Profits and gross margins are under pressure for fashion retailers. But could Artificial Intelligence hold the key to optimising markdowns and unlocking value in the supply chain? By Dr Manuel Davy, founder and CEO of Vekia.
Fashion retailing is a dynamic, complex and highly competitive business – and it’s not getting any easier. Margins are coming under increasing pressure as a number of factors play-out: Consumers are becoming more demanding, rising inflation coupled with stagnant pay-growth is impacting buying power, costs are going up and online competition continues to gather pace.
A particular challenge for bricks & mortar retailers is the incessant growth of online sales. According to the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Sales Index for August 2017, clothing sales grew by 17.9%, year on year, and figures from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that 15.3% of all retail spending is now conducted online.
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