Outlook 2014: Apparel industry issues to watch
For our annual management briefing on apparel industry issues to watch in the year ahead, just-style asked leading executives for their feedback on the challenges and opportunities likely to emerge in 2014. Their insight provides a fascinating overview of the state of the sector today.
Among the biggest challenges facing the apparel industry in 2014, responsible sourcing and the need for greater visibility across the supply chain were singled out. Another issue is increased volatility in apparel retail, along with the rise of omnichannel and its impact on sourcing and logistics.
What is likely to keep apparel industry execs awake at night in 2014 – and is the year ahead set to be better than 2013? While confident in their outlook, managing risks and protecting brands are set to be top priorities. Social unrest and violence in supplier countries are among the issues to watch, as are new internet business models.
What will define the retailer winners from the losers in 2014 - and what key strengths and strategies are helping companies to take leading positions? International growth and online sales are leading the way, bringing challenges in tailoring ranges, sourcing and logistics to the needs of each market. The winners will be those who are distinctive and deliver excitement.
How is the sourcing landscape likely to shift in 2014, and what strategies can help apparel firms and their suppliers to stay ahead? While China is still seen leading the pack, forging strategic relationships with key manufacturers and supply countries, a growing interest in onshoring or reshoring for the US and EU, and striking a balance between speed and cost, are among the suggestions.
From the rise of the billion dollar transnational factory giants to the bursting of the Bangladesh bubble and the decline of the retail store, David Birnbaum offers his take on the key apparel industry issues to watch in 2014.
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