Integrating design and retail in the clothing value chain: an empirical study of the organisation of design

Céline Abecassis-Moedas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose - New product design is an established field in the literature. It is either analysed inside the firm; or when using a value chain perspective it is limited to the interactions between manufacturers and suppliers (in producer-driven commodity chains). The current research adopts a downstream perspective, analysing the relationships between manufacturers and retailers in relation to the new product design process. Seeks to conduct research in the clothing industry; that has the specificity of being a buyer-driven commodity chain where fashion makes design a key dimension for the success of a product. Design/methodology/approach - The research was empirical in nature, involving 50 semi-structured face-to-face interviews in France, the USA and the UK at all points along the clothing value chain. Findings - In the clothing industry, the strategy of integrating design and retail has resulted in a more flexible design process and therefore, in an increased product performance. This strategy has been developed by both retailers and designers. The strategy of integrating design and retail has resulted in a change of boundaries in the clothing value chain. Research limitations/implications - Results are currently limited to the clothing sectors, and they are yet to be generalised to other buyer-driven commodity chains. Practical implications - Managers in clothing retail firms or in clothing design firms, wanting to increase product performance, should implement the strategy of integrating design and retail. Originality/value - The paper opens a new field of research, namely: the focus on new product design with a value chain perspective that concentrates on downstream in the chain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-428
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2006

Keywords

  • Clothing
  • Design
  • New products
  • Retail trade
  • Value chain

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