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Fast fashion in the retail store environment

Liz Barnes (Department of Textiles, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
Gaynor Lea‐Greenwood (Department of Clothing Design and Technology, Faculty of Food, Clothing and Hospitality Management, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 7 September 2010




The paper aims to establish how fast fashion is translated and communicated in the retail store environment.


An interpretive paradigm and inductive methodology made use of participant observation and key informant interviews.


Whilst efficiencies in the supply chain have facilitated fast fashion's success, centralised control structures have meant that these efficiencies and flexibilities have not been translated into the retail store environment. Marketing communications activity is evident in relation to aspects of fast fashion, for example, through the use of “hero pieces” as identified in this research, however, availability and retail presence must support the fast fashion proposition.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has a UK focus where fast fashion is well established, therefore generalisations relating to other fashion markets may not be appropriate.

Practical implications

Retailers may have interest in the findings to gain competitive advantage in fast fashion.


Academic research on fast fashion research is still in its infancy, however this paper provides some unique insights into the phenomenon which may add to the nascent literature.



Barnes, L. and Lea‐Greenwood, G. (2010), "Fast fashion in the retail store environment", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 38 No. 10, pp. 760-772.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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