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Barcelona Fashion Summit spells out priorities for retailers in 2018

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Spain is home to some of the biggest names in fashion retailing and the Barcelona Fashion Summit has evolved to become a key event on the calendar for executives from all areas of the fashion world in Spain.  The forward-looking theme  this year was Fashion 2030: A Brave New World, so there was a special focus on understanding the challenges in a sector experiencing extraordinary evolution through technology.

Here are some of my observations and take-aways from the day:

Who was there?

All the top fashion companies in Spain were represented by their top executives. Amongst the 800+ attendees, there were  independent boutique owners, executives in large chains, as well as quite a few journalists. The roster also included many solution providers for the sector, ranging from window display companies to legal advisors specializing in international expansion and, of course, technology providers like Openbravo.

Investing in logistics and supply chain integration

One of the biggest concerns for retailers and fashion manufacturers is how to be more efficient when addressing their own online sales or sales through online players such as Amazon, Zalando or Alibaba. They are effectively required to absorb the cost of logistics themselves, so everyone is worried about how to manage their inventories and keep their costs in check whilst remaining competitive.

Sergio Odriozola, vice president of product at Zalando, agreed that there are great opportunities for retail software solutions because many retailers and manufacturers are still not, in many cases, prepared to sell and manage their inventory in online stores and marketplaces.

Without integration and optimization of their inventory, warehousing, and logistical operations, the extra costs can quickly add up and make a significant dent in their profit margins. This is something Openbravo has worked hard to implement over the past few years. By integrating inventory, warehousing, and order management into our retail software, Openbravo offers retailers a real and cohesive solution for managing inventory for both online and in-store sales.

Investing in RFID

For many retailers, RFID will likely be a part of their inventory management solution. Like many others, I found the final presentation given by Ivan Escudero from Inditex particularly interesting because he talked about the mechanics and benefits of implementing RFID across their considerable global network.

Many of his points mirrored our own recent experiences with inventory management and RFID. In fact, several retailers spoke with me over the course of the day because they were interested in our experience with RFIDs and Decathlon – a strong indicator that retailers are more serious than ever about making investments in this direction.

While Inditex has impressively developed and implemented the technology themselves, many retailers will be looking for an external provider to develop their solution, and the Openbravo Commerce Suite is well-positioned to do that.

Investing in customer experience

And finally, I think it is worth mentioning the importance of giving customers a consistent, reliable, and personalized experience across all channels. Andy Payne, global chief creative officer of Interbrand, commented how the brands that succeed are those that put the consumer at the center.

The Openbravo Commerce Suite offers everything retailers need to connect with customers and elevate their experience irrespective of the channel they choose — real-time inventory visibility, loyalty programs, fast and targetted promotions, and assisted sales capabilities, to name a few.

If you are interested in finding out more about our experience and how our technology can help you capitalize on the digital evolution of retail, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at


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