If the spate of department store and mall closings across the country has taught retailers one thing, it’s that brick-and-mortar business cannot continue as usual.
Indeed the centralized, top-down approach that defines globalized trade and manufacturing is already beginning to cede ground to newer, more viable business models that better meet the needs of today’s shoppers, according to Lisa Morales-Hellebo, co-founder of the the Worldwide Supply Chain Federation, a New York-based coalition of innovation-focused organizations involved in the global supply chain.
If globalization is the old paradigm, she said at the Change Fashion conference at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen store in New York on Friday, then localization is the new one—but there’s more to it than tailoring assortments to fit store-location demographics.
“It’s actual on-demand production in a local distributed, collaborative apparel-manufacturing hub network,” Morales-Hellebo said. “Imagine, if you will, everything under one roof in every local mall. And if you think your supply chain is the boring part of your business, guess what, it’s now part of your consumer experience.”