UK: Arcadia ramps up use of British manufacturers?
Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green is reportedly ramping up the retailer's use of British manufacturers.
The group, which operates the Topshop, BHS and Dorothy Perkins chains, is looking to cut its dependence on overseas manufacturing centres, where costs are rising.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green said the company has increased the number of UK factories it uses by 20% over the past year, to 47, from a negligible base several years ago.
"We've been pushing to see what we could do to keep it nearer home," he said.
"This is something we are permanently looking at, every day, every week. UK manufacturing gives us a different capability."
However, he emphasised this shift will not transform the industry overnight, and is "very much evolution rather than revolution".
The textile and clothing industry employs approximately 100,000 people in the UK, but many production units are small and disparate as major retailers have shifted manufacturing to the Far East over the past decade.
However, Chinese labour costs have been rising, which, with longer lead times, has meant the advantage of buying from the Far East is declining.
The report said Green's rivals are using more European manufacturing, allowing them to bring in the latest designs quickly.
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