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Fashion Forward

Clarkston Consulting Partner and Retail Practice Lead, Jenny McLean sounds a bit like “Project Runway” star Tim Gunn when she dispenses advice. Her intelligent, constructive and tasteful guidance to retailers: Take note of how specialty retailers, especially those in fashion, navigate industry challenges.

As more power shifts to consumers, “branded retailers appear to be better positioned for the next phase of retail with small-format destination outlets that afford them ongoing consumer interactions, edgy brands wtih consumer equity, and better online performance,” explains McLean.

She describes the same drivers of industry change that most other retail consultants cite, including rapid changes in consumer behavior (driven by digital disruption and demographic shifts), mounting margin pressure, global pressure on sourcing and manufacturing, and growing opportunities in emerging markets.

Specialty fashion retailers contend with most, if not all, of these issues. And, McLean suggests that companies in other retail segments can learn by watching how specialty fashion retailers address current needs.

To read more about Jenny McLean’s discussion with  Consulting Magazine on the future of retail and the forces driving that industry’s changes in this article, a companion piece to the “Retail Revolution” cover story, view the full news article below.

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