Fashion Retail: Events that matter

In a volatile marketplace, fashion retailers are increasingly challenged with attracting and retaining consumers who are overwhelmed with choice and have unprecedented access to products across multiple touch points. With discounting and promotions becoming an expectation rather than a successful interest driver, innovative retailers are beginning to align promotional activity to non-traditional retail occasions to stand out and fight for a share of consumer minds in a competitive and overcrowded market.

Today’s consumer has shifted priorities and as a result, the retail calendar has evolved. An agenda that was previously made up of Valentine’s Day and other commercially-driven events now seem outdated and transparent – particularly to the younger consumer whom typically subvert expectations. In order to stand out, it is essential for retailers to develop tactics that allow them to deepen the relationship with their consumers, aligning with events and issues that resonate with their consumers’ values, topical interests and sentiment.

Community-driven events such as International Women’s Day and Pride are beginning to become retail occasions, buoyed by the burgeoning social conscience of Millennials and Gen Z. Whilst supporting such social causes and events is noble, retailers must demonstrate commitment beyond occasion hype and reflect their support throughout business and brand strategy.

When looking at the WGSN Barometer data for perceptions of inclusivity the UK Men’s and Womenswear market demonstrates a notable uplift, particularly during Pride, showing that retailer’s messaging strategies are making a positive cut through and enhancing perceptions. Whilst in the US, perceptions are more volatile, with spikes a lot more outspread due to the fragmented events across different states.

This positive momentum is no doubt due to the fact that more and more retailers are involved in Pride and therefore embracing marketing, slogans and symbols affirming their commitment to representation – a trend unlikely to lose momentum over the next few years. However, it is essential to note that authenticity is vital, as tokenism through marketing can have a negative effect, particularly as consumers are increasingly conscious of brand messages.

To find out more about the new agenda within fashion retail, join us on Wednesday 17th October for our webinar where we’ll be discussing the concept of community vs commerciality events and how to align with retail occasions that resonate with your consumer. Register now > >

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