53 results in the archive - showing page 2 of 2

The Flanarant: Apparel 'slumpflation' is all-round confusing 10 Jan 2012

Column: The Flanarant

The biggest problem the world apparel industry faces at the start of 2012 is the ongoing combination of rising product costs and falling sales. The 'Great Apparel Slumpflation of winter 2011/2012,' as he calls it, is confusing everyone, everywhere, according to Mike Flanagan.


The Flanarant: Debunking the garment industry myths of 2011 22 Dec 2011

Column: The Flanarant

There's been a huge amount of confusion recently about the competitiveness of Chinese textiles and apparel. While China's not offering the prices Western apparel buyers would like, it is cheaper in relative terms than it was a year ago, according to Mike Flanagan. Here he debunks a few other garment industry myths that rose to the fore in 2011.


THE FLANARANT: Is own label about to collapse? 16 Nov 2011

Column: The Flanarant

With more and more own label apparel retailers eyeing growth in Asia and Latin America to make up for shortfalls in their domestic markets, Mike Flanagan asks whether a business formula that's running out of steam at home will now work abroad. Especially if it's fuelled by designers who have little connection to those foreign customers.


THE FLANARANT: Local knowledge is key to retail success 25 Oct 2011

Column: The Flanarant

With western retailers increasingly optimistic about business in emerging markets, does it also hold true that the industry will soon "be sourcing everywhere and selling everywhere"? Not according to Mike Flanagan, who believes most developing markets will stay small for a long time, and that locally-owned retailers will be the long-term beneficiaries.


THE FLANARANT: Apparel sourcing rules start to unravel 30 Sep 2011

Column: The Flanarant

Did the underlying principles of apparel sourcing completely change at the beginning of this month? Two events, happening more or less simultaneously in the US and Bangladesh, may well signal a complete reversal of how sourcing works, suggests Mike Flanagan.


THE FLANARANT: Is supplier liquidity the next sourcing challenge? 11 Aug 2011

Column: The Flanarant

For many in the global garment supply chain the recession that 's been hanging over the West has scarcely caused a dent in most Asian countries' growth. But it now looks as if many in Asia are about to be hit by a new problem - a serious liquidity crisis among many textile and garment businesses.


THE FLANARANT: Textile investments keep China's cutting edge 19 Jul 2011

Column: The Flanarant

China accounts for between 65% and 80% of the world's spinning and weaving capacity - and its textile technology investment in 2010 was higher than at any time in the past decade. So while buyers can shift garment production to cheaper locations, the reality is that they'll still be sourcing their fabric and yarn from Chinese factories, as Mike Flanagan explains.


THE FLANARANT: Is a Chinese productivity revolution next? 8 Jun 2011

Column: The Flanarant

It's no secret that wages are rising in China; indeed, a hike of at least 80% by 2015 is official government policy. But so too is increased productivity, with plans to double apparel output over the next five years. So while buyers need to think about their sourcing portfolio as China gets pricier, the country also has plenty of room to maintain its manufacturing strengths, says Mike Flanagan.


THE FLANARANT: A new retail model to cut clothing costs 16 May 2011

Column: The Flanarant

Most people agree the garment industry has reached the end of the road as far as continuously falling clothing production prices are concerned. But could the internet offer apparel retailers the next big opportunity to take costs out of the supply chain? asks Mike Flanagan.


THE FLANARANT: Are apparel factory owners the new Luddites? 11 Apr 2011

Column: The Flanarant

19th century Luddites had no way of knowing that mechanisation would ultimately lead to better productivity. But today's apparel factory owners have no excuse for failing to grasp that productivity improvements can often offset the cost of higher wages, writes Mike Flanagan.


THE FLANARANT: Arab unrest and its impact on the apparel industry 8 Mar 2011

Column: The Flanarant

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 it triggered events which indirectly led to garment and textile manufacture leaving rich countries. Is the current unrest in the Middle East likely to create anything so transforming? The answer may well be "yes," says Mike Flanagan, but not in the same way.


THE FLANARANT: Is RFID in apparel finally coming of age? 8 Feb 2011

Column: The Flanarant

With apparel retailers and brands looking for new ways to bring down their buying-in prices, could now be the time for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to finally come into its own? Mike Flanagan certainly thinks so, pointing out that costs are coming down, suppliers are beginning to collaborate, and benefits could include better management in garment factories.


THE FLANARANT: A change of focus is key for apparel firms 11 Jan 2011

Column: The Flanarant

Western apparel brands and retailers invest an inordinate amount of time on ambitious and elaborate programmes to tackle ethical problems - but on the issues that probably matter most, their performance seems to decline annually. Mike Flanagan suggests that "concentrate on what you can influence" should be the 2011 New Year's resolution for the garment trade.


THE FLANARANT: Strategies to cope with the end of cheap clothes 8 Nov 2010

Column: The Flanarant

Instead of bemoaning the end of cheap clothing, Mike Flanagan is challenging retailers and buyers to drive prices down again through creative new practices. They must work harder to offer their customers better value, he says, and put pressure on different parts of the supply chain to manage the factors that influence prices.


THE FLANARANT: Is India serious about garment making? 4 Oct 2010

Column: The Flanarant

If it's going to regain its share of the world apparel market, India's government needs to help its businesses regain credibility, argues Mike Flanagan. It can do this by announcing expansion programmes that materialise, by encouraging job creation, by eliminating pointless random expulsions of garment workers, and putting an end to the culture of denial of child labour.


THE FLANARANT: Uncertainty the latest threat to Pakistan makers 7 Sep 2010

Column: The Flanarant

Already hurt by a reputation for uncertainty, Pakistan's apparel industry has been hit again by the fall-out from the recent floods. The solution, according to Mike Flanagan, is to keep buying from the country, and to make sure Western aid is used to build an infrastructure that works.


THE FLANARANT: What's going on in Bangladesh? 10 Aug 2010

Column: The Flanarant

Mike Flanagan compares and contrasts government policy in China and Bangladesh and suggests it has a major role to play in the difference between the health of the two countries' garment industries.


THE FLANARANT: 'Made in China' continues to make sense 19 Jul 2010

Column: The Flanarant

It's impossible to predict how China's competitiveness will emerge from the four key forces of wage inflation, raw material scarcity, currency fluctuations and growing compliance needs. But it's hard to see any evidence of mass bankruptcies, as local media claims, according to Mike Flanagan.


THE FLANARANT: Government cuts set to hit EU clothing sales 1 Jun 2010

Column: The Flanarant

Unlike their US counterparts, many apparel retailers in Europe have seen sales remain surprisingly healthy throughout the recession. But this could all be about to change, believes Mike Flanagan, as moves by several European governments to slash their debts via tax hikes and public spending cuts start to curb the region's clothing business. For suppliers, the likely slowdown in demand coincides with rising costs.


THE FLANARANT: Indian cotton ban masks higher input costs 4 May 2010

Column: The Flanarant

The Indian government's recent decision to halt cotton exports has led to claims from textile-producing countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan that upcoming manufacturing deadlines will be missed. Mike Flanagan believes their claims are just a smokescreen that masks a more widespread rise in input costs as the economic recovery gains momentum.


THE FLANARANT: China prices to rise as labour shortages grow 13 Apr 2010

Column: The Flanarant

Europe and the US can keep whipping themselves into a frenzy and demand the Chinese write off their debts. Or they can trust the remorseless logic of a falling workforce and let nature put China's export prices up a great deal faster. Either way, a China cost hike is on the cards, believes Mike Flanagan.


THE FLANARANT: Imagination's better than a begging bowl 12 Mar 2010

Column: The Flanarant

Turkey’s about to hire lobbyists to try to secure duty-free access for its garments to the US, and Pakistan’s about to spend money on a similar campaign to stop paying EU import duty. But instead of investing a fortune on what is likely to be a fruitless exercise, Mike Flanagan believes they could be doing more to help themselves.


THE FLANARANT: China competition hits harder than recession 3 Feb 2010

Column: The Flanarant

Far too many apparel suppliers have concluded the recession is to blame for their falling sales. Instead, believes Mike Flanagan, the real reason for their problems is that the US and EU last year finally lifted all restrictions against garment imports from China and Vietnam, thus exposing the rest of the world from the full force of their competition.

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