5 Years - 3 Industry Trends

    December 2017

    Since Vohs & Co was established five years ago three main trends have emerged in the fashion and retail recruitment sector:

    1. A growing candidate shortage
    2. A dramatic increase in demand for digital and technology expertise
    3. The internationalisation of the talent market

    What is driving the candidate shortage?

    Brexit and the huge changes in the fashion and retail landscapes have created a climate of insecurity in the industry increasing the reluctance among candidates to move. This makes skills shortages even more chronic for those looking to recruit. Employers need to counter these by showing confidence and a clear vision about how they are going to succeed over the next three years.

    Which areas aren’t seeing candidate shortages?

    Technical roles have been widely moved abroad. With the number of firms operating at various price points saturated, the relatively high cost base in the UK and other European countries can make it hard to compete. Furthermore, many companies in the supply chain have or are restructuring, operating on a smaller scale to make themselves more agile and to meet the growing requirements of the retailers in terms of price,product, speed to market and quality.

    Employers can therefore cherry pick great candidates as the number of roles in these areas continues to decline. For candidates it is important to constantly build your CV or portfolio and develop your skills through training. Thinking in terms of business language – for example: reducing costs, improving sales or margin, or solving other business challenges will help position your services as an investment not a cost.

    What are the digital and tech roles that are emerging?

    With the growth of online retail and direct marketing to consumers the number of roles in the areas below has exploded and is continuing to grow:

    • Logistics and operations
    • Ecommerce
    • Digital marketing and social media
    • Content
    • CRM

    Rapid advances in technology have transformed the operating environment for traditional retailers and the supply chain alike.

    Everyone from agile, low cost start-ups, to technology giants and traditional bricks and mortar companies are using technology to reduce costs,improve targeting, communicate with customers more effectively and speed up processes.While these roles are business critical for many retailers and fashion companies, this is true internationally and across most sectors, putting these skills at a premium.

    As a result many employers are finding digital and technology roles hard to fill, which is sometimes having a wider impact on the business. Those who constantly benchmark the packages they offer and who ensure their recruitment processes are swift are finding it easier to fill roles than the majority.

    For candidates, due to the rapidly evolving environment, there is a need to constantly develop skills,however those who do will find their services are in great demand, especially if they can couch their achievements in language which relates to business impact.

    The impact of a global fashion market

    The growth of online retail and the pressures that it puts on both the high street and the supply chain are common trends internationally. As a result companies around the world are chasing the same skillets and talent.

    Fortunately for employers in the UK, our island is widely perceived as an attractive place to work and has long been seen as a fashion powerhouse making it a draw for anyone in the industry. But this exchange of talent works two ways and plenty of brands and retailers around the world are interested in candidates who have experience of our mature and sophisticated fashion industry.

    We will look forward at how we expect the industry to change in a future newsletter but in them meantime there is no indication that any of these trends is likely to slow down or disappear anytime soon.


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    Denim Production - YOUR Way Forward...

    Did you know… Denim laundries are one of the highest polluting facilities on the planet. 3 – 4% of a factories production is waste. UK is predicted to buy 87 million pairs of jeans this year SO… The UK Retail needs near-shore flexibility to reduce over production and respond to the market’s needs. About 70L litres of water is what it currently takes to finish one pair of jeans. This can be reduced down significantly to 5 Litres by companies like Sartex. Within 5 years jeans will be able to be created with only 100% recycled water through the Ozone or harvested rain water.   The fashion industry is unable to continue the way it is going and is desperately looking for more sustainable means to suit the needs of the consumer. Denim is one of the most contaminating industries and over 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are created by the fashion industry. Waste garments represent about 3-5% of every factory's inventory. Asia production is planned 6 months in advance and Turkey (the main close to home supplier of denim) lead times for repeats are 3-4 weeks. This gives little flexibility for companies to react to consumer trends. Subcontracting is still rife in many countries due to large demand. Visits to factories are infrequent and checks made on factories are often done by 3rd party services - Sartex are completely verticle from Inspection of Fabric, Laying, Cutting, Confection, washing and finishing all in Monastir. Retailers are under a considerable amount of pressure to meet ethical and environmental targets. £140 million of clothing goes into landfill each year – washing garments in the UK will reduce over production and waste. We are working to help sustain and introduce better alternatives to Denim production which of all the garments manufactured worldwide utilizes the most water, waste, chemicals and energy, as such we are launching the Sartex/Denim House services here in the UK - already working with UK brands Fat Face and Whistles as well as Global brands from 7 for all Mankind, Diesel, Replay to Boss amongst many others. Using organic, sustainable and recycled fabrics together with their advanced eco production. Sartex/Denim House have committed multi-million Euro investments in their incredible facilities in Monstir, Tunis. From Jeanologia and Tonello’s state of the art Ozone and Laser machineries to their Water treatment plant that recycles 70% of used water back into the factory and the balance clean enough to enter the Tunisian water system. Sartex/Denim house’s senior management team will be showcasing their new innovative developments, processes and commitment to Sustainable Denim in person on the 21st January 2020 – for more information about attending contact shelley@vandc.uk #commitedtosustainaibility

    December 2019

    We've got the 2020 vision!

    As we wave goodbye to the last decade, we welcome 2020 of what V&C believe to be a positive and exciting start to the next decade. With Sustainability and Digital being at the core of our business focus. It is moving to reminisce on how many iconic brands have left our high street due to the retail apocalypse, those include Mothercare, Jack Wills, Karen Millen, East and Bon Marche – to name few. This creates opportunities for the new brands to step up and deliver innovation and style to the ever-changing retail landscape, most of whom are incorporating sustainability, recycled and organic fabric development into their collection, seeing the evolution of sustainable brands such as Veja, Raeburn and others. V&C continues to grow it’s event side of the business that have included content rich and exciting topics in collaboration with Google and Facebook for the digital side and launching Sartex/Denim House collaboration for the Sustainable Denim production. It is apparent, due to the successful attendance of these events, that UK brand and retailers continue to explore and grow their business through ecommerce and drive their sustainable action plan as the consumer become mindful on environmental issues – a paradox in itself. Our digital growth both in terms of recruitment and our Digital Marketing Services across PPC and Paid Social delivers excellent returns and campaigns for our retail partners. The UK seems to be ‘Online - all the time’ with the average British household now owning a staggering 7.4 internet devices. Our Digital event in November 2019 partnered with Michelle Capp (Head of UK Retail at Facebook and Instagram) where we discussed how brands can drive traffic to their websites through the power of social media, PPC and SEO. Brand awareness is key, all brands have a story to tell - it’s just how you tell it! We look forward to the start of 2020 for many reasons, in January we have our new event scheduled around Sustainability, we have new brands on board to start the digital campaigns and we have lots of fantastic new opportunities for our candidates across all retail sectors from Technical, Commercial, Buying and Merchandising.  V&C wish all our clients and candidates a very Merry Christmas a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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