NEW YORK, April 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The fashion industry has changed dramatically over the past decade. U.S. census bureau data shows that for the second year in a row, total apparel retail sales have gone down. Meanwhile, according to statista.com (https://www.statista.com/statistics/281594/share-of-apparel-and-accessories-sales-in-total-us-e-retail-sales/), in 2017 online fashion sales accounted for 19.8 percent of total retail e-commerce sales in the United States. Clearly, the market is shifting towards online sales and the fashion industry is struggling to adapt to this new landscape.
Maria Pesin, fashion business consultant (https://vibeconsulting.co/) and CEO of Vibe Consulting, explains, "It's absolutely essential that new fashion entrepreneurs start thinking outside of the box. Given the competitive landscape, traditional sales reps are reluctant to take on unproven brands and most independent boutiques have taken on a hunker down mentality. To succeed, fashion startups need to approach the market in innovative new ways."
While established department stores are struggling to keep their heads above water, new formulas for reaching consumers are thriving. Discount stores, pop up stores, subscription services and direct-to-consumer sales are increasing their market shares. In a recent interview Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M, recognized, "The fashion industry is changing fast. At the heart of the transformation is digitalization, and it is driving the need to transform and rethink faster and faster."
The increase in the e-commerce statistics does not, however, open a door to immediate success. Opening an online store is not sufficient for assuring online sales. In an increasingly competitive space, fashion startups are also struggling to set themselves apart. Hampered by complicated technologies and limited advertising budgets, aspiring fashion designers often feel overwhelmed by the complexity of launching a modern fashion startup.
"Consumers are much more demanding than they used to be. They want to feel a connection with the brands they buy, and they want to know that they share something in common with the designers that they are wearing," explained Pesin. "Fashion startups need to have strong opinionated voices that deeply resonate with their target audiences. Together with innovative sales and marketing strategies, small fashion entrepreneurs can effectively compete with the big brands whose influence is waning."
While the current market conditions represent a significant opportunity for up and coming fashion brands, navigating this opportunity is not easy. Fashion entrepreneurs need to understand complicated subjects such as digital marketing, production optimization, costing, pricing and direct-to-consumer sales.
At Vibe Consulting (https://vibeconsulting.co/), Maria Pesin brings over 25 years of real world proven fashion business experience to her clients. She has developed brands from the ground up and taken well-known names to new heights of excellence. Her proven leadership ability has led her to spearhead marketing operations and construct and implement business plans for New York apparel giants like Fleet Street and GIII Apparel Group building multi-million dollar brands. Establishing new businesses, growing existing businesses and bringing new fashion trends into the marketplace is what she enjoys most about her job.