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Fashion Retail

Making a fashion statement, the Africa way

Fashion apparel concepts inspired by the diverse, colourful and cultural landscape of Africa have made it to the global fashion wardrobe a long time back. Africa has given the world some of the finest fashion designers in Lisa Folawiyo, Selly Raby Kane, Maki Oh, Omer Asim, Marianne Fassler, Said Mahrouf, Laduma Ngxokolo, Sindiso Khumalo, Loza Maléombho, Imane Ayissi and many more. Global celebrities and personalities whom you might have seen donning African fashion prints include Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Jackie Appiah, and the list goes on. Needless to say that the diverse, unique and traditional clothing styles from Africa have been a source of making thumping fashion statements for designers and customers from all around the world.

If you are from outside Africa, you should know about some of the fascinating and elegant dresses from various parts of Africa. For instance, Agbada, one of the traditional dresses from Nigeria, is a 4-piece attire for men and is meant to be worn at important events and occasions. Or the Djellaba from Morocco that is meant for both men and women are worn in varied fabrics according to the weather.

Africa’s fashion retail industry is wide and enormous. Lagos, Casablanca, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Accra, Niamey, Dakar, and Bamako are considered some of the prominent fashion capitals of Africa. The idea of starting a  clothing retail business in Africa may sound captivating but as a businessman or entrepreneur, you must think, plan, and perform like one.

Challenges in the retail fashion business

Playing it safe at the cost of building a brand

In the fashion industry, it takes courage to go with your own label. If there is a Jockey or Adidas store next, why should customers not buy from there? How do you distinguish your brand and business then? Most fashion retailers retract from this challenge and start playing safe with the reputed brands or they go the online marketplace model. Even if it is so, there is no avoiding building a brand identity for long-term business growth and sustainability. YRC consultants help you to build your own fashion retail brand.

Expensive real estate

Choosing a good store location is a vital decision in retail. That is the reason why we find retail stores concentrated in a few areas or on the prime roads of a city. That is also the reason why the demand for real estate goes up and property valuation and rentals soar in those areas. The factor of growing urbanization in many prominent cities of Africa may further accelerate this phenomenon. For many fashion retail businesses, having a store in such locations means paying a considerable rent for optimum space. This calls for efficient layout planning combined with effective merchandising and inventory management demanding professional expertise and experience.

Managing inventory with a chic

Fashion is quick and so must be how retailers are able to cycle their inventory. Apart from the four seasons, fashion has more reasons to change. And fashion retailers, online or offline, need to reflect that with their merchandising. And doing this right all the time involves the element of dynamics and accuracy in reading the trends, demand forecasting, purchase planning, digital marketing, and addressing the logistical and warehousing aspects. In order to understand the inventory aspect of fashion proper Fashion Retail Business Model is required. For this one may take assistance from fashion retail consulting services.

Lack of efforts at improving customer experience

A distinguishing trait of successful eCommerce Fashion retailers is that they have robust CRM systems in place something that is often found lacking with traditional retailers or rarely with any impressive attempts at personalization. Online Clothing Retail Businesses who are not yet exerting enough CRM efforts are doing so at their own peril. The disadvantage with offline fashion retailers is the degree of involvement of technology that can be compensated with intelligent store design, proficient staff recruitment and training, home-delivery services, and at the best, going omnichannel.

Disruption for offline players

ECommerce is catching up fast and strong in Africa. The LagMall in Lagos or Zando in South Africa, to name a few, are fiercely growing online fashion retailers. This could be a major disruption for brick and mortar fashion businesses as eCommerce easily edges out store-only retail in market outreach, merchandising, operational efficiency, and so many other counts.

How YRC can help: A glimpse

From concept to implementation assistance, YRC helps to set up a sustainable Fashion Retail Business Model to robust your Clothing Retail Business across channels. From market research to SOP development and process audits, our team will follow a set of planned and systematic activities to ensure that your fashion retail is on the right footing from the word ‘go’. Here is an abridged picture of how we do it.

YRC’s market research is directed at helping clients gain a comprehensive perspective of the market realities in terms of demand, competition, pricing, channels, etc. Along with the quantitative reports our ultimate objective remains to present an actionable scenario that helps businesses in informed decision-making. YRC provides tailor-made fashion retail consulting service to conduct market research.

Developing a strong fashion retail business model goes a long way in helping the retailers establish a strong niche and UVP for the growth and sustainability of their  Clothing Retail Business in the long run. YRC’s business model development services go beyond identifying the UVP for your fashion business and also cover formulating the strategic framework defining the value chain and network of internal capabilities.

In a Fashion Retail or a clothing retail business, one cannot simply overcrowd the available space with merchandising and furniture. This can give an undesirable appearance to a store. Even in warehouses and distribution centres, efficient layout planning is critical for the smooth flow of work and the movement of staff, inventory, and tools. Our team acts as a fashion retail consulting partner and assists you in coming up with a robust layout planning for your store and warehouse/distribution centre while addressing important aspects like planogram, zone classification, visual merchandising, merchandise planning, store security, time and motion study, and much more.

Given the high degree of homogeneity of fashion products and retail services, customer experience is one area with which fashion retailers can make a striking brand differentiation. How? Our CX experts shall map the entire user journey through the digital and physical touchpoints and identify the variables of the user and customer experience. Our experts help you to choose the most suitable CX strategy for your Fashion Retail Business Model for fashion retail.

Turning your fashion enterprise into a process-driven organization is what we strive for through our SOP consulting services. From business process analysis to writing SOP manuals, our goal is to establish the operational routines, define the standards of operational performance and output, and keep the operational systems consistent and scalable.


We are a boutique retail consulting firm. To know more about our services in fashion retail industry consulting or if you have any query, drop us a message and we will get back to you.

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