
Join the conversation at @AccentureStrat.

About the research

Kurt
Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy
, conducted interviews with 23
Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and senior executives at leading global
fashion retailers to explore the ‘see now, buy now, wear now’ trend and
the readiness of retailers to deliver. A survey of 2,000 UK consumers
aged between 18 to 55+ was also conducted to understand current appetite
for fast fashion.

About Accenture

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) is a leading global professional services company,
providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy,
consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched
experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all
business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network
– Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help
clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their
stakeholders. With approximately 401,000 people serving clients in more
than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the
world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Accenture
Strategy
operates at the intersection of business and technology. We
bring together our capabilities in business, technology, operations and
function strategy to help our clients envision and execute
industry-specific strategies that support enterprise wide
transformation. Our focus on issues related to digital disruption,
competitiveness, global operating models, talent and leadership help
drive both efficiencies and growth. For more information, follow @AccentureStrat
or visit www.accenture.com/strategy.

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Contacts

Accenture
Lucy Davies, + 44 777 3044 808
lucy.d.davies@accenture.com