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The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

What Fashion Retail Professionals Need to Know Today

BoF Careers provides essential sector insights for fashion professionals in retail this month, to help you decode fashion’s retail landscape.
Retail professional planning the season's assortment.
Retail professional planning the season's assortment. (Pexels)

Discover the most relevant industry news and insights for fashion professionals working in retail, updated each month to enable you to excel in job interviews, promotion conversations or perform better in the workplace by increasing your market awareness and emulating market leaders.

BoF Careers distills business intelligence from across the breadth of our content — editorial briefings, newsletters, case studies, podcasts and events — to deliver key takeaways and learnings tailored to your job function, listed alongside a selection of the most exciting live jobs advertised by BoF Careers partners.

Key articles and need-to-know insights for retail professionals today:

1. How Some Brands Are Beating the Retail Slowdown

People standing in line outside of a Coach store.

Most large fashion companies have told investors to brace for slower growth. In some cases, those predictions have come to pass: earlier this week, Michael Kors-owner Capri reported a six percent sales decline in its most recent quarter, and slashed its 2023 profit forecast. Shares plunged 24 percent. [At the same time,] Coach-owner Tapestry Inc. shares soared after the company posted record earnings — net income of $318 million on $2 billion in sales, a 5 percent drop from last year. Ralph Lauren also impressed with a slight bump in revenue year-over-year as shoppers kept buying its apparel even at higher prices.

What’s separating the downturn’s winners and losers? It mostly comes down to strategies these companies implemented well before inflation took off and the Federal Reserve began hiking interest rates. Unlike Capri, Tapestry and Ralph Lauren were in control of their products’ pricing. Tapestry generates most of its sales from its own website or stores, while Ralph Lauren prepared for its wholesale partners’ holiday sales heading into the season. Capri, on the other hand, fell victim to the rampant discounts at its department store partners, where sales declined 20 percent.

Related Jobs:

Visual and Sales Consultant, Paul Smith — London, United Kingdom

Loss Prevention Manager, Prada Group — Las Vegas, United States

Operations Supervisor, Burberry — Nashville, United States

2. Chanel Set to Open a Beauty Store in Williamsburg This Summer

Chanel store.

Chanel is set to open a store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn this June, according to a government construction announcement posted Sunday. It is the latest luxury brand to take interest in the trendy waterfront neighborhood as the hybrid work-from-home lifestyle disperses spending outside of Manhattan. [...] Hermès is debuting a pop-up this summer, followed by a two-story flagship in 2026.

But even more affordable and mass brands are interested in moving in. In November 2022, H&M debuted its experiential pop-up site. [...] That same month, Glossier opened a permanent outpost in the neighborhood drawing hours-long lines. “National and luxury international retailers have had their eye on vibrant and hip neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Park Slope for years,” a winter 2022 report by the Real Estate Board of New York said.

Related Jobs:

Client Advisor, Acne Studios — Munich, Germany

Deputy Store Operations, Calvin Klein — Carugate, Italy

Luxury Assistant Business Manager, Neiman Marcus — New York, United States

3. Sephora’s London Debut, Explained

British beauty lovers queued for hours on Wednesday to be among the first to experience Sephora's new London store.

The UK beauty sector is a $13 billion opportunity for Sephora, according to research firm Euromonitor International — and one of the last major markets where it wasn’t already operating. [However,] the British beauty market is fiercely competitive with a highly fragmented distribution network. British shoppers have a plethora of options: from drugstore brand Boots to specialty retailer Space NK and luxury department stores like Selfridges, Harrods, Liberty and Harvey Nichols. That’s on top of beauty e-tailers like Cult Beauty, known for its edit of in-demand indie brands, and Beautybay, which caters to a younger, social-media savvy audience.

However, the demise of British department stores chains like Debenhams and House of Fraser during the pandemic left an opening in the market, particularly in key regional cities like Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol. Sephora has an opportunity to fill that void in the market, especially as post-pandemic, shoppers are excited to go back to stores. After all, brick-and-mortar is what Sephora does best.

Related Jobs:

Brand Specialist, Dover Street Market — London, United States

Sales Assistant, Carhartt — Amsterdam, Netherlands

Brand Executive, Chalhoub Group — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

4. Are DTC Brands Pulling Off Brick-and-Mortar?

An interior shot of Warby Parker's store on New York City's Upper West Side neighborhood.

After a dip during the pandemic, consumers have flocked back to in-person shopping. Physical stores accounted for more than 70 percent of clothing and accessories sales in the US in 2022, according to the Census Bureau. But not all digital brands have mastered their brick-and-mortar strategies just yet.

Making brick-and-mortar work depends on whether a brand’s products and store experiences are compelling and differentiated enough from its online experience, analysts say. But brands will have to find the channel that gives them a competitive advantage.

Related Jobs:

Deputy Store Manager, Hayley Menzies — London, United Kingdom

Stockist, Icicle — Paris, France

Retail Performance Executive, Tory Burch — Hong Kong

5. How to Choose a Resale Partner

Ba&sh sales surpassed €250 million this year.

Branded resale is booming, with retailers ranging from Shein and Canada Goose to Mara Hoffman and Balenciaga adding some kind of secondhand commerce to their stores or websites. But building a resale business from scratch is expensive and labour-intensive. It’s also not easy to turn a profit — most big, resale-only platforms like The RealReal and ThredUp operate in the red.

A parallel industry of white label resale platforms has sprung up to handle much of the behind-the-scenes work. [...] Most charge a set-up fee and then take a percentage of each sale, though services like Trove that manage the logistics from end to end can be more expensive. Ultimately, launching a resale service should command the same kind of thought and consideration that goes into designing a collection, according to Mimi Margalit, a retail strategy consultant and former head of DTC merchandising at Rebecca Minkoff. “Resale is merchandising,” said Margalit. “If you don’t pick the right experience, if you don’t pick the one that your customer finds the most meaningful or resonates the most, then it’s not actually going to be the most successful.”

Related Jobs:

Stock Assistant, Arlettie — London, United Kingdom

Concession Manager, Joseph — Manchester, United Kingdom

Assistant Store Manager, Scotch & Soda — Halton Hills, Canada

6. Inside the Battle to Run Fashion’s E-Commerce

"Shopify" appears numerous times in the lines of code underlying Supreme's website.

As online shopping has become a larger slice of retail, it’s given rise to an industry of e-commerce firms that promise brands and retailers a fast, friction-free and seamless experience for their customers across channels and countries. Along with Shopify, there’s Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud, Adobe’s Magento, Farfetch’s FPS, BigCommerce and others. Each offers different features, but all are vying for the opportunity to do the heavy lifting on the backend, allowing brands and retailers to focus on making and marketing products.

To draw clients, e-commerce companies keep bolting on new offerings, such as better storefront capabilities, logistics solutions and other options. [...] But what ends up distinguishing one platform from another tends to be its flexibility and how much developer effort is required on the brand’s end, according to Ryan Foster, a director at e-commerce agency Fostr, which specialises in advising fashion and luxury brands on Shopify Plus.

Related Jobs:

Product and SEO Copywriter (Arabic), Childrensalon — Kent, United Kingdom

Deputy Manager Customer Experience and Sales, Tommy Hilfiger — Noventa di Piave, Italy

E-Commerce Intern, Kirna Zabête — New York, United States

7. Thebe Magugu Wants to Build an International Brand Without Forgetting the Customers at Home

African women donning designer Thebe Magugu's recent collection.

When Thebe Magugu won the LVMH Prize in 2019, he was nearly instantly flung into fashion fame. In the months that followed, he put on presentations at Paris and London Fashion Week, dressed the likes of Rihanna, Naomi Watts and Lupita Nyong’o [and signed] partnerships with major wholesalers, including Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-Porter and Dover Street Market. He became a coveted collaborator with brands like Dior, AZ Factory and Adidas.

Today, Magugu plans to continue catering to this global base, but will gently retreat from the public eye, favouring private viewings rather than high-production runway shows or presentations, he said, as well as events off the traditional fashion calendar. He will also prioritise his base of local clientele, who primarily shop on his website, which features his designs alongside his annual publication Faculty Press, a zine he created that is an amalgamation of South Africa’s untaught history and a cultural guidebook for creatives in the country.

Related Jobs:

Stockist, Maison Margiela — London, United Kingdom

Sales Consultant, Paul Smith — Copenhagen, Denmark

Client Relations Executive, Tiffany & Co. — Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

8. Fashion’s Future at Auction Houses

Auction houses are using streetwear and handbags to attract new consumers.

Auction houses are courting a new generation. [Roman Kräussl, a professor of finance at University of Luxembourg,] points to the early frenzy around the NFT market as evidence that young people are craving new ways to invest. The aftershocks of the crypto crash, he theorises, could end up driving buyers to more tangible assets.

It comes at a time when fashion auctions are seeing renewed public attention, too. Joan Didion’s Celine sunglasses fetched $27,000 via an auction on online auction platform Bidsquare, and Karl Lagerfeld’s much-publicised estate brought in over $18.5 million for Sotheby’s. At Christie’s, Andre Leon Talley’s estate fetched nearly $4 million last month, after it was displayed during a buzzy fashion month showcase in Paris and a party in New York. This week, Sotheby’s announced the auction of Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance’' sneakers — predicted to sell for between $2 million and $4 million.

Related Jobs:

Account Manager, Apparatus — London, United Kingdom

Wholesale and Retail Assistant Planner, Nili Lotan — New York, United States

Retail Trainer, Hugo Boss — Istanbul, Turkey

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The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
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The Complete Guide to Managing Markdowns