Charles Darwin once famously wrote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” When I read this, I immediately related it to the environment we all face as an industry right now.
The traditional retail industry was, in my opinion, slowly and begrudgingly innovating pre-Coronavirus. This was largely in response to consumer appetite for fast fashion and rising competition from direct-to-consumer brands. Still, nothing cemented the need for change like COVID-19 as it magnified the manual, time-consuming practices that hamstrung so many retailers and crippled their ability to move in unison with consumers — from product design to line reviews and beyond. Recent social injustices also amplified how retailers are out of touch with consumer expectations and preferences.