New Look

There was one particularly interesting bit about New Look’s results announcement yesterday, and that surrounded how global trends now travel thanks to social media.

As its profits surged 17%, the value fashion retailer’s CEO Anders Kristiansen said that “fashion is becoming more and more the same around the world”.

Now that may seem like a no-brainer but until now, it hasn’t been. Having worked in fashion for more decades than I care to remember, I’ve often been surprised about how slowly or how little trends do play out around the world. And I’ve seen more than one ‘global’ retailer exit certain markets because the product designed in country X just doesn’t resonate in country Y.

The arrival of the internet itself didn’t necessarily change this, it just made it more noticeable.

But now it’s social media that’s calling the shots and that has made a huge difference. Trends are travelling fast and exposure to those trends is rubbing away at the differences in taste between countries.

“We used to see a big difference in different countries, but because of social media, trends are the same,” Anders added. “A massive trend in the UK — like bomber jackets at the moment — is the same in Beijing and Bordeaux.”

Which must be good news for New Look as it’s earmarked £100m worth of investment to expand into Germany and grow its existing stores in China. It’s targeting 75 German stores within five years (from the current single concession store there) and plans to open 50 more Chinese stores for a total of 142.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday