just-style authors and correspondents
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
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
New twists and turns are taking place on the trade front almost daily, largely driven by the UK’s Brexit vote to leave the EU and the Trump administration’s new policies. In this new monthly column Mike Flanagan unravels the latest developments and their likely impact on the global apparel supply chain – along with advice on how buyers and suppliers should respond.
Seemingly endless trade-related government announcements in the US and UK throughout January were full of ideas for greater national control. But none offered a single detail that sourcing firms could use – making business planning a nightmare for buyers and potentially disrupting supply chains, says Mike Flanagan.
For the past six years China's clothing producers have retained their dominance of world apparel manufacturing despite widespread forecasts of imminent collapse. At its peak share in 2009, China accounted for 42.3% of America's apparel imports; in the first nine months of 2016 this was almost unchanged at 41.2%. However, Mike Flanagan believes China's apparel exports now face a serious threat – from the Chinese government.
It's a safe bet that few readers of just-style will have paid much attention to the idea of 'destination-based' profit taxes. They need to start doing so – right now – says Mike Flanagan, since the so-far obscure US tax proposal threatens all American apparel importers – and their suppliers.
US president-elect Trump's stated policies on international trade worry a lot of people. But the explanations given by his new business-friendly team worry Mike Flanagan a lot more. Here he explains why Trumponomics is not only bad for US apparel – but a blow for Brexiteers too.
US president-elect Donald Trump used the campaign train to set out his stance on trade issues. Instead of dismissing this as bluff and bluster, Mike Flanagan believes he will stay true to his word to impose restrictions or higher tariffs on imports – leading to massive long-term uncertainty.
Between June and September 2016, the internet's share of UK clothing sales fell consistently – something Mike Flanagan doesn't think has ever happened in the history of selling clothes, anywhere, ever before.
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.
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.
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.
- China leads US apparel sources with falling prices
- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- Trade Tracker – Trump's first weeks, Brexit agenda
- Key trade issues facing US textiles and apparel
- Bangladesh "high threat" for terrorist activity
- VF Corp sees Q4 and FY earnings tumble
- Adidas and Burberry recognised for sustainability
- Sales at US clothing retailers jumped in January
- Ralph Lauren new execs to support Way Forward Plan
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022