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Fast and ultra-fast fashion supply chain management: an exploratory research

Lucas Ramos Camargo (Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo, Brazil)
Susana Carla Farias Pereira (Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo, Brazil)
Marcia Regina Santiago Scarpin (Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 22 April 2020

Issue publication date: 8 June 2020




The aim of this study is to identify and analyse the main strategic differences between fast and ultra-fast fashion supply chain management.


This study uses a qualitative approach, using document analysis and in-depth interviews with industry specialists.


Ultra-fast fashion differs from fast in the following supply chain strategies: avoids any excess inventory, focuses on local manufacturing, on-demand production, and shorter lead times from a few days to a week with a combination of agile, lean, responsive supply chain strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this research are due to the cut-off period and the use of a restricted sample. As implications, technological capabilities are underexplored in the fashion industry. Although important to the traditional and fast fashion industry, technology is viewed as a tool and not as a capability that can generate competitive advantage. This paper addresses technology as capabilities to make ultra-fast fashion retailers more competitive.

Practical implications

Ultra-fast fashion could potentially impact current fast fashion retailers to partially move their business model and operations towards an ultra-fast approach. Fast fashion retailers desiring to speed up their production processes launch more weekly collections to cater to consumers who are more fashion-conscious.


There is a rapid emergence of new start-ups that are calling themselves ultra-fast. Newcomers wanting to adopt this new segment’s business model, develop technological capabilities to meet the challenges of this supercompetitive market.



Camargo, L.R., Pereira, S.C.F. and Scarpin, M.R.S. (2020), "Fast and ultra-fast fashion supply chain management: an exploratory research", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 48 No. 6, pp. 537-553.



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