Christina Moon (2014) has assessed fast fashion from a historical perspective trying to underline the main reason Korean Fashion lines are slowly creeping into the American fashion market and slowly outdoing some of the veteran companies in the industry. The key focus of her article is on the changes in supply chain management that has seen the supply scheduled, move from three months to a two week schedule in which fashionable goods are quickly moving from the seller to the final consumer. The article, though mainly capitalizing on the changes in the Jobber market fashion company’s management and profitability ventures, has largely concentrated on strategies adopted by these businesses, with her key focus being on price competitiveness.
The article mainly focuses on one of the largest fast fashion business line, which is Forever 21, a company that is currently valued at $3 billion in net worth, 477 stores worldwide, and has over 35,000 employees. The feature has also outlined some other fashion companies related to fashion 21, accommodating a similar strategy, or focusing on efficiency and speed in the distribution and supply lines, which has resulted in fashion being available to all individuals in the society as opposed to how they were only previously relatable to fashionistas in urban areas. Fast fashion has been assessed from a number of perspectives, from its growing nature, its influence on the job market and the reason for its boom in the 2000s. Additionally, the review has also covered some of the key issues in contemporary international fashion, considering some of the vital considerations such as infringements and copyright violations, brand placement and competition. Forever 21 has opened a fashion store on fifth avenue New York, popularly known for large and luxurious fashion companies and not those that adopt price reduction strategies such as the mentioned party.
The assessment of supply chain reduction and new innovations is also an impressive aspect of the article since it not only concentrates on the marketing strategies but also shows how these organizations have managed to achieve economic advantages over their competition both in terms of costs and time. The establishment of warehouses all over the world for instance is one of the key strategies that Forever 21 has adopted to ensure that it reduces the lead time from demand to the supply of these products to their retail stores and other departmental stores selling their products as well.
The insights offered by this article are highly reliable since a consideration of the information provided by the article and analyzing it with the information provided by other sources shows a high level of similarity. Forbes magazine for instance assessed how Forever 21 rose from a mere retail outlet in small space to the large company it currently is through a critical analysis of the various advantages that Korean fashion market has over its competition from other areas. Forbes however, outlines how the transition of Forever 21 from its simplistic nature to its current size has not been a smooth sailing, emphasizing more on over 50 lawsuits waged against the organization for copyright infringement.
The article also shows how much the teen market is the leading market share which is targeted by most fashion organizations. Abercrombie & Fitch uses a similar business model as Forever 21, since it not only emphasizes on the latest fashion trends, but also offers them at relatively affordable prices, making it affordable for the middle and low class as well. However, as Zillman (2014) argues, fashion trends emerge and die out faster in the contemporary society at an alarming rate, a factor that has made this limited flexibility company (Abercrombie & Fitch), to lose a sizeable share of their market to highly aggressive competitors who are willing to trim prices and supply the products faster than the market can exhaust them.
T.J. Maxx another fashion retail outlet highlighted in Moon’s article uses a different model from all the rest. The organization, which barely focuses on producing its own products, accommodates the fashion from other designers and sells it vigorously in its retail outlets. The business model adopted by the organization is equally efficient in the creation of market, since the market caters for the varying tastes of the people in the contemporary society (McGregor, 2008). This model has kept the business afloat, and even during the recession, the business was making outstanding profits since when the prices were slashed by manufacturers, this only meant more purchases which was very appealing for the organization’s profits. T.J. Maxx unlike other organizations does not mainly focus its might on reduction in prices, but rather has increased the availability of its products, making them easier to reach the customer and reducing the operational lead time marginally as well (Good Housekeeping, 2008). E-business is also another area that has pushed the fashion empire to its current level of success.
Urban Outfitters as an entity is relatively different from any other organization since its main emphasis is on setting trends. The organization, unlike all preceding organization that largely focus on the price reduction and efficiency, the organization makes its killing from setting new trends with the same speed at which fast fashion is moving (Patton, 2008). Speed in setting and establishing new designs has worked well for the organizations, since its diversity in releasing new products only creates a higher market for their products. Cost reduction by this organization has been achieved through manufacturing processes being outsourced to countries such as Philippines and china as a strategy to reduce production costs.
The article is marvelous and the information shared by all other authors listed in the paper is equally beneficial. Understanding fast fashion companies, how they supply the ever rising demand, their speed and capability to equally supply the products to the market within time and keep up with fast changing fashion trends. Though the concentration of this article has been biased on Forever 21, the information presented by the article is highly insightful. Regardless, the concentration on Forever 21’s business model seem like this article was a publicity initiative for the organization, since the author barely concentrates on the negative attributes of the organization yet it amplifies the positive attributes about the organization.
Considering the job market, the fashion industry is creating more opportunities for Koreans moving into the country owing their success with fashion industry. As such, Mexicans are equally benefiting from the venture whereas Americans are barely benefiting from the Korean fashion industry in America. Likewise, organization such as Forever 21 which are setting up factories in countries such as China, Korea or Philippines to reduce operational costs which contributes to the increase of the unemployment crisis in the country today.
- Fashion Workshop. (2011). Good Housekeeping, 252(11), 77.
- Ho, S. (April 29, 2009). Forever 21 Fortune. Retrieved on April 6, 2014 from http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/29/billionaire-retail-forever21-korea-rich-09-wealth.html
- McGregor, J. (2008). TJX: Dressed To Kill For the Downturn. BusinessWeek, (4105), 60.
- Moon C. (March 17, 2014). The Secret World of Fast Fashion. Retrieved on April 6, 2014 from http://www.psmag.com/navigation/business-economics/secret-world-slow-road-korea-los-angeles-behind-fast-fashion-73956/
- Patton, P. (2008). Urban Outfitters. Fast Company, (122), 53-56.
- Zillman, C. (2014). Abercrombie: Still struggling through its awkward phase. Fortune.Com, 1.