There’s no question that the word of the year has been ‘unprecedented.’ A global health crisis. Shuttered stores. Stay-at-home orders. Travel restrictions. Spiraling unemployment. And rising social unrest. It’s more than anyone could have imagined—and almost more than apparel and footwear could withstand.
Rocked but persevering, the industries must re-engineer operations to usher in the initiatives that had already been in the works for some and on the distant horizon for others. Agility, traceability, speed, collaboration, accountability and environmental responsibility are the imperatives. And they must be achieved now. The time for incremental changes is over. It’s time for a R/Evolution.
While the mandate to overhaul product, processes and culture seems insurmountable, the pandemic has already brought about achievements that were unthinkable just six months ago. A perfect example is BOPIS and curbside pickup. Once luxuries, they’re now a lifeline offered across store chains, geographies and product categories. Overnight, retailers mobilized their physical locations, transforming them from experiential hubs to consumer-facing fulfillment centers.
That swift action is proof positive it can be done. Now it’s time for the rest of the industry to act with similar alacrity, slashing timelines and eliminating layers of decision making. In an environment in which change comes fast and uncertainty is the only given, there is no other choice.
Download the Sourcing Summit companion report to learn what thought leaders in apparel and the larger retail landscape have to say on how to accomplish the most critical changes the industry must undertake to refashion the market for today’s consumer and tomorrow’s unpredictability.
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