Blog: Bra wars fallout
Leonie Barrie | 3 November 2005
I was speaking recently with Alisdair Gray, director of the British Retail Consortium in Brussels, about the issue of retailers seeking compensation over the losses they incurred when around 87 million garments were prevented from entering the EU this summer. He said that although he hadn’t heard of any specific cases, a lot of companies had been talking about it. As he pointed out, it’s unlikely that they’ll follow through with it, mainly because it would be quite difficult to prove the actual material loss that they suffered.
Nevertheless, there continues to be a huge amount of dissatisfaction from companies that a couple of months ago had to stop manufacturing in China and in double-quick time move production to anywhere not affected by quota, and get tens of thousands of garments run off and delivered in time for their autumn collections. And the cause of their complaints aren’t just logistical; they’re financial too of course.
So it’s interesting to see the Spanish take on things. Span’s apparel federation Fedecon is demanding compensation from the European Commission for damages and losses following to its decision in September to allow around 21 million extra garments into the EU in an attempt to clear the clothing backlog. Fedecon’s lawyers are now preparing the suit, and their progress will no doubt be scrutinised by some of the more vociferous trade groups throughout Europe.
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