1st Edition

A Fashion Retailer’s Guide to Thriving in Turbulent Times

By Ghalia Boustani, Daniela Leonini Copyright 2023
    122 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    122 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    By raising questions and providing scenarios for success, this book embraces fashion brand development in current turbulent retail environments. A brand must have an essence; it needs to respect a philosophy, abide by values and follow clear processes. A brand’s success and sustainability follow specific rules, nonetheless for fashion brands. But do fashion brand management rules apply in today’s turbulent times? Acknowledging and going beyond branding theory, this book challenges knowledge and practices that have been guiding fashion retail brands for many years. Co-written by an academic researcher and a retail consultant with 30 years of experience, this practical guide offers not a process that fashion brands must follow, but potential avenues for survival in today’s retail market and facing today’s customers. Professionals and students of fashion retailing and branding will appreciate the detailed case studies that illustrate revisited concepts and thought-provoking suggestions on how to make decisions for an uncertain future.

    About this book

    Book idea


    1. How did we come across the idea of the book?


    Chapter title: The fashion retail industry. How is today is different from yesterday?

    1. An overview of the fashion retail industry and the major actors, forces or happenings that are shaping it up.
      1. No money? No biggies. You can rent it if you want it.
      2. The retail environment is changing and so do customers.
      3. Reviving lifeless retail.
      4. Self-proclaimed connoisseurs, entrepreneurs, retailers and next-door neighbors.
      5. Retail and consumption tensions. Are things always black and white?
      6. It was about time to do the math.

    2. What’s in it for fashion retail brands?

    Chapter 1

    Chapter title: How can fashion brands stay true to themselves?

    1. Holistic fashion brand management.
    2. Why yesterday’s brands are no longer relevant in today’s retail environment?
    3. A new viewpoint on the (fashion) retail environment.
      1. A complex retail environment.
      2. Understanding a (fashion) brand in today’s complex retail environment.
        1. Today’s fashion retail brand is an active member of the fashion retail society.
        2. The significance of physical retail in a fashion retail environment.

      3. Staying true to one’s identity.


    Chapter 2

    Chapter title: How will retail formats help fashion brands survive?

    1. Retail formats. The brand’s "porte-parole".
      1. Newborn brands.
        1. Understanding newborn brands.
        2. A newborn brands’ values.
        3. A newborn brand’s structure.
        4. A newborn brands’ distributions and sales.
        5. A newborn brands’ control.

      2. Developing brands.
        1. Understanding developing brands.
        2. Developing brand motto.
        3. Developing brand communications, distributions and sales.
        4. Developing brand communications, distributions and sales.

      3. Mature and established brands.
        1. Understanding a mature or established brand.
        2. Mature brand key variables.
        3. Mature brand distribution and sales.
        4. A mature and established brand’s motto.

      4. The significance of space in a fashion retail context.

    2. How will retail formats help fashion brands survive?


    Chapter 3

    Chapter title: The fashion brand spectrum: scenarios for success.

    1. Different fashion brands. Different management scenarios.
      1. How can brands be active members of the fashion retail society?
      2. Fashion brand toolkits and scenarios.
        1. Personal fashion brands and young designer brands.
        2. New born fashion brands.
        3. Mature fashion brands.

    2. Keeping retail at the heart of fashion brands.


    Chapter title: Finding clarity in the middle of the storm.

    1. Tired, confused, but hopeful.
    2. The yin and yang of fashion retail.
    3. Understanding "the now" and getting ready for tomorrow.


    Ghalia Boustani is a researcher at Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France, and holds a doctorate from Ecole Supérieure des Affaires, Lebanon. Her main research interest is in ephemeral retailing; after completing her first study on pop-up stores in the Middle East, she has now focused her research on pop-up stores in Europe. Throughout her academic journey, Ghalia has also worked closely with professionals and entrepreneurs on several projects that added value to her research.

    Daniela Leonini brings 30 years of experience in interior design and fashion to her work as a senior retail consultant, advising start-ups and conglomerates alike on issues such as retail stores, team recruitment and training, and merchandising. Before opening her own consultancy, Daniela had management roles at the Paris-based store Merci and Sézane, the first French online brand. Beyond her strategy and marketing work, she also designs home décor objects, fabrics, furniture and lamps.

    "The book explores strategies open to fashion brands to achieve success and longevity in the vastly changed world of retail. The author draws on her wealth of experience to focus on "doing the right things" as opposed to the line manager’s conventional approach of perfecting tactics in order to "do things right". The insight and advice it contain will be useful not only to academics striving to update retail and brand management texts but also to managers facing the challenge of operating in an ever more challenging environment.

    The authors’ purpose is to explore what added value a physical retail store can offer as part of today’s fashion shopping journey. This means not only re-evaluating the essence of what the brand itself stands for but also how this is manifested in terms of the retail format proposition and experience. The way forward is no longer generic but optimized for each brand and involves many qualities including differentiation, stimulation, relevance and agility. The author examines various levels in the marketplace but concludes that the boundaries between these levels is increasingly blurred. A highly recommended read"

    - Bill Webb, Associate Lecturer, London College of Fashion, UK; Member of The Ebeltoft Group of Global Retail & Branding Experts.

    "The retail industry has evolved in tandem with human development, from ancient markets through modern brick and mortar stores and, more recently, the internet-based virtual space. The fashion retail sector, as well as the socio-cultural framework in which it operates, has faced unprecedented challenges in the past two decades, not least from globalization, so-called 'democratization' and sustainability considerations, necessitating thorough-going reform. The industry now stands as a critical juncture as it tries to balance competing demands for stability, adaptability, sustainability, tech-innovation and financial viability, not least in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

    The authors’ book on the fashion retail industry is particularly timely. The book adopts an ‘unconformist angle’ to approach the fashion retail industry, and this not only helps the reader build a valuable knowledge base on fashion retail, but also encourages the reader to reflect on a diverse range of contemporary issues the industry is currently encountering. It is an essential read for those who wish to study the field and establish a professional path in the retail fashion industry".

    - Dr. Kelly Meng, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

    As a long retail and fashion Veteran Daniela brought her cross over expertise into customer experience, merchandising mix and new retail concept. All together with her unique eye, result of her multi cultural European roots

    -Christelle Nouviaire - Domec. CEO Agent Double, Paris, France.


    The authors have done an excellent job examining the current retail environment and highlighting the challenges luxury and mass brands face as they come to terms with changing customer preferences.
    This is a must-read reference not only for students but fashion retailers and brand managers as well.

    -Dilip Subramanian. Associate Professor, HR & Organization Studies, Reims, France

    ‘The Authors have developed an astute view of the role and impact of fashion brands in our society. This book plays a critical role in depicting how we, as consumers- citizens and fashion brands can shape the future of the fashion industry.’

    – Guillaume de Leyva, Alvarez & Marsal, France; Retail Transformation expert