Skip to Content

The rise of a new normal in the fashion industry


The coronavirus crisis has left a mark across all industries. Fashion, with its non-essential product lines, has been especially hard hit and, unfortunately, many will not be able to repair the damage and recover.

This is part of a new reality within the fashion industry. There will be winners and losers. Some companies in the industry are better positioned to cope due to their stronger foundations, while many are at risk of disappearing. The group of winners will consist of enterprises that are able to respond to the current challenges while capturing the necessary trends. As economies open slowly, those who survive will be the ones who realize that the fashion industry will have a new normal and adapt their strategies accordingly.

The post-pandemic consumer will be different. While it is no surprise that more shopping will be online, consumers will also have different expectations from their shopping experiences. For instance, people will be buying more casual and comfortable clothing, as remote work assumes a greater role for many employees. Merchandising and supply chains will need adjustment.

Customer engagement will be crucial and more important than before. First, to retain business from loyal customers who may be shifting their product preferences, and second, to build new loyalty by targeting customers that do not currently buy from them. By looking to create a different level of intimacy, they can secure new customers whose preferences will be more malleable than before, due to their changing needs and perspectives. To that end, the companies that are tuned into customer analytics and rapid sensing will be ahead of the curve in understanding the new type of customer that will emerge from this time.

The new normal will require transformation in business operations. While the trend was already aimed towards greater efficiencies, there will be more emphasis on quicker processes to support a more customer-centric organization with speed. Enterprise systems will need to be simpler and more flexible. Since current traditional ERP solutions are large and costly to maintain, a move to SAP S/4HANA will be more imperative than before. With its simplified data structure, vertical integration, omni-channel capabilities and better analytics in the cloud, SAP S/4HANA will be particularly relevant for fashion companies to find their place in the new reality.

With our strong industry knowledge, transformational skills, and close partnership with SAP, Capgemini is positioned to support organizations in these precarious times. Together, we can coordinate a winning trajectory to not only survive but thrive and leave a positive mark on the industry.

Gabi Ledesma

Author details:

Gabi Ledesma is Vice President Global Retail and Consumer Products at Capgemini and has extensive experience in retail planning, operations, and global supply chain. With a strong focus on innovation, he helps clients improve business operations and solve complex business problems successfully. He can be reached at