Disruption of the Fashion Product Development process for Online fast fashion retailers

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The fashion industry has changed in the last twenty-five years with the introduction and development of new technologies, extended supply chains coupled with outsourcing, increased consumer demands and changing consumer behaviour. These changes have disrupted many business models within the fashion supply chain for example in the areas of consumer expectations, retail formats, product assortment, speed to market and manufacturing (Christopher, Lowson and Peck, 2004; Barnes and Lea-Greenwood, 2006; Doyle, Moore and Morgan, 2006; Tyler, Heeley and Bhamra, 2006; Goworek, 2014; McCormick et al., 2014). Given the scale and significance of the fashion sector and the changes previously mapped out, it is appropriate to note that there is limited research in the field of Fashion Product Development (FPD) with relatively few theoretical models that support the process (Pechoux, Little and Istook, 2004; Goworek, 2010; d’Avolio, Bandinelli and Rinaldi, 2015; Silva and Rupasinghe, 2016; Moretti and Braghini Junior, 2017). Those models that do exist are linear and do not reflect the complex nature of FPD nor are they specific to business type and do not consider the changes and challenges in contemporary retail fashion sector.

This research critically investigates product development in the context of fast fashion online retailers who are developing ‘own label’ fashion clothing. In so doing, the research places considerable focus upon inputs, outputs, planning and management to map comprehensively the interplay of people, processes and procedures of the product development process adopted.

Goworek (2010) proposed that to work effectively, fashion product development processes involve co-operation rather than mere co-ordination, mirroring practice in the domain of engineering design as suggested in the work of Boujut and Laureillard, (2000). This idea has formed the basis of this research, adopting a qualitative research approach with key informants from the fashion industry to examine product development from new product development perspective. The major findings of this research demonstrate the disruptions in the process in contemporary and challenging fashion retailing that is specific to online fast fashion businesses. It also identifies the links and parallels from New Product Development (NPD) process model structures, this research explores the necessity of product development theoretical models that are specific to business and retail type within the fashion industry and contributes to the nascent theory specifically on fashion product development. This research aims to present the reality of the FPD process more reflective of the context in which the business model is focused with a more robust management underpinning derived from new product development literature.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusSubmitted - 11 Jun 2019
EventInnovation and Product Development Management Conference - University of Leicester , Leicester, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Jun 201911 Jun 2019


ConferenceInnovation and Product Development Management Conference
Abbreviated titleIPDMC
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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