By  on November 10, 2004

Any woman who regularly shops specialty retailers like Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M or PacSun can tell you that clothes, just like first-run movies, don’t have the shelf life they used to. Partly inspired by the example of H&M and Zara, which are known for their ability to design, produce and deliver new styles to stores in only three weeks, American retailers are turning inventory more frequently each season, sometimes as often as every six weeks. The trend has been most striking at vertically integrated specialty stores such as Gap, which have the ability to closely control their supply chains.

“They’re looking to create variety and freshness in consumers’ eyes,” said Kathryn Cullen, principal with Kurt Salmon Associates, a retail and apparel technology consulting firm based in New York. Younger consumers expect it, she said.

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