This person could save your fashion chain. Why not let her?

By Cristina Holm, co-founder HOLM

Which fashion retail head office positions didn’t exist 30 years ago? Head of Multichannel; social media manager; customer experience analyst… to name but a few. Yet on the shop floor we still have ‘shop assistants’ and that’s pretty much it.

In this post I’m going talk about how the role of the shop floor workforce has evolved dramatically in the past three decades. Next I will share four simple changes fashion retailers can make to ensure today’s sales staff feel relevant, valued and productive. […]

How to solve a problem like a store portfolio – and it’s not closures

By Emma Vickers for HOLM

Closures and portfolio consolidation are sure bets in the game of fashion retail results bingo, right up there with unseasonable weather. While the e-commerce boom has admittedly left the sector with too much space on its hands, bricks and mortar has been unfairly dismissed as a dying channel. This has resulted in customers feeling short changed when their local store gets the axe or, worse, watching it slowly decay due to under investment.

Here are five reasons it’s more important than ever to invest in stores and make sure the baby doesn’t disappear with the bathwater. […]

Returns – the true cost to fashion brands (and how to prevent them)

By Steve Johnson, co-founder HOLM

Technology has transformed the way in which we shop for clothes: purchases are made at the touch of a button. Yes, as we whizz towards a 5G world, the buying process has never been easier. It’s what happens next that has failed to keep up. Here we examine how ‘the returns problem’ is set to be the decade’s defining issue for online fashion retailing, and more importantly what can be done to solve it.
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Want to reverse fashion retail store performance? Think how your customer feels.

By Cristina Holm, co-founder HOLM

It makes sense to start HOLM’s series of expert blogs with the why? Why, when bricks-and-mortar fashion shops are closing left right and centre, and there’s a bunch of tech companies developing online personalisation tools, am I launching a system that involves both of these things – interaction with a sales assistant and an app?

I’ll answer this question below, and also share my list of five free yet effective ways that will improve customer service in your store starting today.
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SIZING FLAWS BUT HOLM STYLING FITS

Sizing is the main reason for online fashion returns… or is it? Next time you try on a garment that’s a little tight… try another in the same size.

You may be surprised when you find a difference. Sometimes a big difference! This is because the processes within clothing manufacture (like pattern cutting and sewing) remains particularly manual. It means you rarely find garments identically sized (let alone symmetrical!)

What’s more, in HOLM’s ongoing research, we see variances of 10-15% in the same garments (i.e. same label size, same colour and design). For example, we found a 6cms difference around the chest on a major high street retailer’s medium size polo shirt. That’s a difference of ‘snug’ or ‘loose’ depending which one you selected!

This highlights that ‘SIZING’ recommendation is flawed. Made worse, when you realise that even when you do find a correct size fit, it doesn’t mean it looks good on you.
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