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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Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Shortage

Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Shortage

July 18, 2018

What happens when Chick-fil-A has no chicken?

In Texas, Chick-fil-A had to temporarily close two restaurants because an issue was characterized as a “delivery delay.”  This problem was much smaller than the KFC chicken shortage in the UK earlier this year, when almost all of its restaurants were shut down for lack of its key ingredient, but it none-the-less disrupted the organization’s operations in a very significant way.

In an unrelated issue, in mid-June, In-N-Out shut down in Texas due to an unspecified problem with the quality of its hamburger buns.

This post is based on the Inc.com article, Oh No, Chick-fil-A. First KFC, Then In-N-Out. Now You Too?, by Bill Murphy, Jr., June 30, 2018. Image source: Livingpix/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does this article pertain to operations strategy and the socio-cultural dimension of the external environment?

Guidance: While the causes behind these product shortages have not been clearly identified, the issue of stockouts may become more widespread in the future due to the shortage of qualified truckers in our nation.  Trucking is often viewed as a dangerous and difficult occupation, and companies are struggling to find enough drivers.  Even one cancelled or Continue reading

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Continuing Safety Problems in the Food Supply Chain: Pre-Cut Melons, Veggie Trays

Continuing Safety Problems in the Food Supply Chain: Pre-Cut Melons, Veggie Trays

July 15, 2018

Safety related problems continue with our food supply chain.  Cut melons were recently recalled across 8 states with over 60 people becoming ill due to a salmonella outbreak. Del Monte’s pre-packaged veggie trays accounted for over 200 cases of infection by the Cyclospora parasite  in June and July.

Safety and recalls in the food supply chain were featured in a previous OM In The News blog.  Other recent issues include an April recall of over 200 million eggs over salmonella fear, Kroger’s recall of over 35,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with hard pieces of plastic, and in May, a recall of romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona area impacted over 20 states.

These continuing safety problems bring to light problems in our food supply chain.

This post is based on the CNN.com post, Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Pre-Cut Melon, by Susan Scutti and Jen Christensen, June 9, 2018; and on the Food Safety News article, Two dozen more confirmed in parasite outbreak linked to Del Monte (no author cited), July 7, 2018. Image source: Purestock/SuperStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What should be done to ensure the safety of our food?

Guidance: You Continue reading

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