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Forecasting the US fashion industry with industry professionals ‐ part 2: Production and retailing

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Purpose ‐ This paper, with part 1, aims to investigate the opinions of professionals working in the fashion industry on the future (i.e. next ten to 20 years) of fashion production and retailing. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Data in the form of essays were collected from 62 professionals. The constant comparative method and open coding were used in analysis of the data. Findings ‐ Advances in technology were identified as a driving force behind changes in fashion production and retailing. The total automation and wide adoption of mass customization were foreseen, along with continuous improvement to information technology. Some participants predicted that most production would continue to be sourced offshore. Others believed that apparel production would remain and even grow within the USA. To counter global competition, several strategies were identified. While online shopping was predicted to increase, brick and mortar stores would remain. Through the combination of different types of stores, new types of store would emerge, and consolidation of retail businesses would continue. Future consumer preferences as well as strategies to become competitive retailers were identified. Practical implications ‐ The findings can help academics in developing research ideas and making curricular decisions. Originality/value ‐ The examination of professionals' opinions in this paper may provide insights into the future useful for making decisions on career directions, selecting educational experiences, making investments, and planning strategies.

Keywords: Fashion industry; Forecasting; Production management; Retailing; United States of America

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-05-08

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