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Mike Flanagan

Mike FlanaganBiography

Mike Flanagan is CEO of Clothesource Limited, which provides apparel buyers and sellers throughout the world with the hard data they need to understand their competitiveness. Clothesource, with the world's largest collection of intelligence on clothing price comparisons, supplier capabilities and national resources, provides both buyers and sellers with advice and training on improving sourcing and selling skills.
Mike began his career in the advertising industry in the UK and Italy, before moving into retailing. Before setting up Clothesource, he held a number of senior international buying, marketing and operations posts in the retail divisions of groups such as Associated British Foods, British Petroleum and US Shoe.

Columns by Mike Flanagan

The FlanarantThe Flanarant

A forthright take on the follies the world’s apparel buying community has to deal with, from Mike Flanagan, CEO of Clothesource – and his suggestions for putting them right.

Articles by Mike Flanagan

The apparent benefits of Ethiopia also make the country a serious risk – both politically and commercially – for apparel and textile investorsThe Flanarant – Ethiopia violence undermines 'visionary' sourcing strategies 12 October 2016

The apparent benefits of Ethiopia make the country a serious risk – both politically and commercially – for apparel and textile investors, Mike Flanagan believes. And the partial destruction by rioters of the Saygin Dima mill illustrates all too well the short-term superficiality of too many 'visionary' sourcing strategies.

Voters on both sides of the Atlantic are increasingly wary of more global supply chainsThe Flanarant – Why voters don’t want more global supply chains 19 August 2016

Mike Flanagan spent the first six months of 2016 campaigning to stay in the EU. Not once, he writes, did I hear my opponents – or anyone in Britain's new, Brexit-friendly government – say they wanted to reject global integration or repudiate over 30 years of globalisation.

The Flanarant – Bangladesh must face up to new industry threats 8 August 2016

In late June and early July, Bangladesh's garment industry was hit by a number of new long-term threats. But the industry's leaders appear unaware of the real severity these threats posed to their viability, writes Mike Flanagan.

Free trade agreements between the UK and Canada, Australia and New Zealand may disrupt the garment industryBrexit Trade Focus – How does a CANZ-UK FTA stack up? 22 July 2016

As the UK government prepares the ground for new post-Brexit free trade deals, Mike Flanagan will, over the coming months, be evaluating their potential impact on the garment industry. Here he begins by looking at the first proposed deals with Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The apparel industry must take a lead in setting out its post-Brexit goalsBrexit and the apparel industry – what lies ahead? 28 June 2016

The apparel industry must accept Brexit is going to happen – and start planning now in order to try to minimise the damage, writes Mike Flanagan, in his latest assessment of the UK's vote to turn its back on the European Union (EU).

Britain's decision to leave the EU means massive volatility and uncertainty for the country's politics and economyHow apparel retailers should react to Britain’s Brexit 24 June 2016

The UK yesterday (23 June) voted in favour of ‘Brexit,’ a decision that means the country will leave the European Union (EU) – well, soon. Mike Flanagan believes British apparel brands and retailers stand to gain a lot from post-Brexit trade negotiations, but only if they sharpen up their acts.

China is unlikely to cede its apparel production position for decadesThe Flanarant – Why no other countries will step into China’s shoes 7 June 2016

There's no doubt China faces a number of challenges, ranging from slowing economic growth to growing retail competition and – in March at least – a massive drop in year-on-year exports to the US. Continuing to expect the Chinese to rise to the challenge, Mike Flanagan takes a closer look at why nowhere else is ready to exploit the opportunities.

Apparel imports into the US from China in March were 39% down year-on-yearThe Flanarant – Is China really going through a slump? 19 May 2016

Slowing economic growth and growing competition are hitting the profits of Chinese retailers, while the country's clothing exports to the US dropped 39% year-on-year in March. Mike Flanagan takes a closer look at what this might mean for the apparel industry.

UK garment-making showed signs of revival in the second half of 2015Is UK apparel onshoring finally gaining momentum? 6 April 2016

Despite years of denial, British garment-making showed serious signs of a revival in the second half of 2015. Mike Flanagan takes a closer look, and asks: Is the long-anticipated UK onshoring boom finally coming into sight?

The British will vote on 23 June whether to stay in the EU or notMight Brexit be brighter for Britain’s garment industry? 7 March 2016

The British will vote on 23 June whether to stay in the EU or not. By early March, opinion polls showed voters split about 50/50, with about a third still unsure. So far, neither side has been straightforward about the effects of leaving (known as a "Brexit") or staying. Here's how Mike Flanagan sees Brexit supporters' arguments affecting Britain's apparel industry.

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