just-style authors and correspondents

David Birnbaum

Articles by David Birnbaum

Bangladesh’s market share to the US is falling, but to the EU and elsewhere continues to riseCOMMENT: Failing in Bangladesh - myth vs reality 12 March 2015

The accepted wisdom is that the Bangladesh garment industry’s state of decline is the result of the Tazreen Fire and the Rana Plaza building collapse. However, much as we would like to believe that goodness and mercy trumps FOB price and profit, the data tells another story.


Skills or new technology: which gives better leverage to a manufacturing country?COMMENT: Skills or new technology? 25 February 2015

Skills or new technology: which gives better leverage to a manufacturing country? This question has been posed to global garment industry expert David Birnbaum, who has agreed to share his advice and opinions by answering questions from just-style readers on topics of special interest.


Small and medium-sized clothing factories could investigate four possible strategic solutionsCOMMENT: SME survival in a world of giants 13 February 2015

Global garment industry expert David Birnbaum has agreed to share his advice and opinions by answering questions from just-style readers on topics of special interest. Our first query asks about operating small and medium-sized factories in an industry dominated by multinational giants.


Outlook 2015: Two key shifts for customers and suppliers 15 January 2015

In his take on the key apparel industry issues to watch in 2015, David Birnbaum homes in on the problems facing those brands who have set their sights on developing markets in China and Russia; and a solution for the new model full-service factories.


Government is pushing importers to reduce buying office commissionsCOMMENT: Defending the new model buying office 5 January 2015

In recent articles David Birnbaum has discussed the changing role of the buying office, how to quantify performance, and the issue of transfer pricing. The next challenge, he says, is the need for detailed audits to ensure that buying offices set their commissions fairly.


For years, buying offices have accrued substantial amounts of tax-free profit for their customer-ownersCOMMENT: The future of transfer pricing 23 December 2014

Governments and tax authorities are finally getting smarter when it comes to the issue of transfer pricing – the prices charged between related businesses, such as buying offices and their parent companies - as David Birnbaum explains.


The middleman is responsible for ensuring facilities carry out the work required by the customer at an acceptable level of performanceCOMMENT: The decline of the buying office 18 December 2014

Twenty years ago major garment importers and retailers began to move away from independent agents to set up wholly-owned buying offices where every middleman performed the same work. Fast forward to 2014, and the range of services has soared in both number and complexity. The challenge, now, is to quantify the level of performance - and commission, writes David Birnbaum.


COMMENT: Innovation is the name of the game 24 October 2014

Innovation is all about change - sometimes planned, often unplanned. But there are lessons to be learned too, and as garment companies move to set up in-house innovation centres they would do well to take heed, writes David Birnbaum.


Government benefits can undermine industry by imposing substantial and unnecessary costsCOMMENT: Government giveaways stifle garment industry growth 12 August 2014

Governments have a vital role to play in supporting the modern industrial economy, but in many garment-exporting countries this positive support is both lacking and counter-productive. Based on his work in the Dominican Republic, David Birnbaum suggests government giveaways make change even more difficult.


The EU is now the worldCOMMENT: The current state of play in world garment exports 31 July 2014

Data from major garment exporting countries to the EU and US shows who's winning and losing so far in 2014. David Birnbaum looks at the trends.


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