In the past, fashion is only about primary needs, simply be worn to cover human bodies. Yet, these days, fashion is about change and lifestyle gently interconnected with timelines and seasons. It is spurred by new style and imaginative plans, and likewise conveys a feeling of uniqueness and distinctiveness, which is dangerous and can offer fewer profits for the apparel’s retailers if they can not fulfill the consumer’s recent needs and wants (Jackson and Shaw 2006). Hence, due to responding the consumer behavior of fashion lovers, rapid and continuous flow of new products, or as known as fast fashion, should be well-understood by the modern fashion retailers.
The term fast fashion has normally used by fashion retailers, suppliers, and fashion critic in the recent decades. Nothing is really new with the concept. The roots might be followed over to the advancement of Quick Response (QR) strategy in the late 1970's and throughout the 1980’s as US textile and apparel suppliers experienced extreme intense pressures from Far East and other lower-require supply nations. However, the way in which fast fashion concepts have been implemented successfully by generating QR strategy has just been started in the 21st century. For instance, the international QR strategy’s pioneer, Zara, entered UK high street in 1997 with its first experimental store being opened in Regent Street London, and currently change their store’s apparels within only 15 days. As a result, they are one of the world leading fashion trendsetters in the current time (HBS, 2010).
The first initiator of QR strategy in the US Textiles ad Apparel Supply Chain is a company named Milliken. This company tested the effectiveness of QR strategy and the results were incredible: decreased lead-times and a saved 25% of the overall textile supply chain cost in the USA. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, QR accomplished wide acceptance along with the advancement of technology, making it possible to process the large amounts of data to run QR programs. Majority of fashion suppliers and retailers viewed QR as a method of increasing their own competitive position between retailers. “They may not be the lowest-in-price, but they can respond the quickest. For instance, Benetton, the Italian Knitwear retailer, has been able to respond quickly to demand ‘in-store’ through its QR policy of ‘piece dying’ garments in the colors that are in demand (HBS, 1984), and therefore Benetton can win customer’s preference.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the implementation of QR strategy and the phenomenon of rapid and continuous flow of new product, has been massively adopted by the local retailers. Thus, this chapter aims at exploring the implementation of QR strategy in some representatives companies in Hong Kong’s fashion industry. Moreover, this chapter will also analyze the ways on how Hong Kong’s local fashion retailers comply with QR strategy.
According to Hunter (1990), Quick Response strategy, viewed...