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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

In 2016, around 45% of all import duties collected by the US government came from apparel and footwearTrade Tracker – Trump and Brexit generate more heat than light 13 March 2017

Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" – while the British government’s attempts to clarify the specifics of "Brexit means Brexit" left no-one better informed. Mike Flanagan takes a closer look.

The UK's Business Ministry has The Flanarant - Wage abuses can’t be eliminated by software and flash PR 27 February 2017

It is not just alleged Asian sweatshops where there are widespread wage abuses, Mike Flanagan reminds us. But is the British government concentrating too much on headline-grabbing mistakes at high street retailers in its "name and shame" campaign against abuse at home?

The British government intends to re-establish Customs control for all goods entering the UKTrade Tracker – Trump’s first three weeks and Brexit timelines 16 February 2017

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.

Sourcing businesses are facing more and more issues they can neither influence nor predictThe Flanarant – New political plans add long-term buying uncertainty 2 February 2017

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.

China's aggressive stance over WTO rights may inflame its relationship with the EU and USThe Flanarant – Is China about to burst its apparel trade bubble? 10 January 2017

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.

Under a destination-based system imports would be taxed while exports would notA new US tax proposal threatens apparel importers 20 December 2016

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.

The The Flanarant – Why Trump has blown the case for Brexit out of the water 8 December 2016

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.

Since the start of his campaign, Donald Trump has been consistent and unambiguous about his trade policyThe Flanarant – Why Trump will be true to his trade threats 9 November 2016

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.

The internet's share of UK clothing sales appears to be on the declineHas peak internet hit Britain’s clothing sales? 1 November 2016

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 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.

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