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Fashion Brand Consulting | Clothing Retail Consultancy

Fashion Brand Consulting | Clothing Retail Consultancy

Clothing Brands & Fashion Retail Industry

By now, it is clear that no matter how badly we may want to go back to the ‘normal’ as we knew it before the pandemic; we will have to embrace the ‘new normal’. Even a small change in consumer behaviour calls for big adjustments on the part of businesses.

In the fashion and clothing industry, apparel retail businesses that survived the economic onslaught of the recent quarters have accepted the changed business environment. Improvisations in doing business are being explored in the apparel industry. New challenges have begun to appear for retail fashion businesses. The demand in the fashion retail markets has always shown signs of improvement. As for the retail fashion businesses, they will need to bat an eye on the trends and development in the fashion and garment industry.

Up and Coming in the Fashion Retail Industry

The Torchbearers

As fashion and clothing consulting experts, we anticipate that the renowned brands in the world of retail fashion and clothing business will be the torchbearers in the fashion and apparel industry in the coming years. With the might of their expertise and resources, these big fashion houses will quickly retain their dominance in the domestic and foreign markets. In the fashion and clothing industry, aggressive marketing tactics will be apparent. Supply chain integrations and collaborations at the international level might emerge as a powerful diversification strategy for many retail fashion and clothing businesses. The outcome of their efforts will be the learning lessons for other businesses in the fashion retail industry. Industry professionals from apparel retail industry and fashion retail consulting firms are anticipating that independent fashion brands and retail clothing businesses are likely to take cautious and short-term stands.

Cautious Demand Forecasting in the Apparel Retail Industry

Even if consumer demand is on a rising trend, fashion retailers might remain pessimistic about it. This is especially true for the leading apparel business brands with chains of stores. In delivering clothing consulting services, we have witnessed many times that any estimate over the board leads to the creation of surplus inventory and stuck investments. Traditional and independent garment and clothing retail businesses will have to excogitate new ways of doing business for sustainable growth in the fashion industry.

Consumer Demand not going Anywhere

Irrespective of the stand adopted by fashion and clothing businesses in the fashion and apparel industry, clothing and many other products of the fashion industry constitutes a fundamental need for people. As fashion retail consulting specialists, we envision that enterprises that learn how to reach out to customers and markets and complete the shopping cycle will win in the business of fashion. Consumer demand for sustainable fashion shall be on rise, but the challenge is how many fashion brands shall be able to truly adopt it without changing their brand positioning.

Incentivising Fashion and Clothing Retail Customers

As fashion and clothing consulting experts, we maintain that while it will not be difficult for fashion and apparel business brands to draw back customers who already love shopping, efforts will be required to entice customers with the buying power. Offers, discounts are not enough for retailers to generate more sales in the fashion industry.

Need to Explore New Market Regions for Fashion and Clothing Retail Businesses

Many veterans in the field of fashion brand consulting are already recommending that fashion businesses will have to diversify their local market risks. By confining themselves to one market, they would be putting their fashion retail business at risk.

Omnichannel Retailing is the way forward in the Fashion Retail Industry

As fashion business consulting experts, we encapsulate that what was slated to be achieved with the digitization of retail in years has now been accelerated due to changing buying behaviour of Gen Z, Gen X and Millennials. Going forward, digital commerce in fashion retail and clothing retail businesses will hold the maximum share for Gen Alpha customers. As active players in the fashion industry consulting business, we saw evidence of this in the performance of several eCommerce marketplaces in the last one year or so.

Impact of Geopolitics on the Clothing Retail Industry

As the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of textile and footwear, China plays a big role in the global fashion industry. Clothing retail consultancy firms from the industry are making the brands cautious of this threat and working on precautionary measures to safeguard the fashion brands merchandising strategy. The fragility of geopolitics never augured well for fashion and clothing retail business. Any major upheaval in geopolitics could further disrupt the global production and retail supply chain management. And if that happens, many fashion brand consultants anticipate, the fashion and clothing retail businesses and markets around the world are bound to feel its heat.

Re-emphasis on the Clothing Brand Franchise Route for Fashion Brands

Being clothing franchise consultants, we expect big and independent fashion brands and businesses to shift their focus to the apparel franchise route. Fashion retailers in the clothing industry will have to cover a few extra miles to keep bringing customers and increase their brand conversion ratio and repeat buying. It is an open highway for the big brands in the fashion industry to formulate their clothing retail franchise expansion strategy. Done right, they could be doing more business than ever before. Fashion and clothing retail franchises will have to ensure that their interests are protected. Business growth and development has to be proportionately justified. Clothing retail franchise model is successful in case of multi brand clothing store franchise or in case of single category clothing stores, example: mens wear franchise, ladies wear franchise, boutique franchise, etc. Numerous fashion brands fail in their franchising expansion due to an poorly built franchise model which does not consider the nuances of franchising. Franchise conversions are also low due to poor franchise pitch deck for clothing brands, which fails to explain the ROI, exit Clause, investment criterias and sometimes it’s too good to be true! If you are struggling on how to franchise a clothing brand ?, then get in touch with YRC Franchise Consultants to start your franchising business journey.

Fashion Ecommerce: An Opportunity in Disguise for the Fashion and Clothing Industry?

E-commerce has given the big fashion brands an opportunity to revisit production and environmental concerns. Fashion E-commerce business is not only for big players. For the startups and small players in the fashion industry, there was never a better time to comprehend and realise the importance of ecommerce.

How can YRC help as a Fashion Brand Consulting Firm?

Established in 2012, YRC (Your Retail Coach) is a retail and ecommerce consulting firm. We provide omnichannel retail consulting services to fashion and clothing brands. From clothing business plan validation to fashion retail operational planning, under fashion business consulting services, we offer a multitude of services in the fashion and apparel sector.

Clients benefit from our market research as we present an insightful and comprehensive perspective of the target market as a part of our fashion retail consulting services. The benefits also extend to reading and comprehending new market regions. For example, many fashion and apparel businesses from around the world want to know more about starting and operating a clothing business. Sometimes the question is how to start a clothing business and is clothing business profitable in the country’s fashion and garment industry. For many independent fashion designers and mega influencers, the question turns to how to start your own clothing brand? which we cover that too under the umbrella of our fashion brand consulting services.

In fashion consulting, YRC fashion retail consultants help clients develop competitive fashion and clothing brand business plan based on niche and UVP for long-term growth and sustainability. Working with YRC, clients get to foresee the commercial and financial implications of their business projects and decisions. Whether looking to start a clothing line or start a fashion brand, the relevant financial and commercial estimates shall be brought to the limelight including purchase & merchandising planning and demand forecasting. If you are looking to start a clothing business with buying wholesale or contract manufacturing and setting up a retail-chain store model, warehousing operations are critical, wherein YRC team of fashion retail operations consultants shall develop your apparel warehouse operation process with the warehouse layout planning and implementation support. Keeping in mind the requirements for fashion startups or expansion phase of existing fashion brands and on-going trends in consumer behaviour, we craft CX strategies that complement the priorities of fashion and clothing retail business. If you are looking to start your own clothing brand, as a fashion brand consulting firm, we not only preach but also help implement ERP for fashion industry, retail standard operating procedures for clothing stores and expansion by developing company-owned retail chain shops or via franchising your brand. Our goal while consulting for clothing retail is to make the clients’ fashion and apparel store management system process-driven from the core so that they are always ready for scale and change and develop retail standard operating procedures manual (SOPs) which can be scalable and support your expansion plan for the next 05 years.

We are a boutique retail consulting firm. For more information on our fashion retail & ecommerce consulting services or if you have any queries for our team of fashion business consultants, drop us a message and we shall get back to you.

Let’s Talk!


    How to start a clothing business

    Starting a clothing business is a daunting task but if well-planned in advance, it can keep the excitement positive. Listing down 7 and half steps to start a clothing business:

    Step 1: Decide your fashion brand positioning

    Step 2: Make a Fashion Brand Business Plan

    Step 3: Sales & Operations Plan

    Step 4: Standard Operating Procedures

    Step 5: Retail Store Location

    Step 6: Product Procurement and Pricing

    Step 7: Clothing store floor plan layout & overall clothing store retail store layout

    Step 7.5: Identifying best ERP for retail & Fashion ERP Software

    To know about each step in brief click here.

    How do I turn my business into a franchise?

    If you are wondering how a fashion franchise works? or looking how to start a clothing brand franchise? Then, following are the steps to start a Franchise Business:

    1. Check Franchise Model Feasibility
    2. Define Apparel Franchise Operations Plan
    3. Define Franchise Legal Agreement & Terms
    4. Define Clothing Store Plan of Operation for Franchisee (also called: standard operating procedure for retail stores)
    5. Define Marketing Support for your Clothing Store Franchise
    6. Define Strategy to Sell Franchise Model

    Note: Opening a franchise business needs to be well-planned as there are numerous franchise clothing store players in the market, but developing a custom franchise model best-fit to your business shall act like a differentiator.

    Still have queries on how to franchise your business? Click here.

    How to develop a clothing store business plan?

    Clothing Store Business Plan is very essential while starting a fashion brand to understand the financial feasibility and while looking for investors to make them understand your business model.

    Clothing Line Business Plan includes the following:

    1. Your Fashion Brand Niche/ UVP (Objective: How are you making your space in the highly competitive industry?)
    2. Financial Budgeting & Feasibility Analysis (Objective: Check key financial KPIs i.e. ROI, breakeven points, opex, capex, etc)
    3. Operations Plan (Objective: Defining your organisational structure, total locations and area required, softwares required, defining SOPs and other critical aspects for business operations)
    4. Sales Plan (Objective: define strategies for sales, go-to-market plan, etc)
    5. Critical Pathway/ Action Plan (Objective: Phase-out your above plan and define the implementation strategy with timelines)

    To know more about the financial plan for clothing stores. Click here.

    How much does it cost to start a clothing brand

    The cost to start a clothing brand depends on following factors:

    1. Business Model Type (Online, Offline or hybrid model)
    2. Brand Positioning (Premium brand, luxury brand, highstreet brand, boutique, etc)
    3. Product type & product mix (example: casuals, ethnic, nightwear, wedding wear etc)
    4. Size and location of the store
    5. Business Niche, if any

    These factors are taken into account to develop the financial plan to calculate the cost to start a fashion brand.

    To know more on “how much does it cost to start a clothing line?” you can get in touch with YRC Clothing Business Plan Consultants to derive the budgets and investments to start a fashion clothing brand. The fashion retail business plan can be helpful to raise funds too from investors or banks.

    Which ERP is best for fashion retail?

    There are numerous ERPs available for fashion retail, but few things are to be considered before finalising any ERP, as follows:

    1. Total no of existing stores and how many we envision in the next 03 years?
    2. Store operating model: company-owned, franchise stores or both?
    3. Total no of warehouses / distribution centres?
    4. Total no of ERP users at various departments i.e. stores, warehouse, accounts, purchase, etc(this is different than total no of employees)
    5. SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). Implementing ERP without SOPs are most common reasons for implementation failure of ERP in fashion industry

    Once you are aware of the above factors, then it becomes very easy to do ERP gap-fit analysis while taking demos of various modules within ERP i.e Clothing store management system, clothing store inventory software, POS system for retail clothing store, Finance and various other modules.

    Few ERPs which are globally successful but suitable for fashion chain store retailers are SAP IS-Retail, Oracle Retail, Oracle Xstore, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Retail, Infor cloud ERP for Retail, etc. Please note these are not recommendations but names of few recognized retail ERPs. To check which retail ERP software is best-fit for your organisation? or which software is best for a garment shop? get in touch with YRC ERP Consultants today.

    Case Studies


    Raymond Custom Tailoring

    Clai World

    JB Group


    Just Casuals

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    We work only for Visionaries.


    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.