April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 8 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R || 61 For apparel decorators, the value proposition for digitization is as strong as with any re- tail business. (Image courtesy Kornit) Opposite: Retail trends are pointing towards increased customization, which opens up plenty of opportunities for deco- rators. (Image courtesy Kornit) it made no difference that the buying cycle, from design and style selection to store shelf, could require more than a year's time. Brick-and-mortar stores would compete on inventory and price, and everyone from Montgomery Ward to the mom-and-pops could get in on the game. Then, about 25 years ago, Walmart seemingly mastered the game by bring- ing every conceivable product under one roof. The Walmart model was a step forward for access, but customization re- mained elusive, confined to certain prod- ucts and quite often a luxury. Today, those who rule the internet rule the retail world because they can deliver both access and customization. For customers, they are the answer for convenience, simpli- fied transactions, and instant gratification. For the business, digitization matches those valuable qualities with streamlined logistics, accounting, customer data management, data-driven marketing, mobile applications, and various other means for ensuring reac- tivity and profitability. For apparel decorators, the value proposi- tion for digitization is as strong as with any retail business. A RETAILER FOR ALL SEASONS About a decade ago, the fashion cycle con- sisted primarily of "four seasons," while today one might say the "seasons" change nearly weekly. Accordingly, traditional supply chains must be adapted from the Industry 1.0 mindset to today's 4.0, which, according to fashion technology company Lectra, are defined by a focus on four key growth areas: • Mass Production • Mass Personalization • Agile Production • Made to Measure In contrast, every week seems to bring an- other announcement of store closures from a major retail business in the U.S. They find

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