Fashion and home furnishings trends and issues

Insights and solutions for the fashion and home furnishings sector 

The fashion and home furnishings sector is always changing, and RSM helps clients keep up with this fast pace. Shifts in consumer preferences, the retail landscape and the world economic outlook are creating opportunities and challenges for fashion executives across industry sectors, from designer apparel to footwear to furniture manufacturers and everything between.

RSM’s professionals advise clients on effective responses to these issues—and provide alerts on emerging threats and opportunities just over the horizon.


  • Changing demographics: The Generation Z consumer is driving change with their preference for digital shopping, ever growing use of social media and requisite research of purchases before buying. Smart fashion company executives engage consumers and share information about their products as well as their core values. Brand logos matter less to them than quality and value—along with a fast, safe, connected and seamless shopping experience.
  • Technology: As the consumer demographic shifts, technology continues to play a big role in the fashion industry. Business intelligence and big data enable companies to better understand their customers, as well as how to plan for the future—using information about which products, divisions and geographic locations were their best sellers to develop next season’s line. At the same time, technology can create risks to data security and privacy; middle market companies are major targets of hackers seeking employee and customer data, financial information and intellectual property, as well as critical information on confidential product designs.
  • Profitability: In this dynamic market, executives are paying close attention to essential factors that affect margins. They are improving profitability via inventory controls, strategic sourcing and close attention to chargebacks, discounts and allowances. By combining growth and profitability, these executives position their companies to benefit from the current M&A wave driven by private equity groups and strategic investors. Such stakeholders are investing in fashion players and can offer opportunities for brand extensions, retail growth and global expansion.
  • Globalization: Achieving global growth in the current world economy requires both vision and caution. Fashion companies are rethinking international strategies in light of uneven growth, the uncertain impact of Brexit, tax reform, currency fluctuations and political instability. They are careful when selecting their markets and entry strategies (e.g., franchise partners, licensees, foreign subsidiaries, proprietary retail locations).