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World Class Supply Chain and Operations Management in Luxury Fashion

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Deadline: 31 March 2018

The luxury industry encompasses a wide range of different products and services. In 2016, the luxury industry had a value of 1 Trillion €, with personal luxury goods accounting for 23% (D’Arpizio, 2016). Luxury is characterized by high degree of human involvement, limited supply and value recognition (Vigneron and Johnson, 2004). Relatedly, premium quality, heritage of craftsmanship, exclusivity, emotional appeal, global reputation, recognizable style and design, country of origin, uniqueness, technical performance, and creation of a lifestyle (Brun et al., 2008; Caniato et al., 2009) emerge as critical success factors whose existence are crucial for luxury companies to gain competitive advantage.

As a consequence of luxury being expected to convey symbolic and experiential value along with functionality (Grigorian and Espinoza-Petersen, 2014), product line management, customer service management, and channel management, in other words the entire supply chain (SC), appear to be highly critical for the market success (Brun et al., 2008; Caniato et al., 2009). Yet, albeit the industrial peculiarity, luxury companies often encounter striking difficulties at SC level because there exist challenges in terms of the integration of traditional marketing strategies into logistics and relationship management (Ponticelli et al., 2013) as well as the emergent complications at the intersection of producing unique products and selling them at higher prices (Riot et al., 2013). Luxury must provide a harmony in which functional, experiential and symbolic values are combined (Sjostrom et al., 2016).

Hence, production and supply chain configurations must be coherent with changing customer expectations and marketing. Therefore, a deeper understanding of how a direct relationship among brands, suppliers and customers must be formed is prerequisite for competitive advantage. Consequently, academic research in this domain is needed to show how to operationalize strategies and how to coordinate the chain with an attempt to reach the ultimate customer. Hence, this issue is expected to bring noteworthy contributions that would ultimately help both academicians and practitioners understand how to overcome many of the problems pertaining to luxury fashion management.

Objective and Potential Topics

Knowing that there are important benefits for those who could successfully integrate production, logistics and marketing decision making (Bell and Chen, 2015), for example, Gucci’s decline stopped because of Tom Ford’s strategy where his business model adoption maximised internal controls in terms of product sourcing, brand communication and distribution (Moore and Birtwistle, 2004); a proper investigation between SC management and luxury fashion could actually help both practitioners and academicians improve operational understanding whilst building a consensus for strategic decisions.

Despite the significance, there appear to be important knowledge gaps in existing literature. On the one hand, luxury companies seek competitive advantage over brand exclusivity (Robinson and Hsieh, 2016), nevertheless prior research cannot provide a robust understanding on how to design and implement an unique luxury experience (Grigorian and Espinoza-Petersen, 2014). On the other hand, the scientific community has shown interest in luxury management from sociology, marketing and branding standpoints. That is to say, the very first paper conducted in the field appeared less than a decade ago (Brun et al., 2008).

The new luxury paradigm where luxury is becoming more and more accessible, and where shifting industrial dynamics exist, including the growing concern over sustainability issues (Karaosman et al., 2016), the see now buy now revolution (Brun et al., 2017), a number of social scandals (Conlon, 2017; Lembke, 2017), supply chain and operations management aspects are challenged. On the whole, this moment must be embraced as a research opportunity since it presents fascinating areas for further investigation. Starting from a multidisciplinary approach, this special issue aims to bring together novel applications for the luxury fashion industry and to build
knowledge that would support an international community consisting of both researchers and practitioners.

This special issue seeks to expand an understanding of supply chain and operations management in luxury fashion, and to extend theoretical and managerial insights into how sustainable, innovative, and strategic operations could be addressed. Topics that are of interest for this special issue include:

- Logistic solutions (warehousing and last mile delivery) supporting B2C
- International distribution networks supporting crossborder B2C eCommerce
Front/end demand chain
- Channel design and coordination in the luxury-fashion sector
- Relationship between business models, brand strategy and channel design
- Product budgeting and KPIs in luxury fashion companies
Operations management
- Purchasing strategies and practices for luxury fashion companies
- Fragmentation of production and operations management in luxury fashion
- Organizational structure – centralized vs. decentralized operations – of luxury
fashion retailers
Product chain
- Integration of sustainability, innovation, collaboration in product design phase
- Decisions about the trade-offs and interactions in the product design chain
- Differences and commonalities depending on product positioning in the luxury
Retail operations
- Retail store operations in luxury fashion – planning and execution including
inventory, pricing, sales force planning, store design, and store location
- Interfaces of retail operations with other functions such as finance, human
resources, marketing, and strategy
Supply chain configuration
- Responsive and reconfigurable supply chain management strategies in luxury
- Supply network complexity in luxury fashion industry
- Contract design and network coordination
- Sustainable supply chain management and governance in luxury fashion
- The impact of sustainability on operational performance
- Sustainability measurement and management across luxury fashion supply chains

Submission Instructions

The deadline for paper submission is due on 31 March 2018

Authors are asked to prepare their final manuscripts in accordance with the instructions provided by Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management.

Selected papers will go through double blind review process.
Papers must be be submitted to JFMM’s online submission system.

Please contact the Guest Editor Alessandro Brun for further information and inquiries.

Editorial Information

The guest editors are:
- Alessandro Brun, Dept. of Management, Economics & Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

- Patsy Perry, School of Materials, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom


Bell, P.C. and Chen, J. (2015), “Close integration of pricing and supply chain decisions has strategic as well as operations level benefits”, Annals of Operations Research, pp. 1–17.
Brun, A., Caniato, F., Caridi, M., Castelli, C., Miragliotta, G., Ronchi, S., Sianesi, A., et al. (2008), “Logistics and supply chain management in luxury fashion retail: Empirical investigation of Italian firms”, International Journal of Producti on Economics, Vol.
114 No. 2, pp. 554–570.
Brun, A., Castelli, C. and Karaosman, H. (2017), “See now buy now: A revolution for luxury supply chain management”, in Rinaldi, R. and Bandinelli, R. (Eds.),Business Models and ICT Technologies for the Fashion Supply Chain, Lecture Notes in Electrical
Engineering, Springer, Cham, Vol. 413, pp. 33–46.
Caniato, F., Caridi, M., Castelli, C.M. and Golini, R. (2009), “A contingency approach for SC strategy in the Italian luxury industry: Do consolidated models fit?”, International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, Vol. 120 No. 1, pp. 176–189.
Conlon, S. (2017), “Kering explains ‘Made in Italy’ mix-up”, Vogue, available at: http://www.vogue.co.uk/article/kering-defends-made-in-italy-selima-optique-lawsuit (accessed 21 June 2017).
D’Arpizio, C. (2016), Altagamma 2016 worldwide luxury market monitor, Milan, available at: https://altagamma.it/media/source/ALTAGAMMA WW MARKETS MONITOR 2016.pdf.
Grigorian, V. and Espinoza-Petersen, F. (2014), Designing luxury experience, ESMT Working Paper, Berlin, available at:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2442914 (accessed 14 December 2016).
Karaosman, H., Morales-Alonso, G. and Brun, A. (2016), “From a Systematic Literature Review to a Classification Framework: Sustainability Integration in Fashion Operations”, Sustainability, Vol. 9 No. 1, p. 30.
Lembke, A. (2017), “Revealed: the Romanian site where Louis Vuitton makes its Italian shoes”, The Guardian, available at:
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/17/revealed-the-romanian-site-wherelouis-vuitton-makes-its-italian-shoes (accessed 18 June 2017).
Moore, C. and Birtwistle, G. (2004), “The Burberry business model: creating an international luxury fashion brand”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 32 No. 8, pp. 412–422.
Ponticelli, S., Mininno, V., Dulmin, R. and Aloini, D. (2013), “Supply chain implications for one-off luxury products: cases from the yacht industry”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 41 No. 11, pp. 1008–1029.
Riot, E., Chamaret, C. and Rigaud, E. (2013), “Murakami on the bag: Louis Vuitton’s decommoditization strategy”, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, Vol. 41 No. 11/12, pp. 919–939.
Robinson, P.K. and Hsieh, L. (2016), “Reshoring: a strategic renewal of luxury clothing supply chains”, Operations Management Research, Operations Management Research, Vol. 9 No. 3–4, pp. 89–101.
Sjostrom, T., Corsi, A.M. and Lockshin, L. (2016), “What characterises luxury products? A study across three product categories”, International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 76–95.
Vigneron, F. and Johnson, L.W. (2004), “Measuring brand luxury perceptions”, The Journal of Brand Management, Vol. 11 No. 6, pp. 484–508.