Blog: Prime Source Forum: Day I
Joe Ayling | 1 April 2009
As the opening day of Prime Source Forum draws to a close, delegates here in Hong Kong are left with mixed messages.
The day started with a sobering keynote address by Standard Chartered Bank Asia economist Nicholas Kwan. His speech, entitled Surviving the Perfect Storm, forecast a "U" shaped global recession rather than an "arrow", but with recovery only expected by 2011.
He said the economic storm is a perfect one because it's more synchronised, securitised and structural than previous downturns.
Kwan was followed by a panel discussion involving Janet Fox, JC Penney's VP and director of sourcing, to discuss the political and financial aspects of sourcing.
Although Fox hoped the earlier projected recovery might be fast tracked a few months, she also detailed the sliding retail landscape in the US, with 200,000 total retail doors expected to shutter this year alone.
Retail is the second biggest employer behind the US government itself, and Fox believes federal bailouts afforded to the auto industry have been somewhat overlooked for apparel businesses.
The panel also called for tarriff cuts for sourcing hubs - citing thousands of factory closures in China alone due to the US retail fallout.
Also on the panel was David Spooner, a former assistant US secretary of commerce for import administration under the Bush administration, who gave a realistic account of how President Barrack Obama's new team might influence global trade.
Spooner is encouraged by Obama's early trade appointments, but cautioned that the new president's high regard for the environment could mean that cap and trade legislation - to control each US factory's CO2 output - could feasibly diffuse through to overseas manufacturers too.
Industry woes were then partly erased by an invigorating panel discussion about the industry shift in sourcing forced by factory closures. Sourcing execs from Dick's Sporting Goods, VF Asia and Guess were enthused by the challenges of the subject, and not just because it followed the coffee break.
All agreed that working closer and more efficiently with manufacturers to help them stay compliant is in the interests of the entire industry and would create a more disciplined and responsive supply chain.
The final session had a final twist though, with Thorsten Allenstein, MD of Triumph International (India) Pvt Ltd, saying although the emerging markets of China and India are "big winners" for retailers, they alone cannot fill the gap left by these uncertain times.
By Joe Ayling, news editor.
With thousands of factories already closed in China alone, the global recession is taking its toll on apparel and footwear supply chains. A panel discussion at The Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong last...
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...
Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year....
- Trump and the apparel industry – Infographic
- How US border adjustment tax could affect apparel
- Apparel factory auditing is in the firing line
- British Brexit plans prioritise tariff-free trade
- NRF 2017 – Retail tech launches and developments
- New project to digitalise European fashion chains
- Brands need to tackle Turkey factory refugee abuse
- JC Penney to roll out hundreds of Nike "shops"
- Patagonia launching circular economy platform
- Limited Stores files for bankruptcy protection
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Anti-odour clothing: fresh fashion for an active lifestyle
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022