A question of order: The role of collective taste as a strategy to cope with demand uncertainty in the womenswear fashion industry
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Schulz, S. (2015) A question of order: The role of collective taste as a strategy to cope with demand uncertainty in the womenswear fashion industry. Creative Industries Journal, 8(1), pp. 58-72.
Though strong branding and a distinctive product range are often identified as important factors for companies' economic success (see, e.g., Robinson ) many UK womenswear retailers offer surprisingly similar products. The author argues that product sameness amongst many high street womenswear retailers in the UK is a deliberate strategy employed by industry practitioners to limit demand uncertainty. Based on an empirical study of UK high street womenswear retailers the author argues that the womenswear fashion industry, like other industries operating in markets faced by high levels of demand uncertainty (Crane 1992), has adopted strategies to minimise economic risks. The author explores how fashion information created by companies/groups in the quaternary industry sector is used as inspirational sources for fashion workers at retailing level and contributes to the development of a collective taste amongst them. Collective taste in the context of this research is seen not as a by-product of interaction as theorised by Blumer (1969), but as a strategy to cope with the inherent demand uncertainty experienced by firms operating in the womenswear market and as a means for establishing some orderliness in the fashion system.