E-commerce intrudes into fashion retailing industry, changing consumption pattern
Statistics revealed that more than 6,700 stores in America's retailing industry have been closed down since Jan 1, 2017, exceeding the number of 6,163 during the financial crisis in 2008, while hitting a new high. At present, at least 300 retailers have filed for bankruptcy. Experts analyzed that the bankruptcy boom in America’s retailing industry primarily attributes to the rise of e-commerce and fast fashion.
Some analysts also pointed out that consumer' needs for service have been transferred to fast delivery of e-commerce. In response to this trend, Farfetch, a renowned luxury e-commerce platform headquartered in London, UK, joined hands with luxury brands such as Gucci and Saint Laurent to launch an "arrival of goods in 90 minutes" service in ten metropolises worldwide including Paris, London, Tokyo and New York. The service has been considered as the most efficient fashion e-commerce delivery service so far.
However, some professionals believed that it is necessary to give consumers diversified shopping experiences, which can stimulate the impulsiveness of the consumers. In June 2017, Amazon released a beta version of Prime Wardrobe, a "try first and buy later" service, to make up for online shopping disadvantage where consumers are unable to try on clothes. The service will cover more than 1 million products.
As the entire clothing industry is on the decline, many Chinese traditional clothing enterprises are seeking online opportunities, one of which is HLA Inc that is working on building an online mall. Additionally, in September 2017, clothing brand Peacebird, which has over 4,000 offline stores, reached a cooperation deal with Tmall, making it possible that consumers can buy clothes online and get clothes from offline stores. Peacebird predicted that its online sales revenue will reach 10 billion yuan by 2020, accounting for half of the company's total sales revenue.
China's designer brands are also inclined to turn to online marketing in hope of enlarging the companies' revenue. It is said that JNBY's revenue increased by 22.58 percent year on year to 2.33 billion yuan in the first half of 2017, with the net profit rising by 38.54 percent to 332 million yuan compared to the same period of last year. The gross profit rate of its online sales increased by nearly 10 percentage points.