Sunday, April 1, 2012

'Fast Fashion' On The Rack in Asia

A new trend, known as "fast fashion" retailing, has recently become increasingly popular. This is thought to be the apparel sector's equivalent of fast food. U.S. retailers, such as Abercrombie and Fitch and Gap, have plans to set up up shops across Asia, with their first store opening in the Hong Kong business district in a few months. Abercrombie's expansion plans could potentially hurt Asian brands such as Giordano or Esprit. Many Asian shoppers have begun to embrace the new specialty stores with higher inventory turn over, especially with the emersion of a new middle class with more disposable income. These brands are known for their limited run of new designs in as short of a time as two weeks

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Market data research firm Euromonitor International predicts that within four years, the Asia-Pacific apparel retail market will be 35% bigger than that of Western Europe. Leading the globe last year, Asia-Pacific's clothing market advanced 7.6 percent to $462 billion. 

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Abercrombie has taken a 21,000 square feet space in the Knightsbridge nail in Singapore, the first Abercrombie store in outheast Asia. Zara, owned by Inditex, the world's largest clothing retailer, just opened a new store in Sydney and Melbourne. The British clothing chain Top'shop opened its first Osaka store in Japan last May. These expansions are helping the companies' profits and it is planned that 120 stores will open in China by the end of this year. 

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