The upcoming challenges for the fashion industry demand for companies to adjust their strategy to a shifting economic environment, fluxes in consumer preferences as well as shifts in the general fashion. Looking forward, consumers are going to continue their demand shifts; factors such as technology, social awareness, and trust present themselves as problems as well as opportunities for investors. A trend of consumers desiring affordability, environmental-conscious products, and variety puts stress on previously consumer preferences. Major players are concerned that the resale/subscription market for instance, could overshadow the growth of fast fashion.
Over 40% of the executives surveyed believe that fashion business conditions will worsen in 2019, with mid-market clothing brands expected to perform the worst as 58% of executives expect a decline. Strategically, companies will be looking to hedge growth risk by boosting productivity efficiency and cost cutting. Investments in automation, and analytics are expected to increase. Additionally, the use of new operating models such as omnichannel present interesting growth opportunities for online commerce.
The market itself will see much growth from India due to drastic income growth that shapes a new middle class; the middle class is projected to expand at 1.4% a year for the next four years. The Indian market is expected to grow over 8% a year. By 2022 the market is expected to be touch $102 billion USD
On the macro side, trade agreements, tariffs and other disputes are forcing companies to reevaluate their sourcing strategy. Players in the upscale market have focused on US and Chinese markets, which might not be able to provide the same margins as they have in the past.