Topshop introduces runway-to-retail business strategy ahead of London Fashion Week

Topshop Unique catwalk

This fashion month is the season of the ‘shoppable runway’ it seems. With Burberry leading the pack, now high street retailer Topshop is inviting its consumer to shop looks straight from their upcoming S/S17 runway show.

Topshop just announced that it will be debuting its Runway-to-Retail strategy globally on the 18th September 2016, providing consumers with the chance to shop a carefully selected edit of Topshop Unique pieces direct from the runway. This consumer decision from Topshop, follows the blueprint of what the luxury world is doing this season too. Back in February, Burberry announced plans to move into super fast fashion territory with their upcoming September show, offering consumers a chance to “physically explore the collections for themselves” right after the show. This announcement was a huge shift for the luxury market, as it means moving production and delivery dates, something that is much easier for a high street fashion retailer like Topshop, that can respond to trends and deliver product at a quicker pace.

Speaking about the decision to launch this strategy, as a response to the fact that consumer habits have changed, Mary Homer, Managing Director, Topshop, said: “Bringing our customers closer to the London Fashion Week experience has always been a focus for us, but now, more than ever, in a rapidly changing global marketplace where consumers demand immediacy, we recognise the importance of disrupting the traditional model.”

Consumers will be able to buy the Topshop Unique pieces in store, online and at the brand’s new London Fashion Week show space in East London’s Old Spitalfields Market. Topshop Unique will host a pop-up ‘market stall’, which will be open to the public and guests of the show immediately after the S/S17 catwalk finale.

“It’s interesting that Topshop is playing with the high/low dichotomy like this – Topshop is the rare high street retailer that shows at London Fashion Week and in the past has experimented with different ways of building hype around this line before it hits the shop floor,” says Petah Marian, WGSN Senior Editor of Retail Intelligence.

“It is unsurprising that Topshop Unique is moving in this direction as fast fashion retailers have traditionally worked close to the market, and it is particularly easy for a label like Topshop, which, which is predominantly sold in its own stores and doesn’t have to deal with wholesale. This is yet another marker of the shift from catwalk shows as industry events to marketing extravaganzas, inviting the consumer in to enjoy the spectacle of Fashion Week up close,” adds Marian.

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