MonarchFa was formed as a category of MonarchFx to handle the specific needs for Apparel and Footwear companies. No product category has been impacted more broadly and more deeply by eCommerce, in particular by marketplaces and digital native e-tailers, than apparel and footwear.
On the whole, fashion has been among the slowest, if not the slowest, industry to recognize the opportunity and threats presented by eCommerce (especially with marketplaces). The fashion industry needs to react accordingly and reset the philosophy, strategy, and operations for the Digital Age.
Famously, apparel/fashion companies have resisted selling on Amazon and other marketplaces because:
- They did not believe that consumers would buy clothes, shoes, and accessories they could not see, touch, feel, and try on, in person.
- They believed their centrality to the overall consumer economy and everyday living meant that they were able to dictate the terms, conditions, environments, and experiences of fashion purchases.
- The industry was built on and thrived according to a set of business models and traditions viewed as permanent, proven, and immovable.
- Fears, sometimes justified, of price erosion and loss of brand control.
The result, Amazon became the #1 seller of apparel and footwear in the United States, surpassing Macy’s. Amazon has done this with the success of their 9 apparel private labels and selling other brands on their marketplace. At the same time, retailers and brands are facing: lower store foot traffic, sales and margins, while increasing the eCommerce sales. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of fulfillment and delivery these eCommerce sales are not profitable. With store profitability waning and eCommerce profitability nonexistent, retailers and brands are hurting. They need to reduce logistics costs and increase customer service, this is what MonarchFa provides.
MonarchFa is the initial product category being developed for implementation. It will be based on the appropriate Fulfillment Center (FC) designs and automation that will both speed the online order fulfillment, and reduce the costs involved. Beginning with an east coast and west coast FC, MonarchFa is planned to expand over the next 3 years to provide for next-day (and selected same day) deliveries nationwide. This network of FC’s will enable all footwear and apparel companies to operate with a reliable and cost-effective alternative to Amazon.
MonarchFa facilities will be distinguished by using a new high-performance, low-cost robotic sorting system called t-Sort. Items are sorted to orders, then parcels are sorted to their destination, all using the t-Sort system, which speeds fulfillment and lowers cost. This system is widely used in China and has recently been patented for use in the United States. t-Sort makes MonarchFa facilities competitive with most highly automated fulfillment centers without the capital outlay normally required.
Interested footwear and apparel companies should stay closely tuned to this site for further information on the timing and depth of the MonarchFa solution.
Read the latest newsletter - MonarchFa - July 2017.