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Azurium and Ferrier Hodgson reveal how to survive the fashion market.

Oroton, Live Clothing and Lovable are just the latest fashion and apparel brands to tap out of the increasingly competitive bout to win over consumers in today’s retail environment.

The truth is, it’s tough out there right now! Fashion and apparel retailers are facing an uphill battle against:

  • Digitally savvy consumers and online pure plays – Online spending now accounts for over 15% of total fashion apparel sales in Australia.
  • The onslaught of international retailers – TK Maxx, JD Sports and Debenhams all opened their first Australian stores this year, adding to competitive pressures from Zara, H&M, Uniqlo et al.
  • The looming threat of Amazon – The retail behemoth began trading in December 2017 and poses a genuine threat to apparel retailers. In the US, Amazon is now the largest women’s apparel retailer by sales volume!

The opposition seems daunting but we think Australian fashion retailers can still win in their own backyard:

  • Know your ‘Why?’ - In the eyes of the customer, why does your business exist? What purpose does it serve? How is it different from the pack? Define what your brand’s vision of success and then align every aspect of your business with that vision.
  • Get deep into data – Analytics is the new fuel that drives successful decision-making. The goal of analytics is to better understand and predict your customers’ purchasing behaviour. By having a complete view of your customer you can see the causes for failure and the opportunities for success.
  • Build an experience! – Although physical retail is still the largest generator of retail sales, the new norm for in store experience is being built around a ‘service’ culture where the customer experience is more important than the customer sale.
  • Digitally optimise - Best-practice retail now often means having digital touch points throughout the customer journey, both online and off line, including in driving awareness, pathways to purchase, digitising the in-store experience, mobile enabled websites and increasing the efficiency of back-of-house and inventory management functions.
  • Strengthen your balance sheet. In a rapidly changing retail market, survival of the fittest is true. A strong balance sheet enables your business to buy time to absorb the hits from your competitors and refresh your business model and brand strategy. Good retail businesses require real equity to give management the flexibility to make hard decisions in tough times.

How can we help?

Azurium helps organisations improve their strategic focus and streamline their business operations to underpin sustainable and profitable growth. Our team of specialists in performance improvement; digital transformation, data analytics and M&A work with retailers to realise their potential through turnaround and performance strategies, risk assessment, digital enablement and transaction opportunities.

Ferrier Hodgson brings the financial restructuring grunt and turnaround focus for retailers wherever they are in their business lifecycle.

Together Azurium and Ferrier Hodgson can create the point of difference you may be looking for.

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