At a time when the fashion industry is struggling to sell off its stock, some stores enjoy the luxury of having a number of stockouts! Is this a miracle recipe for such a phenomenon? A sales channel at the other end of the spectrum from traditional clothing shops, marketing based on drop culture and highly connected consumers!
The Mechanisms of Drop Culture
Brands are increasingly fond of collections produced in limited editions; they deliberately disrupt the classic pattern, ensuring that supply always falls short to demand. By creating a sense of urgency to buy, they provoke a real craze among the public, who are always in search of original pieces. The surprise effect created by the brands right up to the launch, combined with rarity, systematically stimulates interest. Acquiring an exclusive fashion item then becomes a personal challenge which, besides the object itself, symbolises above all a status. Highly confidential operations are shared virally on social networks, selfies posted with the Holy Grail, proof of a proud victory, drop culture is nothing new. Successfully practiced by fast fashion since the 90s, it has since invaded the luxury universe, before giving ideas to mass distribution.
From Tomatoes to Sneakers
Although consumers are more familiar with food purchases than clothing in supermarkets, one brand is experimenting with drop culture with a capsule collection in its image.
The hard discount food giant, Lidl, has always claimed the democratisation of luxury goods, so it is not surprising that it is using the same strategies as the model industry to sell its own fashion products. After several masterstrokes in video games (Playstation 4) or food (caviar), the German company is now setting its sights on the textile sector.
Clappers, socks ( a disappointing but successfull association), t-shirts and sneakers, invaded the market with the colour codes of the famous colourful logo. Even though the sales were reserved for Belgium, the buzz went far beyond the borders. With this unexpected collection, a surprising design, and very interesting prices, the chain of shops has again offered itself a nice coup de com. Quickly out of stock in the shops and on their website, some products have given their owners a nice added value on the parallel market: the trainers sold at less than 13euros were sold for €1,250 on Ebay!
Given the success and the demand, the collection should have reached France in November, but current events and restrictions linked to non-essential products are have upset the calendar a little. Scrutinised by millions of enthusiastic fans, let’s bet that the news will not go unnoticed at the appropriate time…
To sum up: When a discounter uses the same techniques as the luxury industry, when the luxury industry applies the same formulas as fast fashion, when the consumer queues for hours to get a pair of socks at €0.99 in the effigy of his hard discounter… the future of fashion raises many questions: proof that the Covid epidemic alone will not be enough to justify all the reforms that are taking place in depth throughout the fashion industry.