Blog: Challenges and opportunities in 2014?
Leonie Barrie | 21 January 2014
just-style's annual briefing on apparel industry issues to watch in the year ahead has gathered feedback from leading executives on the challenges and opportunities likely to emerge in 2014. Their insight provides a fascinating overview of the state of the sector today.
Responsible sourcing and the need for greater visibility across the supply chain, minimising risks, and social unrest and violence in supplier countries were singled out. And while there is likely to be a growing interest in onshoring or reshoring, China is still seen leading the pack when it comes to apparel sourcing.
Separately, David Birnbaum offers his take on the key apparel industry issues to watch in 2014 - from the rise of the billion dollar transnational factory giants to the bursting of the Bangladesh bubble and the decline of the retail store.
For trends in US apparel imports, new data shows November shipments fell by nearly 20% on the month before as retailers wound down their purchases of key holiday season merchandise. There was also the first drop in imports from Bangladesh since factory safety issues came to the fore in April. And Vietnam has achieved the biggest gains of the year to date.
Yet separate figures suggest Bangladesh's ready-made garment exports are continuing to soar, jumping nearly 20% in the six months from July to December.
However, the industry says it is counting the cost of three months of political turmoil, labour unrest and factory safety issues.
In other news from the country, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has finalised the fire, electrical, and building inspection standards against which all its member supplier factories will be assessed. Around 1,500 factories are due to be inspected by September 2014.
And for buyers seeking a new source of potentially low-cost apparel, Pakistan's accession to the European Union's GSP+ trade scheme offers new opportunities. A USAID programme is in place to help garment producers in the country to build business with brands and retailers in the EU - and allows buyers to eliminate some of the risks of forging ahead on their own.
And in retail news, struggling US department store chain JC Penney is to axe 2,000 jobs and close 33 underperforming stores, as part of ongoing efforts to turn around its business. While some analysts believe the store closures could prove positive in the long term, others think more may be necessary.
Companies: JC Penney
With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...
German sportswear brand Puma has promoted Bob Philion to president of Puma North America, following the retirement of Jay Piccola....
Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
This week our focus turns to first thoughts from a panel of industry experts consulted by just-style on the challenges and opportunities likely to face the apparel supply chain in 2017, with prospects...
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- Trade Tracker – Trump's first weeks, Brexit agenda
- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
- Key trade issues facing US textiles and apparel
- Does a hard Brexit mean hard times for UK fashion?
- Bangladesh "high threat" for terrorist activity
- VF Corp sees Q4 and FY earnings tumble
- Sales at US clothing retailers jumped in January
- Ralph Lauren new execs to support Way Forward Plan
- US Q4 in brief – VF Corp, Kate Spade, Rocky Brands
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar