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Fashion Retail

State of fashion in the UAE and Dubai

Don’t get yourself carried away by any general presumption about fashion in the UAE. You should see it for yourself in Dubai. Surely, there are now global brands with their exclusive showrooms along the cosmopolitan market streets of Dubai or in the architectural masterpiece shopping malls one would simply love to stroll for hours. But what is aesthetically more fascinating about fashion in Dubai is its diversity. From western to Arabic style of clothing, the city embraces fashion with elegance and sophistication. The beautiful ethnic wears may compel you to morph your sense of fashion. This blend and diversity of fashion combined with modern real estate and technology-driven business models place Dubai as a strong contender to become the world’s fashion capital in the near future. Global fashion brands already see Dubai as a market entry point in the MENA region. It is clear that the UAE’s fashion industry has a bigger role to play in the country’s retail sector.

Fashion industry in the UAE

In the fashion industry, three big segments are apparel/clothing, footwear, bags & accessories out of which the apparel segment usually remains the best performer in terms of sales and revenue. The story is no different in the UAE’s fashion apparel segment holding more than 70% share of the fashion market. Revenue from retail clothing sales amounted to more than USD 12 billion in 2018 and is slated to touch USD 15 billion by 2023. And within the apparel segment, the menswear category is the best performer so far with more than half of the revenue share with the womenswear category catching up fast. Online fashion stores must bear in mind that apparel is also the category that attracts high product returns. This is a critical consideration in designing a clothing line business plan. Availing apparel operations consulting services could be of big help to avoid error rates. Because of intricate challenges like these in a fashion or clothing retail business, the role of a fashion consultant in retail or a fashion consulting company assumes heightened significance.

Despite the dominance of the physical stores, e-commerce and omnichannel businesses are coming up fast and strong. With a high internet and smartphone penetration, increasing acceptance of online shopping among the populace, and rise of eCommerce players, the fashion industry in the UAE will soon witness a highly-connected market across the country opening up avenues for business and also leading to increase in competition.

Challenges faced by fashion retailers in the UAE

Competing with international brands

Many global and domestic brands into fashion or clothing retail business are already dominating the UAE’s retail fashion market. Not only do the big global brands have deep pockets, but many of them are also mature companies with vast experience of doing business effectively in international markets. Such companies can adapt swiftly with the help of their expertise and resources.

Disruption for offline players

The online fashion market in the UAE is growing fast. There are already many growing eCommerce players. Given that the UAE is geographically not a very large country, even a handful of strong players mean they could quickly create a strong customer base. This is a major disruption for store-only fashion retailers who could not only lose to the efficiencies of eCommerce but delaying in embracing digital transformation may even shut their potential omnichannel opportunities.

Understanding customers

Customers are indeed like kings and queens in the UAE when it comes to understanding customer priorities. Whether it is the store/website design, visual merchandising, digital marketing, quality of customer support, staff etiquettes, or any other relevant aspect that qualifies as a customer touchpoint, as a retailer and especially in the business of fashion, you just may not get another opportunity to impress your customers in the UAE. This understanding goes a long way in building a strong fashion retail business model.

Expensive real estate

Growing business interest in retail comes with a typical consequence – soaring commercial real estate prices. Small businesses and startups cannot afford to burden themselves with big investments in acquiring retail space. With smaller store spaces, they do not get the flexibility to house wider and bigger merchandising affecting their sales volume and room for competitive pricing. These considerations are critical in a fashion or clothing line business plan.

Last-mile delivery challenge

Dubai lacks a standard postal address system. Without house or street numbers, deliveries are dependent on landmarks and instructions. Residents have the option of availing rent lockers with P.O. Box numbers. All these create problems in the last-mile delivery which can escalate into delayed deliveries or even order cancellations.

How YRC can help: A glimpse

Whether it is an online or offline fashion store or a clothing retail business , YRC will provide a comprehensive range of fashion retail consulting services. From market research and formulation of fashion retail business model and fashion/clothing line business plan to SOP development and process audits, YRC’s team of fashion retail consulting experts will be there at every step of the journey to play much more than the role of a fashion consultant in retail or a fashion consulting company.

Offline Fashion Store

In fashion store interior design, the store layout begins to speak even before your staff, merchandising, or attractive price tags. The store is the most important physical touchpoint for customers in retail and it must stay aligned with the deliverable values identified in the fashion retail business model. Retail design consultants call for optimizing store design elements and to be adept with floor planning layout for delivering delightful customer experience. Keeping your marketing strategies and brand goals in mind, our team of fashion retail consulting experts will help you in areas like planogram, visual merchandising, zone classification, time and motion study, merchandise planning, store security, and much more.

An undesirable situation in a fashion retail store or a clothing retail business is rejecting a customer because of an out-of-stock situation arising from poor inventory planning. The next blooper is resorting to presenting alternatives to customers. A good retailer knows this irrespective of the size and scale of his business. The effectiveness of your inventory planning impacts the impression you leave on your customers. Our inventory planning solutions are aimed at ensuring a smooth attendance of your inventory requirements striking the desired trade-off between high service levels and high inventory costs. We help with policy settings for the review period, replenishment cycles, safety stock, and back-order ratio.

And many other services like:

Fashion ECommerce

Thorough market research facilitates a validation check of your concept by helping you better understand the target geography, the population, potential online buyers for your online fashion products, competitors for each category, and top-selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers and their responses and much more. The role of a fashion consultant in retail begins with a comprehensive market research to present actionable insights. These inputs could mean a lot in creating a strong online fashion eCommerce startup pitch and a robust fashion retail business model. To know more read: Market Research Consulting

Our warehouse and logistics experts will help you devise your warehouse and logistics planning involving critical aspects like warehouse locations, the number of warehouses required, warehouse space requirement, warehouse layout, working with third-party vendors, logistics route plan, etc.

To know more read: Warehouse Consulting Services

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We are a boutique retail consulting firm offering a host of services to online and offline fashion retail businesses. To know more about our fashion retail consulting services or if you have any query, drop us a message, and we will get back to you.

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