From runway to checkout

“See now buy now”

Periodically we all have occasions where we consider if what we wear reflects our personality. All valid inquisition but what does being a trendsetter really mean in the CBD with the growing demand of the “see now buy now” trend?

What is “see now buy now”? It means runway styles are available for purchase immediately after fashion shows instead of the customary six-month wait.

Greg Petro recently wrote a piece for forbes.com where retailers like Victoria Secret and Zara talk of gaining a 264 per cent increase in revenue as consumers no longer want to wait months on end for trends to hit retail stores.

Melbourne’s iconic GPO Building occupant H&M is celebrating five years since its first Australian debut in 2014. They joined top league competition in Zara, Cotton On and COS to name a few.

But everything comes at a risk according to H&M chief executive Karl Johan who has shared that sales are down 4 per cent. Profit is still a healthy $800 million but 34 per cent down on last year. Competitor Zara was up 11 per cent.

The Paris precinct of Melbourne (top end of Collins St) is rapidly expanding and is now welcoming Versace, Fendi and Bottega Veneta to name few European luxury brands that are opening flagship boutiques – one the few places in Australia to do so.

IBISWorld senior analyst Kim Do says “luxury” in Australia is expected grow by $2.1 billion in sales. Tourism is doubling in our city and is delivering our largest source of international investors. Chinese visitors hold first place for largest expenditure.

One of the other major trends is polarisation in the retail market, which involves consumers buying the majority of their clothes and accessories from the fast fashion segment and then complementing this with pieces from the luxury high-end market.

I enjoyed a recent conversation with retailer American Tailors on Bourke St (Spring St end) who have been operating for more than 25 years showcasing some of world’s best fabrics and craftsmanship when it comes to suiting. Their insight into the trends and retail growth simply came down to “quality over quantity”.

“Our clients are well educated on quality fabrics and are often after durability. We have used the same suppliers for decades which allows us to have the best of the best,” they said.

As a result, most retailers are now changing their marketing strategies and producing ranges which allowing their customers to have access to everything trending.

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