Fashion Brand Consulting | Fashion Retail Consulting

State Of Fashion Retail In The Middle East

Don’t get yourself carried away by any general presumption about fashion in the Middle East. Surely, there are now global brands with their exclusive showrooms along the cosmopolitan market streets of various countries within the Middle East or in the architectural masterpiece shopping malls one would simply love to stroll for hours. But what is aesthetically more fascinating about fashion is its diversity. From western to Arabic style of clothing, it embraces fashion with elegance and sophistication. 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. With the rise of home-gorwn Middle East fashion brands in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, it is clear that the Middle East fashion industry has a bigger role to play in the global retail sector.

Middle East Fashion Industry

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 wherein the fashion apparel segment holds more than 70% share of the fashion market. 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 to design your own clothing line. 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 business consultant in retail or a retail & ecommerce consulting firm assumes heightened significance.

Despite the dominance of the clothing retail 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 fashion ecommerce brands, the fashion industry in the Middle East 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 & Middle East

Competing with International Brands

Many global and domestic brands into fashion or clothing retail business are already dominating the Middle East retail 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 Middle East countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia is growing fast. There are already many growing ecommerce fashion and clothing brands. Given that the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar & Kuwait are geographically not very large countries like Saudi Arabia, even a handful of strong players means 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 online fashion stores but delaying in embracing digital transformation may even shut their potential omnichannel retail opportunities.

Understanding Customers

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

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 or the heavy rentals. 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 store business plan.

Last-mile Delivery Challenges

Many Middle East countries lack 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 as a Fashion Brand Consulting Firm

Whether it is an online or offline fashion store or a clothing line business, YRC will provide a comprehensive range of fashion retail & ecommerce consulting services. From market research and formulation of fashion retail business plan and fashion/ clothing line business plan to SOP development and process audits, YRC’s team of fashion brand consulting experts will be there at every step of the journey.

Offline Fashion Retail Store

In fashion store interior design, the store layout begins to speak even before your staff, merchandising, or attractive price tags. The clothing store layout 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 clothing store floor plan layout for delivering delightful customer experience. Keeping your marketing strategies and fashion brand goals in mind, our team of fashion retail consultants 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 an apparel 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 fashion 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 of fashion industry 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 brand 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 fashion warehouse fulfilment 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

And many other services like


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 how to create a clothing brand? drop us a message, and we will get back to you.


Starting a clothing brand with steps explained or How to start a clothing brand? or How to start a clothing retail business?

Starting a fashion clothing business is time taking activity but knowing the steps sequence is important, otherwise it can result in delays. Below are the steps to start a clothing line business:

1: Define your fashion brand positioning map

2: Develop Fashion Brand Business Plan

3: Sales & Operations Planning

4: Develop Standard Operating Procedures Manual

5: Retail Store Location Validation

6: Business Merchandise and Marketing Planning

7: Clothing Store Layout Designing

7.5: Identifying best ERP for Fashion Industry

To know about opening a clothes store in brief, click here.

If you are looking to start a fashion brand catering to niche segments like a clothing boutique, luxury fashion brand or similar, then a fashion market research report becomes top priority before performing the above steps.

How to open an online clothing store?

Starting an online clothing store can be tedious and time consuming, but following a sequential methodology defined by YRC, a fashion brand consulting firm, can make this process foolproof. 05 Steps to create an online clothing store:

1: Decide your fashion brand positioning and hero products

2: Conduct Fashion Industry Market Research

3: Make a business plan

4: Sales & Operations Plan (also called S&OP)

5: Standard Operating Procedures

To know the above steps in brief. Click here.

Track the progress of your fashion E-commerce Startup with this healthometer: Click Here.

Which software is best for clothing store management?

There are numerous softwares available, but before deciding the software, defining the objectives and requirements is critical. Decide on following parameters before looking for a software:

  1. You Business Model i.e. Online/ Offline / Hybrid (i.e. Omnichannel Retail)
  2. Define your expansion plan for next 03 years i.e. total new locations, new product categories, etc
  3. Do you plan to expand via franchising your business?
  4. Business Locations i.e. Total stores, warehouses, franchisees, etc
  5. Total no of software users
  6. Areas or business processes you want to automate

And last and the most important step is define the As-Is Processes which shall help for Gap-Fit Analysis

There are numerous ERPs and software being adopted by industry leaders i.e. SAP IS-Retail, Oracle Xstore, Infor Cloud ERP for Retail, Odoo, etc. But before deciding any ERP or software, it’s important to list down your requirements and SOPs, which shall help to decide the best-fit softwares suitable for your business and which can support your expansion plan.

If you need assistance to find and implement an ERP or software suitable for your business and budgets, get in touch with YRC Retail & Ecommerce Consultants and explore the way forward.

How do I give clothing store franchises?

If you are wondering how do I turn my brand into a franchise? or wondering how do I start franchising?, then following are the steps to give franchise:

  1. Develop Franchise Business Plan (for Franchisor & Franchisee)
  2. Define Franchise Store SOP Manual
  3. Define Legal Agreement & Terms between franchisor and franchisee
  4. Define Support Activities for franchise to make your model more attractive
  5. Define Marketing Strategy to Sell your Franchise Model

Still have queries on how to start franchising your business? Click here for more insights from YRC Franchise Consultants.

how much does it cost to start a clothing line

There are various parameters which can affect the cost to start a clothing line, as below:

  1. Business Sales Channels and Business Model (Online, Offline or hybrid model, B2B, B2C, D2C or multiple clubbed)
  2. Brand Positioning (luxury fashion brand, discount fashion brand, clothing boutique, etc)
  3. Product Merchandising Strategy (example: ethnic clothing, sports clothing, fitness clothing line, multi-brand store, etc)
  4. Product Classification (example: women’s clothing, men’s clothing, kids clothes, fashion accessories, multiple categories, etc)
  5. Size and location of the store (example: small formats, mid-size or large store formats)
  6. Business Niche, if any (example: plus size clothing, clothing rental business, heat press tshirt brand, etc)
  7. Target group demographics (example: age group, geographical locations, etc)

Business brand business plan requires detailing of the complete business model to give an accurate outcome of the budgets and investment required.

To know more on fashion startup business plans, get in touch with YRC Business Plan Consultants. If you are presenting a business plan to investors, then detailing by a retail industry expert would become essential.

Are fashion startups profitable?

Yes definitely, there are numerous successful profitable fashion brands. Every startup has their own strengths and weaknesses which differentiates them from their competitors. For a startup fashion brand, the major challenge is the breakeven period. In Fashion business, deriving the point of your selling price and margins is very important. Higher margins can disrupt sales whereas lower margins can disrupt profits. Thus, successful fashion brands are able to find their right pricing strategy to win repeat buyers. Any fashion business which is able to attract repeat buyers becomes profitable fast, otherwise it becomes difficult to survive due to high customer acquisition cost (CAC). To know more about how can you make a profitable fashion brand, get in touch with YRC Fashion Business Consultants at Dubai.

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