The fashion indie market is having to evolve in line with the explosion in multichannel shopping preferences among consumers. But how can they compete with their larger multiple and department store rivals? And where are they investing this year in order to do so?
These are some of the questions Drapers sought to answer with our first-ever Independents Market Report, in association with Vend.
The report found that the store remains at the beating heart of independent fashion retailing, and 51% of indie owners expect to see the biggest sales growth come from bricks-and-mortar next year. However, a sizeable 33% expect to see the biggest uplift online, with the remaining 16% plumping for mobile.
So, in order to drive on and offline sales, indies are investing in the required systems.
When we ask our pool of independents which systems they plan to invest in next year, there was a fairly even spread of answers: 17% plan to launch or relaunch a website, 11% will invest in stock management, 10% plan to launch a responsive website, and 8% will prioritise upgrading their Epos system.
These are just some of the findings from our report, for which we surveyed nearly 60 fashion independents about several areas of their businesses, from stores to online and from buying to trading.