After the three sister brands of Zara announced the closure of their Chinese stores, Zara, as the main force, also accelerated its exit. Recently, reporters learned that Zara’s store in Nanping Xiexin Starlight Times has been closed, and its store in Aegean Shopping Park is also temporarily suspended. So far, Zara has only three stores left in Chongqing.
In recent years, many fast fashion brands such as NEW LOOK, Forever 21, Old Navy, and Esprit have successively left China. On the one hand, the rise of e-commerce has provided consumers with more cost-effective fashion choices, and fast fashion is no longer irreplaceable. On the other hand, fast fashion brands from abroad also have problems with acclimatization. After the epidemic, , which accelerated the market reshuffling process.
▋Zara speeds up its exit and adjustment
On January 10, the Zara Nanping store was There is no sign of closing the store. On January 11, netizen comments appeared on the Dianping website, saying that most of the store’s shelves were empty. According to the shopping mall, Zara is completely withdrawing this time, rather than closing the store and renovating. On January 20, the reporter went to the store again and saw that the entrance was surrounded by a fence and other brands of clothing were also placed in the glass display window.
Shortly after the Zara Nanping store closed, the Zara Aegean store also showed a suspended business status. As of now, Zara only has Beicheng Tianjie store, Wanxiang City store and Times Tianjie store in Chongqing.
Zara’s store closures are not without trace. In June last year, Inditex Group proposed the largest store closing plan in history. It will close 1,000-1,200 stores around the world in the next year, mainly targeting stores with profitability less than 260,000 euros, including ZaraA, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear. Small stores including brands. Shortly after proposing the plan, the group achieved a net profit of 866 million euros, still 26% lower than the same period in 2019. Obviously, closing unprofitable stores will help the Inditex Group turn a profit.
Previously, Zara parent company Inditex Group had announced the closure of all Chinese stores of its young brands Bershka, Pull & Bear, and Stradivarius. The store closures are expected to be completed before mid-2021. This action has been significantly accelerated recently. Shortly after the news was released, the last Bershka and Pull&Bear stores in Chongqing were liquidated and completely withdrew from Chongqing starting from January 11. At the same time, Zara also began to retreat, moving equally quickly.
Not only in Chongqing, Zara’s three sister brands have also recently completed store closures in other cities such as Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Nanjing. Some Zara stores in these cities are also temporarily closed, and the overall number has been reduced.
▋Fast fashion has outstanding shortcomings such as style and quality
It is famous for its fast updates and cheap prices Fast fashion has dominated the wardrobes of many young people. However, as time goes by, fast fashion has been retreating steadily. Not only has it become less and less “fashionable”, but the homogeneity between brands has become obvious, and shortcomings such as poor quality, low cost performance, and insufficient fit have also gradually become prominent.
Ms. Shi, a post-90s white-collar worker, said: “I used to shop for many fast fashion brands, such as Bershka, Pull&Bear, mango, etc. Now, except for Zara occasionally, I rarely buy other brands. Check it out.” She said that not only did fast fashion fail to keep up with the trend in terms of style, it was only fast, not “fashionable”, and the quality was getting worse and worse. “There are many choices when buying clothes online, and they are cheap and good-looking. Isn’t it delicious?”
It is worth noting that in major business districts, it used to be the main attraction The number of fast fashion brands is also decreasing, and discounts are becoming more and more frequent. In addition to Zara, some H&M stores have been temporarily closed many times, and discounts are heavy; GAP has not only closed some stores in recent years, but also quietly increased the price of tags. And more fast fashion brands are like a flash in the pan, disappearing from consumers’ vision one after another.
According to statistics, some fast fashion brands have withdrawn from the Chinese market since 2016. From 2018 to 2019, well-known foreign fast fashion brands such as NEW LOOK, Topshop, and Forever 21 There is a retreat action. In 2020, the impact will be wider. GAP’s Old Navy, Esprit, etc. announced complete store closures, while Bershka, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, H&M, etc. will partially close stores. In 2021, many brands have significantly accelerated their store closures, ushering in a wave of fast fashion store closures.
It is worth mentioning that while closing offline stores, many brands still retain online stores and use e-commerce channels as the main battlefield for future operations. For example, Inditex, the parent company of Zara, announced that its young brands will focus on strengthening their e-commerce development.
▋Who will take over fast fashion?
The rise of fast fashion is closely related to its ability to keep up with fashion trends and update quickly. Today, with the rise of e-commerce, these advantages are no longer prominent. Many interviewees said that they have no regrets about today’s withdrawal from fast fashion. The most mentioned reason is that “it can be replaced by online shopping”.
For clothing that is comparable in price to fast fashion, a quick search on the e-commerce platform will provide you with countless choices, many of which can be delivered to your home with free shipping from PEACEBIRD, Adidas, Li-Ning, etc. Clothing brands with certain popularity have also opened up online channelsTao, and actively participate in live broadcasts to bring goods, the price consumers get is significantly reduced, and the quality is guaranteed. In this wave of trends, many cost-effective designer brands and Internet celebrities’ own brands have also emerged.
Affected by the epidemic, in order to accelerate the recovery of consumption, offline department stores and shopping malls have held many consumer festival activities since last year, distributing shopping discount coupons to consumers, which has also invisibly attracted consumers. Lowering the threshold for offline shopping. In addition, during anniversary celebrations, Double Eleven, and Double Twelve, offline counter brands do not lose out in online activities, making them a good time for many people to make purchases.
It is worth mentioning that not all fast fashion brands have fallen into the exit trend. Uniqlo has not had any obvious store closures. In recent years, Uniqlo has become less and less like a “fast fashion” brand and more like a basic collection store. Especially in terms of quality, Uniqlo has always been at the forefront of the industry. The styles are simple and mostly basic, allowing customers to customize them. The launch of a variety of high-tech clothing and co-branded clothing has differentiated features and attracted many fans to the brand.
Industry insiders analyze that fast fashion is declining, and the reason is closely related to the upgrading of domestic consumption and the impact of e-commerce. First, under the background of the trend of consumption upgrading, consumers have higher requirements for style, quality, etc., but most fast fashion brands have not followed up in time. Second, most of fast fashion comes from abroad and does not have a deep understanding of domestic consumption trends and domestic consumers. Problems such as impractical styles and clothing that does not fit the body are common. Third, there is widespread homogeneity in fast fashion, and some leading brands are deeply involved in plagiarism, which also affects consumer choice. Fourth, e-commerce platforms provide more consumers with cost-effective choices. At the same time, consumers are becoming increasingly rational, which has also accelerated the reshuffle of the industry.
▋Fast fashion needs to accelerate innovation and highlight differentiated advantages
Senior retail expert Li Yun Yang believes that fast fashion brands rely on “fast pace” to keep up with fashion trends to please consumers. This is an advantage and also a disadvantage. Once they cannot keep up with the so-called “trend”, they will be quickly eliminated by the market. It is very typical for Zara’s three sister brands to close their Chinese stores. In the minds of many young consumers, these brands are always associated with “average quality”, “low price” and “discounted goods”. In the context of poor overall performance, actively choosing to close these brand stores with poor performance and impact can also be regarded as Inditex’s method of “stopping losses in a timely manner”.
He pointed out that compared with the golden age of fast fashion more than ten years ago, China’s young consumers are becoming increasingly rational, and their tastes and preferences are more diverse and picky. The rise of local fast fashion brands and the more down-to-earth marketing methods of online shopping brands have carved up a lot of the original market share of fast fashion. “Foreign-funded fast fashion can only continue to innovate and change, and quickly reflect market changes in design, quality, pricing, and marketing to cater to the needs of the target customer groups to the greatest extent. At the same time, it also needs to find differentiated advantages in order to survive in an increasingly fierce competition. Chinese market.”</p