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Study: Consumers want fast fashion ‘now’

Consumers want to be able to buy a fashion trend almost immediately upon finding out about it.

Fast fashion is not going of style anytime soon given today’s trend-driven consumers.

That’s according to a report by global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer Retail Group, which found that fast fashion is set to retain much of the ground it gained during the pandemic. The study, which surveyed some 500 U.S. consumers ages 18 to 65 in June, examined the growing influence of fast fashion across the apparel industry.

The findings revealed that consumers are not inclined to wait on fashion trends — and retailers needs to be able to react quickly or risk losing business. Fifty percent of survey respondents want to buy a fashion trend within the same week they discover it. And almost half of respondents said they’d check another retailer if a trend is not available — only 30% will check back with the same retailer for the same trend again.

In other findings, 30% of respondents purchase fast fashion at least once a week, while 65% purchase multiple items.  

“This craze reflects a massive opportunity across apparel retail—brands need to get the equation right and provide trends quickly and accurately, or risk losing out,” said Joanna Rangarajan, senior director at Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer Retail Group and report co-author. “Companies can take steps to shrink their calendar, adopt a flexible and rapid design-to-delivery model, and make bold, data-informed decisions to keep pace with today’s insatiable customers.”

Other findings from A&M’s “The New Evolution of Fast Fashion” report are below.

• Nearly half (49%) of survey respondents buy their fashion trends online, while 35% shop for them in a mall.

• Thirty-two percent get their fashion inspiration on social media, while 39% get it from a retailer’s website.

•· Forty percent of respondents (aged 18-44) will compromise brand loyalty for immediacy.

• Seventy percent are buying most often for themselves.

“As trend-conscious fashion shoppers became accustomed to shopping online for a plethora of instantaneously available new designs during the pandemic, even some high-end fashion brands and retailers are finding they need to adopt a fast fashion mindset to be successful,” said study co-author Michael Prendergast, managing director at Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer Retail Group. “Retailers who are able to read social media sites for viral data indicators, deliver those or similar designs, and then adjust based on which ones do well or don’t on their own websites are on the right track.

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