just-style authors and correspondents
Articles by Lee Adendorff
The last few years have brought significant changes to the apparel sourcing landscape in Asia. The era of Chinese low-cost apparel manufacturing is a trend from the past, and several countries have stepped up to claim their part of the manufacturing pie.
Cambodian garment factories are to sue over recent strikes, while those in Bangladesh are counting the cost of three months of political turmoil.
A dispute over increases to Cambodia's minimum wage levels has led to a virtual shutdown of the country's garment industry.
Waterless dyes, textiles that clean themselves and new 3D printing filaments: the only thing missing this year was spray on clothing.
Increased costs, quality issues, and weakened demand resulted in job cuts and widened losses for certain retailers in 2013. But overseas expansion, the value of domestic manufacturing, and innovative products bolstered others.
What a difference a year makes for garment-making countries. While some were crippled by ongoing unrest, deadly factory fires and natural disasters, others saw exports increase in a critically competitive environment.
Despite another challenging year for retailers in 2013, international expansion, support for workers in the clothing supply chain, and innovative merchandise were on the list of accomplishments for some. However, others were forced to enter administration amid increased competition.
Omni-channel retailing has revolutionised the way people shop, with consumers now able to buy and research products online, on a tablet or on a smart phone. And there appears to be great potential to leverage RFID for even greater benefits, including smart shelves, mirrors, and fitting room interaction.
The textile and clothing industry has long known that out-of-stock (OOS) management problems can be costly - and RFID tags may help retailers especially recoup the profits they lose by failing to keep their shelves as full as they should.
The determining factor in rolling out RFID in any business has always been price, so calculating a concrete return on investment (ROI) is clearly a vital step. According to some analysts this approach has matured as the benefits of the technology have become clear.
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