As store re-opening begins, brands and retailers globally are having to think on their feet and adapt quickly to a radically new world of physical retail. All experiential aspects are up for revision from safety, hygiene and in-queue entertainment challenges, to utilising VR in place of make-over beauty stations or changing rooms. These are closely followed by higher expectations for stock level manoeuvring and rebuilding strong vendor-supplier partnerships.

Trendstop invites FashionUnited readers to discover the latest industry developments taking place across the fashion retail sector.

Physical Vs Digital

For those that have been digitally savvy pre-covid epidemics this might mean not re-reopening to full capacity. ZARA’s online sales rose by 50 percent year-on-year during the quarter and were up 95 percent year-on-year in April. With this newly found digital-first confidence they have decided not to reopen approximately 1200 locations globally and focus on e-comms instead. H&M group said they will be closing around 170 smaller local stores and continue focusing on larger flagship stores. Walmart’s announcement regarding their partnership with Shopify has been hailed as ‘another stroke of digital genius’.

Latest developments across the fashion retail sector

Customer-Centric Digitalization

Retailers are reporting on the continued popularity of kerbside and in-store order pickups which matches Google reports on 300 percent rise in ‘free delivery’ searches, followed by 70% rise in ‘kerbside pickup’ and 42 percent rise in ‘open near me’. Customer-centric digitalization continues but this type of technology integration is more of a long-term play. The race is on to move the fitting room from the store to the screen successfully.

Latest developments across the fashion retail sector

AR & VR Integration

On the back of Snap Inc.’s grand reveal of their augmented reality shoe try-on earlier this month, Gucci have become the first brand to try out the footwear friendly Snapchat AR Lenses. Snapchat users can select shoes on-screen, point their smartphone’s camera at their feet and virtually try them on. And if they like what they see, they can buy directly from the lens. Snapchat’s Shoppable AR technology allows users to immediately purchase by hitting the “shop now” button.

Latest developments across the fashion retail sector