Agile Retail

Agile retail is a direct-to-consumer retail model that uses big data to try to predict trends, manage efficient production cycles, and faster turnaround on emerging styles.[1] Agile retail applies concepts from Agile and Lean in the retail business, and aims to respond faster to customer needs. This retail model is used by Amazon. The concept turns e-commerce retailers into on-demand platforms that identify stock and deliver desired products directly to the consumer, thereby reducing costs.[2] The main focus of Agile retail is to identify trends that are popular with consumers at a given moment and deliver those products using Agile production concepts.[3]

Experts in the fashion industry argue that Agile retail is the next step for fashion retail, especially with rising online sales.[3] Agile Retail gives more options to customers, usually at a lower price, and delivers the product directly to them.[3] Agile retail is a new form of fast fashion that applies the concepts of "Agile" and "Lean" in the fashion retail business.[4] It is also all about serving customers better by aligning to their changing needs.[5]


The Agile ideology can be traced back to the Lean manufacturing principles developed at Toyota in the 1950s.[6] Lean manufacturing focuses on eliminating waste in the manufacturing process. The basic intention is to maximize efficiency during manufacturing with a view to enhance productivity and lower costs. Back then, the Agile retail concept was applied mainly to the manufacturing of hard goods such as automobiles.[6]

In recent years Agile retail, especially in the fashion industry, capitalizes on many of the principles that have made other stalwart tech companies successful in their respective industries.[1]

In a traditional fashion company, a designer creates an entire collection usually based on his or her inspiration.[1] The collections are then flaunted at fashion shows for large retailers to preview and eventually make their way to store shelves, 6 to 12 months later. Agile Retail turns fashion retailers into on-demand platforms, that identify consumer demand based on multiple data sources and deliver products directly to consumers.[2] The Germany-based online retailer Lesara has been using the concept of agile retail in the fashion industry.[2][7]


Agile retail uses big data to try to estimate what customers want and anticipate demand and quantities.[8]

Agile retail companies are able to respond more quickly to changing circumstances using the data from this process. The aim is to know consumer needs at any given point.[3][9] The Agile enterprise emphasizes iteration over perfection, the ability to move quickly and to constantly learn and adapt.[10]


  • Using big data to figure out faster what the consumer wants.[7]
  • Ability to respond to changing needs faster than traditional retail.[4]
  • Aim to personalize shopper's demands.[7]
  • Intense use of big data and data analysis.[4]
  • More efficient supply chain, reducing waste.[7]


  • Agile retail relies partially on traditional retailers, especially luxury retailers, in setting trends which are used as inspiration.[11]

See also


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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