AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: Elena Berton With contributions from Miles Socha, Paris; Barbara Barker, Madrid, and Kelly Wetherille, Tokyo
Fast Fashion Eyes New Avenues of Growth
Despite surviving the economic downturn better than luxury brands, fast-fashion retailers aren't resting on their laurels.
As customers' spending patterns become unpredictable despite the receding recession, fast-fashion giants are turning to concepts that until now had been untapped or were considered marginal to their main businesses.
"These companies are looking at defense mechanisms in markets that have been heavily exposed to the recession," said Greg Hodge, research director at retail intelligence firm Planet Retail.
Despite the recession, Inditex SA, H&M and Japan's Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. managed to grow total sales in 2009, helped by new store openings, particularly in emerging markets in Asia.
But the rise of competition, especially from low-cost and online retailers, combined with fickle consumer confidence, has persuaded fast-fashion retailers to sharpen their product offerings.
Fast Retailing's flagship chain Uniqlo with the stated goal of becoming the world's largest fashion retailer by 2020 is …