Fascinating article (link below) focussing on the downfall of J.Crew and the death of the old merchant model. Real-time data, with it's speed and accuracy is forging a new era of retail planning. Once seen as the key strategist within a fashion business, a buyer/ planner/ merchandiser now has to compete with computer apps that disseminate data in remarkably comprehensive ways.
This helps explain why so many retailers are struggling to get their mix right. Traditional retailers' failure to move on from the old 'supply driven' model of buying to the new 'demand driven' model shows just how many are at risk of obsolescence.