With recent news talking about the current controversy surrounding the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh, this week we’d like to focus on the retail industry as a whole and explore what is currently happening and how supply chain and logistics ties into all of the news trends. So we’ve been motivated to write a monthly post on the trends.
A Challenge for Physical Stores to Remain Relevant
Ever since the development of the Internet the concept of online retail, or e-stores, have been present and has been developing at a relatively rapid rate. Physical stores work to compete with online retail sites but also have to work with integrating online retail as a part of their services as well.
Physical stores have the advantage of giving consumers the opportunity browse, try on or try out, and purchase items on the spot (all without the added cost of shipping!). This doesn’t seem to be enough as certain sectors in the retail industry suffer big blows from the major online retailers. Case in point: Amazon and the book store crash that happened a couple of years ago. That’s not to say the physical stores in some sectors have merged beautifully with e-commerce, apparel retail being one of them.
So how does online retail tie in to the supply chain process? Well, to start it has been a great influencer in the growth companies, which in turn has led to analysis in a company’s manufacturing and supply chain strategies. We’re going to focus on clothing and apparel in our case study below to see how other factors have affected how manufacturing and supply chain is changing:
Case Study: Apparel Retail
In the world of logistics, there is an incredible amount of complexity that goes into getting your product from a factory to store shelves or your doorstep. The above-mentioned tragedy in Bangladesh has stimulate the European Union to press for Bangladeshi authorities to immediately initiate international labour standards. Furthermore, agreements with the International Labour Organization (ILO) have proposed short-term and medium-term steps to improve labour conditions.
These current attempts stem from consumers now wanting companies to be more transparent with regards to their supply chain. While the move to create better conditions for offshore workers are underway, companies in apparel retail are creating ways to take advantage of this as a marketing strategy. One great example is Planet Money, which is an online retail store that sells shirts that tells the story of its creation. It takes you on the journey from being made in Bangladesh to being brought to your doorstep.
We hope you enjoyed this quick glance at the retail industry. Stay tuned for next month when we feature another industry and give you a quick breakdown of another interesting industry sector for the logistics and supply chain industry. If you’re interested in the role we play in logistics, feel free to check out our services. Also, we’re social on Twitter so don’t hesitate to give us a shout and let us know how we’re doing!