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Retail-fashion industry seeks diversity, specialization

Street shops, mega shops, bargain shops and luxury brand shops are some of the retail trends to surface in this year's top 10 news items for the fashion industry.

The latest poll conducted by the Korea Fashion Association (KFA)found that the 10 key news-making topics convey a society seeking more convenience and the blurring of conventional and contemporary boundaries. Forty local media and consulting firms participated in the annual poll that was first conducted last year.

Among the KFA's 10 items, mega shops and "collection" shops were newsmakers, reflecting the advantages of one-stop shopping and the power of building a brand in today's competitive retail industry.

Mega shops feature one particular brand but encompass a wide range of products for all different age groups and tastes. They include clothes for women and men, the young and old and accessories.

The retail industry also saw a movement towards gaining efficiency through collection shops, which refer to one venue carrying items of various designers.

Collaboration was also a big news item, as retailers aim to increase efficiency through partnership and multi-channeling. According to U.S.-based retail solutions company, Avaya Inc., collaborating with other retailers is the key for securing innovative capabilities and meeting supply chain and logistics requirements.

Reflecting the quick-paced lifestyle of many today, "fast-fashion" streets also stood as a buzzword this year. Like the fast-food restaurant industry, the retail industry is trying to quickly roll out new and fresh fashion items.

Shin Hee-jin, assistant manager at the Korea Fashion Association, said that this year's news-making topics reflect the globally changing trend of the retail industry.

With specialty street shops gaining popularity, the KFA expects this to continue next year. Demand for luxury brands is also expected to continue next year.

In an economy recovering from weak consumption, the survey showed that the gap between the two extreme groups of price-sensitive shoppers and luxury-brand shoppers is likely to continue.

With the opening of Lotte's luxury brand department store "Avenuel" this year and Shinsegae's new main branch in downtown Seoul, competition to become the commercial center in the area was also included on the top-10 list.


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