Fast Fashion Presents Design Problems

Fast Fashion Presents Design Problems

July 30, 2018

Fast fashion retailers, such as Zara, H&M, Topshop, and Urban Outfitters, compete by getting new designs to the marketplace as quickly as possible.  For example, Zara develops around 20,000 designs per year.

Such speed occasionally leads to fast fashion faux pas.

Some of the most notable include:

  • Zara’s miniskirt with a character resembling Pepe the Frog, a symbol used by white supremacists
  • H&M ran an ad of a black child wearing a sweatshirt that said “Coolest monkey in the jungle”
  • Urban Outfitter’s sold a red-stained Kent State Sweatshirt as part of its vintage collection

And while not the fault of the designer, sometimes these companies end up in the news because of the circumstances in which their clothing is displayed. Recently, Melania Trump wore a Zara jacket with the words “I really don’t care, do u?” as she traveled to visit immigrant children who had been separated from their parents.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, Fast Fashion, Furious Controversy: Why Retailers Like Zara and H&M Keep Making Headlines for Offensive Clothing, by Abha Bhattarai, June 29, 2018. Image source: © Floresco Productions / age fotostock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why is fast design important?

Guidance Continue reading

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It’s Not Delivery, It’s Driverless Delivery

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Driverless Delivery

Ford is developing a program with Postmates to offer food delivery using self-driving cars.

Ford made waves in February 2018 with news of its self-driving service in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Inside the self-driving cars are lockers of different sizes to accommodate food and/or other products to be delivered to customers on the same route.  Customers will receive a text with an access code to retrieve their order from a designated locker when the delivery arrives.  The program is set to be operational in 2021.

This post is based on the Fortune.com article, Ford Is Working on a Self-Driving Delivery Service with Postmates, by Erin Corbett, June 1, 2018; and the YouTube video Miami: The First Proving Ground for Ford’s Self-Driving Service, February 27, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Scharfsinn.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the implications of Ford’s investment in self-driving cars for food delivery from an operations management perspective?

Guidance: This question could be moved in multiple directions, from using the move to position itself as an industry leader in innovative design and production of self-driving cars, to expanding the demand for self-driving cars and applications for driverless vehicles, to increasing its competitiveness Continue reading

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Cashier-Free Walmarts?

Cashier-Free Walmarts?

Microsoft is talking to Walmart about launching check-out free stores with technology developed by the software giant. Shopping carts would be equipped with cameras to track and charge items that shoppers drop into the cart, eliminating the check-out process.

This post is based on TheVerge.com post, Microsoft reportedly working on rival Amazon Go tech for cashier-free stores, by Tom Warren, June 14, 2018. Image source: Purestock/SuperStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the strategic implications of a check-out free store for Walmart?

Guidance: Some implications of offering check-out free shopping affect both quality and time strategies for Walmart.  Shoppers’ experiences are improved as they do not need to wait in line for check out.  Check-out issues such as scanning errors or omission are also minimized

2. What is a key consideration in designing a check-out free service?

Guidance:  There are many. One obvious consideration is research and development. Microsoft is experimenting with cameras attached to shopping carts to track items and charge them to the shopper’s account through its cloud service. Privacy and data security are other considerations.

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