Fashion Retail: Four market shifts that have changed consumers’ expectations forever

Developed over months of data collection and analysis, WGSN Analytics Division’s new white paper “Fashion Retail: New Measures of Success” is now live and, unlike other extant studies, focuses on the valuable stories found within the data.

Our study uncovers the new ways to succeed in the dynamic and evolving fashion retail industry, validating the insight with our proprietary data sets from Instock and Barometer.

There are four key drivers that have dramatically shifted the dynamics of the market, changing consumers’ expectations forever and carving the need for the measures of success.


Online pure plays have changed the rules of the game

With their agile nature and short lead-times, pure plays such as ASOS, boohoo and Amazon have interrupted the market and expanded expectations from consumers forever. With the ability to offer the broadest product ranges, delivering new trends and product drops consistently and reactively have left the most established retailers rationalising their store portfolios in an attempt to keep pace.


Doing beats buying

Fueled by a digital backlash, social media status and a more conscious environmental ethos, there has been a noticeable societal shift in experiences overtaking possessions when it comes to hierarchal goals. This is reflected in consumer spending habits and reduced retail footfall.

Retailers now have to operate in an experience-driven economy


The infiltration of social media into daily lives has reduced attention spans to as little as 3 seconds and left consumers with a desire for instantaneousness in every activity. Pure plays capitalise on this shift, utilising platforms to communicate regular and relatable messaging, whilst adopting shop-now and image-recognition features that captures demand at exact point of desire.


Seasonal states of mind

Nomadic lifestyles, global work forces, casualised environments, erratic weather conditions and reduced disposable incomes have all collectively fueled consumers to seek purchases that transcend seasons. Trans-seasonality has already evidenced through contradictory phasing and product drops in the market, whilst pure plays have the agility to continuously house season-agnostic products unshackled by long lead times and store management.


Download the white paper to see how these macro-movements have pathed the need for the new measures of success in fashion retail in more detail.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

WGSN Insider Bulletin

Experience the leading provider of consumer foresight.

Related Stories

Hong Kong protests: business is not as usual

Fashion retail: The power of Prime

Creating Tomorrow: filling the needs void