This is so well put. Exactly what SME's we work with are experiencing. The Government needs to protect SME's, supporting their innovation, growth and hard work, they are the big businesses of tomorrow.
Great idea! Most consumers are loyal to brands they like and this is a good way to find and reuse clothing likely to be appealing. We are guessing it will appeal well to the Toast consumer. The only snag we can see is does everyone remember what they paid or will Toast tell them?
We think this the a dangerous route to go down for a business which relies so heavily on their suppliers to be commercially viable. ASOS is not the only business in the market under pressure as the DR headlines show. We hope they recognise partnership is about trust and strategy which means not changing the goal posts.
Its great that meetings are being had on this, but what will actually be done as a result? The issue with this is that the civil servants may know what the issues are and understand the industry needs a little better now, but they are not voting and the politcians seem incapable of putting their own careers second and the country and business first. We work with many SME's who buy and sell worldwide and they are all in despair over Brexit. They are either moving to other regions to avoid it, or reorganising their supply chains as they don't believe the Government can conclude it to support businesses based in the UK. This is a crisis for the fashion industry - SME's are the future. The Government needs to act right now on this and consider the value of the industry seriously.
The key point here for us is focus on who the customer is and profile accurately, then buy to the profiles. If this is done well - it works. We think M&S try too hard to be all things to all people and in doing that it creates confusion and lack of focus. Retailers and brands need to value getting to know the customer as a priority for success in our view.
I remember Annette and the early days of London Fashion Week in particular, it had a special atmosphere which supported so many careers of talented designers over the years and is a fantastic legacy for the industry as a whole. We send our very best wishes to her family.
We think John Lewis could live to regret introducing fees for click and collect, think of customers in the country who travel 10-50 miles to the nearest store paying for the petrol, they have just removed the whole reason for buying from them and added irritation into the mix. You can't operate in an isolated environment if the rest of the market does not charge and you have all the same brands as the rest of the market why would the consumer buy from John Lewis and pay extra?
Great to see brands coming together to help their manufacturing partners. We are off to donate now and hope many others will too.
I think it's vitally important to encourage increasing levels partnership working between industry, training establishments and colleges.
Graduates being turned out now - in some cases still do not have these 'new' skills needed in addition to the ability to pick and negotiate a good product as a buyer or design a good product as a designer.
The course content needs to be adapted fast, in consultation with future employers to ensure the right mix of necessary skills is being developed. Meaningful work experience (not unpaid internships) needs to be part of all courses, to develop these wider skills and give students insight into different routes available on graduation.
I suggest recruiters should be working with trainers and colleges along with the employers to bring about this change and to highlight as you have here, where the skill gaps are clearly.
I completely agree with Darren Hoggett.
As a design and business growth consultant with experience in retail, production and trade shows, the issues brands and retailers have are crystal clear!
I urge them to recognise that clothing must be trans-seasonal in line with the permanent climate change we have. Consumers have accepted that they need to wear layers and have a flexible wardrobe. All the more business reason to design and produce more flexible clothing, which can be co-ordinated with existing items. Trade show organisers also need to be mindful and change the seasonal labelling of events. Large manufacturers and retailers need to lead the way now.