Blog: Cautious optimism prevails for 2013
Leonie Barrie | 11 February 2013
2013 got off to a strong start for US clothing and footwear retailers in January, with many reporting their best performance since September 2011. Comparable-store sales rose 4.5% year-on-year during the month, according to figures released last week.
The better-than-expected results were helped by two extra pre-holiday selling days compared to last year, combined with cool temperatures that helped chains sell through seasonal merchandise. Yet retailers hoping this trend will continue might be disappointed, with cool weather across the country slowing sales of early spring lines.
However, apparel industry executives canvassed by just-style for this year's annual management briefing on issues to watch in the year ahead are cautiously optimistic there will be some improvement in the business environment in 2013.
But when it comes to sourcing and the supply chain there's a lot of talk about facing up to the 'new normal', an environment where supply exceeds demand, conditions remain intensely competitive, margins continue to be squeezed, and retail buying patterns favour smaller quantities, shorter lead times and a need for greater flexibility.
The creation of a new harmonised customs system between the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) also offers an opportunity for the region's clothing and textile industry - but only through strategic partnerships and better vertical integration.
Apparel maker Gildan Activewear is considering ramping up the production of performance products following its acquisition of Anvil Knitwear in May last year. The company, which last week said it had returned to profit in its first quarter of fiscal 2013, plans to convert the Anvil facility in Honduras to focus on these speciality lines, which have already helped lift sales.
And apparel company Hanesbrands ended fiscal 2012 with a near doubling in Q4 profit following a reduction in debt and its exit from under-performing businesses. The US-based sock, T-shirt and underwear maker also revealed it may look to invest in acquisitions to drive growth and strengthen its business portfolio.
Smart fabrics and wearable technology go hand in hand. And with strong growth forecast over the coming years, it's no wonder fashion and software companies are developing new products to tap into the ...
Esprit and Benetton have been quick off the mark to celebrate their ratings as “Detox leaders” in this year’s “Detox Catwalk” rankings. The online platform is designed to assess fashion brands’ record...
Fashion brands and retailers need to embrace “radical change” in their apparel sizing and fit strategies if they are to remain competitive in a changing environment, according to executives at a recen...
Bangladesh's textile and clothing exporters, still reeling from the impact of continuing political unrest in the country, now say they are facing a second shock wave: the freefall of the euro. Industr...
- Speed to market key to Adidas 2020 growth plan
- SuperGroup to adapt sourcing model for speed
- SOURCING: Production problems weigh on Pakistan
- Cutting-edge companies focus on consumer needs
- What next for smart fabrics and garments?
- Transparency call for German apparel firms
- Lululemon Athletica on “strong growth” track
- El Corte Ingles to accelerate time to market
- Honduras “union-busting” rift unresolved
- Organic cotton assessment tool launches
- Myanmar's Garment Sector - Opportunities & Challenges in 2015
- Management briefing: Outlook 2015: Apparel industry issues in the year ahead
- Apparel Retail: Top 5 Emerging Markets Industry Guide
- Outdoor performance apparel: peaks, valleys, and green fields
- Global market review of swimwear - forecasts to 2019