The retail industry is struggling.
Retailers like Banana Republic, Gap, and, Old Navy, J. Crew, and Abercrombie & Fitch have all been struggling to lure consumers to shop at stores. Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Kohl’s have all reported disappointing earnings.
Kanye West, rapper, shoe designer, and master Tweeter, has a solution that could potentially save these traditional retailers. He summed up in one Tweet:
I just thought of the craziest idea of all … I’m going to sell winter coats in the winter!!!
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016
This, while seemingly obvious, is actually very revealing of a major problem plaguing the industry.
But the bigger problem is why retailers are forced to struggle with unseasonably warm weather in the first place. That’s because of slow supply chains.
Fast fashion stores like Zara are thriving, largely because they can adapt rapidly to changes and trends.
“This is a significant point of difference to most other apparel retailers which usually commit in advance of each season and have no capability to change volume or introduce new styles mid-season,” Neil Saunders, CEO of consulting firm Conlumino, wrote in an email to Business Insider in December.
“Zara has always been this way, but in today’s market where trends change rapidly and where the weather seems to fluctuate more, this has become a major source of competitive advantage.”
The old “season” cycle is more problematic than ever, thanks to Instagram. People want what’s on the runway as soon as they see it online, as opposed to waiting for months for it. At this month’s New York Fashion Week, companies were showing fall and winter for later this year … when it’s cold(ish) right now. Banana Republic responded to this phenomenon this year by permitting consumers to purchase what they saw on the runway immediately.
So essentially, Kanye is summing up a world that operates like Zara. Though he doesn’t need any more ego boosts, it might be fair to say that he’s a budding retail genius.
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