Whether fast fashion means throwaway trends or quick turnaround of product, one thing is for certain and that is that speed is key to the success of any high street fashion outlet. Slow and steady is not an option anymore.
In our cover story this week, we looked at Forever 21’s “extreme version” of fast fashion which sees the chain adding new products and lines to stores every single day.
This kind of hyper quick turnaround is becoming the norm, particularly at the value end of the fashion market.
Another fashion retailer pinning its success on the speed at which it can react to trends and develop its fashions is Internaçionale.
Despite being around in the UK for 30 years and having 150 stores, it remains a fairly unrecognised brand.
This is something that it hopes to change in the next three years, with ambitious plans to triple the size of the business and take on New Look.
The company fell into administration four years ago and is now preparing an assault on the UK high street having overhauled almost every aspect of its business.
The value fashion retailer sits comfortably alongside New Look, Primark and Forever 21’s youth demographic and in the past 12 to 18 months it has rebuilt its senior board, including a number of former New Look management including Anna Andrews as head of design and Claire Miles as head of buying, and former Peacocks head of e commerce Fiona Fairweather to lead the charge.
Andrews and Miles both believe that speed is the key to the success of Internaçionale, alongside improved quality and value messaging.
It now changes its window displays, which Marketing and PR manager Elaine Kennedy says are the company’s advertising, every two weeks, is quicker to respond to trends and is constantly updating stock in stores.
In its previous form, Internaçionale’s problem was that it just moved too slowly. It was behind all its rivals in terms of design, style, and fashion. It didn’t get on trend fashion in to stores quickly enough which meant that it had to sell a lot of its product on promotion.
Now that it has been dragged up to speed by the new management, it hopes to be able to take on the likes of New Look and Forever 21 as a destination for fashion, not as a discounter.
The fact that New Look has had a shaky few months, which has included less than impressive performance and the departure of both its group marketing director Joe Irons and chief marketing officer Nick Cross, makes it a particularly opportune moment for Internaçionale to be ramping up its activity.