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Black Friday: Who Will Be the Winners and Losers?

It looks like turkey and pumpkin pie won’t be the only things retailers gobble up this holiday season! NRF is expecting 2018 holiday sales to climb between 4.3 and 4.8% over 2017. That’s up to a total of $720.89 billion for hopeful retailers who are getting ready for the most chaotic time of the year. There’s even more good news for apparel brands and retailers. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Holiday Retail Survey, 53% of shoppers plan on buying clothing as gifts. However, despite the retail industry’s progress, this Black Friday will be more important than ever for brands and retailers to stay ahead of the major players without sacrificing margins. So, what can apparel brands and retailers do to prepare their supply chains for the mad holiday rush?

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Supply Chain Tricks Fashion Retailers Can Learn From Zara

In the midst of heated competition and elevated consumer expectations, fashion retailers must hold themselves to a higher standard. This is especially true when it comes to the increased pressure to produce fresh off-the-runway styles. Zara, one of the biggest international fashion companies, is known as a leader amongst fast fashion retailers. Quick turnaround times for design, production and deliverance can satisfy customers seeking the latest trends, translating into retailers accomplishing one of the most sought after goals in the fashion market: gaining loyal customers.

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World’s Largest Halloween Costumes Company Eliminates Scary Surprises

It’s almost time for a night of fright-filled with pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and haunted houses. As we get ready for Halloween this year, Rubie’s Costume Company is making sure kids and adults alike can dress up as their favorite Star Wars character, superhero, princess, or anything in between. But how did Rubie’s get so big and how do they make sure that costumes are made on time, on trend and on budget?

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Time Equals Risk in Today’s Fashion Supply Chain

One of the Rolling Stones’ early hits famously begins, “time is on my side.” Time, however, is most definitely not on the side of retailers and fashion brands today. In fact, time is arguably the biggest risk factor in the supply chain. Today’s retail and fashion winners include Zara, Xcel Brands, TechStyle and others that race the clock to get the best products to customers faster than anyone else. The more time that passes, the greater the risk that fashion trends, consumer demands and other variables will change.

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Technology Boosts Value of Apparel Sourcing

Apparel Magazine produced its 12th annual assessment of the global sourcing market, Sourcing as a Value Center: Winning with Technologies, last month in partnership with Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy. The report, which incorporates survey data and results from more than 160 companies, includes responses that “were analyzed to determine what it means to excel in global sourcing and identify key trends shaping the apparel sourcing landscape especially those in the applied analytics and technology space.” The survey points to technology investments by sourcing companies as a key trend shaping the industry – a finding that aligns with NGC’s offering of a digital supply chain that allows customers to realize many of the benefits that were outlined in the report .

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“See Now, Buy Now” Consumer Mentality Calls for a Faster Supply Chain

As technology continues to advance, the industry seems to be increasingly governed by instantaneous fulfillment. Quick processes like same-day delivery and on-demand services normalize a fast-paced culture, and the pressure to conform especially affects the fashion industry, where trends are constantly changing. While popular brands such as Forever 21, H&M and Zara are known for their “fast fashion” approach, producing replicas of fresh-off-the-runway items for sale in the time span of just a few weeks, shortening the apparel calendar is far from a quick-fix.

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Proper Onboarding Is Crucial as Impending U.S-China Trade War Looms

U.S. companies that source materials and labor from China may have to make some changes to their sourcing strategies now that the U.S. added 25% tariffs on more than $30 billion of Chinese shipments earlier this month. The tariff spike doesn’t seem to be slowing down either; the Trump administration threatened up to $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, scheduled to take effect after Aug. 30, pending a consultation process.

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Sourcing Journal Podcast: Episode 1, Speed Bump

In the first episode of Sourcing Journal’s new podcast, NGC’s Mark Burstein, Robert D’Loren, chairman and CEO of NGC customer Xcel Brands, and John Thorbeck, CEO and founder of Chainge Capital, discuss how retailers can successfully improve speed to market without sacrificing quality by executing a total transformation of the supply chain.

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Shift to the Digital Supply Chain to Transform Design Productivity and Reduce Lead Times

Every year, WhichPLM publishes a buyer’s guide, highlighting PLM industry trends and predictions. It comes as no surprise to NGC, that this year, WhichPLM says that the approach to replacing your PLM has shifted. The guide compares the process to “replacing the operating system of a computer that everyone in the office shares: it requires an understanding of not just the capabilities of the different software environments themselves, but the needs of a variety of different stakeholders. Most importantly, it requires an acknowledgement that, to get the most out of a new environment, you need to fully understand the limitations of your existing one from every possible angle, and you need to identify how you and your colleagues visualize things changing in the future.”

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PLM and the Digital Supply Chain

Because siloed information contains so many risks, companies are moving quickly to eliminate disconnected data siloes. The digital supply chain focuses on breaking down these barriers with a single cloud-based portal that centralizes and shares all the information that originates in legacy PLM, ERP, logistics and other systems. The digital supply chain unites all the disparate processes and information of fashion design and production into a real-time, connected digital enterprise system, and the advantages are significant.

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