Through a special arrangement, what follows is an excerpt of a recent article from Retail Paradox, RSR Research’s weekly analysis on emerging issues facing retailers, presented here for discussion.

A report recently arrived in my e-mail heralding the arrival of ultrafast fashion — online-only retailers ostensibly able to produce merchandise in two to four weeks, compared to five weeks for Zara and H&M.

Traditional retailers, on the other hand, can produce merchandise in six to nine months, according to estimates by Fung Global Retail and Technology, the report’s author. I think that number is low. Actual numbers from H&M’s financial statements also tell us that only a portion of their product is produced in a true fast-fashion manner.

Nevertheless, if two-to-four weeks is possible, the apparel industry is in big trouble.

But is it? There’s an old adage in the application development industry that says there are three variables to development: speed, accuracy and cost. You can have any two, but not all three. You can go fast and get it right, but it’s going…