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The Fashion Industry’s Reset in 2021

Mon, Apr 12, 2021


The digital channel was largely left unscathed and operational during the COVID-19 pandemic — a lifeline for fashion companies. While some players leveraged their digital muscles to grow revenue, scores of retailers scrambled to widen their online sales. These fashion companies are better equipped than others—largely due to their digitization efforts.

Today, with the pandemic remaining a challenge, the apparel industry is rebooting, and, while the most-basic technologies have kept businesses relevant during this time, they will again have to adopt advanced methods to remain agile, and accommodate a changed, post-pandemic consumer.

In our recent interview with Dr. Christoph Schröder (Global Vice President, Industry Business Unit Retail – SAP SE), he touches on COVID-19’s impact on the fashion industry so far and the challenges companies face when transitioning to digitalization. Watch the clip below:

During the interview, Dr. Christoph Schröder shared more views and insights about where the fashion industry is heading including which fashion companies fared best during these troubling times and how those struggling can bounce back, correct their course, and ready themselves to address future disruptions. Watch the full interview here.

Success Story: Global Sportswear Brand shifts to the new digital reality

For our customers, it became imperative to leverage technology and tools to build a new future for the company—one where the digital and physical are closely connected and work together.

Taking on a more proactive, progressive approach to both digital transformation and a new era of customer experience and service, the global brand set out to replace the company's heterogeneous IT landscape with a digital core that helps them achieve their overarching goal of infusing speed and transparency to their retail and wholesale processes.

The company chose SAP S/4HANA for Fashion and Vertical Business as the digital platform to transform business, support long-term growth, and enable continuous innovation. The company is already benefiting from a high degree of transparency, which helps eliminate errors, cut costs and gain unprecedented insights into merchandise, customer preferences, and profitability.

Continue reading about their digitization story.

Re-setting the Apparel Landscape

The devastation that the crisis has brought is clear—consumer demand has plummeted by more than 70 percent in the U.S. and Continental Europe, compared to a 40 percent to 50 percent drop in global discretionary spending, according to a McKinsey report on the state of the fashion industry.

The first step towards an industry reset is digitization. By moving to a transparent digital platform, the fashion industry will be able to pivot faster and connect with their customers on a whole new level. The technology to do this exists today; fashion companies need to take the initiative to not only survive but thrive.

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