just-style authors and correspondents

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

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.

Primark is likely to be selling twice as many clothes per square foot as its immediate rivalsIs Primark pioneering a new wave of retail efficiency? 26 February 2016

In a Rant published on just-style earlier this month, Mike Flanagan stressed the importance of finding new sources of retail efficiency rather than worrying about rising prices. He now asks whether Primark has identified where apparel retailers should be looking – or whether US commentators are right when they claim the business is fundamentally flawed?

Bangladesh export growth – and price declines – accelerated during 2015
The Flanarant – Are apparel prices really rising? 12 February 2016

There's hardly an apparel industry commentator on the planet who's not forever going on about rising cost prices, writes Mike Flanagan. But he also wonders how often any of them look at what buyers are paying.

Predictions about future legislation can change from one month to the nextThe Flanarant – New Year forecasts begin with excess expectations 19 January 2016

Don't believe those New Year forecasts, warns Mike Flanagan, as he debunks a few stories about four issues that are likely to be important in garment sourcing for some time.

Cuba could provide a production centre just hours from the US by truckIs Cuba the missing link in the US apparel supply chain? 23 December 2015

In his last comment of the year, Mike Flanagan offers a seasonal suggestion for solving several global and industry problems.

Different pressures take different businesses in different directionsThe Flanarant - Apparel sourcing strategies continue to diverge 18 December 2015

Last week's announcement by Adidas that it expects its costs to rise sharply over the next five years underlines some crucial changes buyers in different countries have seen in their sourcing operations since the beginning of this century, explains Mike Flanagan.

China's manufacturers don't need a Five-Year Plan to tell them how to produce more efficientlyWhy China’s 5-year plan won't change garment-making 24 November 2015

China is using a catchy English-language TV ad to promote its 13th Five-Year Plan for the five years to 2020. But does the Plan really tell us how garment-making in China will be affected? asks Mike Flanagan.

The US Administration may delay a formal Congressional debate until after the 2016 electionsThe Flanarant - Will the TPP pass into law? 12 November 2015

The Flanarant - Will the TPP pass into law? Last week, on 5 November, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) published the detailed text of the agreement that its 12 potential members had reached exactly a month earlier. Publication coincided with a number of events illustrating just how unpredictable the deal’s approval by those countries’ legislatures is likely to be. They raise a number of questions:

just-style homepage

Forgot your password?