SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The Samsung Fashion Institute (SFI) announced the results of its review of the 10 major issues that impacted the fashion industry this year and its future outlook for next year on December 21.
The conclusion was that 2017 was a year to forget, as the anti-nuclear power plant movement and the depressed South Korean economy were deduced by the SFI as being major causes for the apparel industry’s struggles.
After peaking in 2013, the proportion of sales comprising fashion goods has spiraled downwards for three straight years. In this year’s Q3, 70 percent of department stores’ revenues were from sales generated in the fashion category, compared to 78.6 percent recorded in 2012. Department stores have traditionally been the primary movers of apparel and other fashion goods.
Overall, the year was characterized by slow sales and shrinking operating margins for most industry players.
Divergent consumer trends have emerged this year, one of them being the increased popularity of homewear such as pajamas.
Apparel stores in newly opened multiplex shopping malls have begun to tap into a shifting consumer emphasis from product to experience by incorporating lifestyle products into their stores.
Forecast to become more widespread next year, companies are investing in creating stores in which customers can get a better feel for the idea behind their brand via product experience.
The political drama involving the country’s highest office that engulfed South Korea earlier this year was found to have had an impact on creating a cultural disposition more open to expression of personal views and opinions.
Apparel with political or social slogans became more popular globally, and the role of companies in contributing to societal goodwill and harmony will play a larger part in determining their success with consumers going forward.
Online shopping in 2016 grew by 21 percent on-year to reach approximately 10 trillion won. This year, transactions conducted via online channels amounted to 930 billion as of October, roughly 20 percent higher than the same period last year. Meanwhile, traditional offline retail outlets struggled, signaling a shift in shopping practices.
Influencers on Instagram and bloggers became widely followed by consumers in their teens and 20s, with a movement from online to offline by companies marketing the most prominent of these individuals undertaken this year.
Though no one style or product was the standout star throughout the year, long padded coats or “long padding” as referred to in South Korea have become a massive hit in recent weeks.
With the economy projected to rebound in 2018, the SFI states that consumer shopping proclivities will become increasingly personalized by taking into account the store’s design and layout, the shopping process, and the thoughts and emotions the brand’s different aspects evoke.
The SFI warns that companies which fail to take the changing consumer climate into account and differentiate themselves will find it difficult to attract customers.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)