Blog: Production moving closer to home?
Leonie Barrie | 19 March 2012
Rising costs and pressure on margins are likely to force increasing numbers of retailers to rethink their pricing and sourcing strategies this year - with several hinting that British manufacturing could be poised for a comeback.
A new report says a combination of inflation, a fall in sales volume and discounting to clear stocks will continue to pressure UK women's wear retailers in the year ahead, and that many will rethink cost saving strategies as a result.
Fast fashion players, in particular, are set to explore UK manufacturing opportunities to offset rising international sourcing costs, including higher labour rates in China and India, as well as high freight charges and import duties.
In this same vein, supermarket retailer Asda has signed deals with seven factories in the UK as part of moves to bring production of its George brand closer to home and meet the needs of shoppers seeking up-to-the-minute fashions.
And department store operator John Lewis expects to see a "resurgence" in UK sourcing as retailers look to differentiate themselves and offer unique products as more and more customers shop online.
The UK retail sector is "under siege," delegates were told at an industry seminar last week on fashion's supply chain challenges. As well as pressure from continuing weak consumer confidence and rising costs, many of the factors at play are largely out of retailers' control - so having a strong supply chain is key.
Another challenge facing several clothing retailers in Europe, Australia and Canada is the accusation that they are selling knitwear made in "prison-like conditions" by workers in Bangladesh. The allegations of worker violations are levelled at the Chinese-owned Rosita Knitwears and Megha Textile (Megatex) factories in North Bengal.
Meanwhile, brands and retailers including Puma, H&M, Gap Inc, Columbia Sportswear and American Eagle Outfitters have joined a coalition of industry groups calling for an end to the violent unrest that continues to plague Cambodia's garment sector. A letter to the government urges a "full and transparent investigation" into recent events that have included the shooting of three workers at Puma supplier Kaoway Sports Ltd.
And much-publicised efforts by retail giant Walmart to boost its sustainability - including plans announced in 2009 to set up a global sustainability database within five years - have been criticised for "falling short" of original pledges. A new report says the retailer is failing to deliver on the initiatives.
Fashion retailer H&M and UK based glove and leather manufacturer Pittards both say they are monitoring the situation in Ethiopia closely after the country's government declared a state of emergency af...
Increasing competition for garment sourcing contracts is seeing China not only being challenged by other countries in Asia, but by sub-Saharan African and even Russian suppliers too. And it is pushing...
The monthly minimum wage for workers in Cambodia's textile, garment and footwear sector is set to rise to $153 from January next year, following a vote on the issue last week. The increase marks a ris...
The results of two highly-anticipated initiatives in the sportswear sphere were revealed last week: the launch of Under Armour’s new UAS lifestyle brand and the first pair of running shoes created at ...
- Fashion fit for the future – strategies for speed
- Digitisation to drive new apparel-making models
- Will new Vietnam wage hinder competitiveness?
- Under Armour Lighthouse will disrupt production
- Pakistan industry seeks help to kickstart exports
- Child refugees found in Turkey apparel factories
- Chinese manufacturer invests $20m in US facility
- US Q3 in brief - Under Armour, VF Corp, Skechers
- Reebok Liquid Factory reinvents shoe production
- Managing change in the move to new tech tools
- Africa-Med strategic sourcing review – comparing East Africa, North Africa and Turkey
- REPORT BUNDLE: Africa-Med, Southeast Asia and Central America strategic sourcing pack
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Apparel (GLOBAL) - Industry Report
- Global Sports and Fitness Wear Market 2016-2020