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David Birnbaum

David BirnbaumBiography

David Birnbaum, co-founder of Birnbaum & Father Ltd, is a garment industry specialist who has been retained by importers, middlemen, and factories as well as international institutions and governments. He is a leading expert in garment industry strategic development and transfer pricing, and is the author of nine books including “Birnbaum’s Global Guide to Agents and Buying Offices” (2015), as well as the monthly Birnbaum Report.

Articles by David Birnbaum

A trade war will damage important sectors of the US economyThe coming trade war – From America first to America last 19 October 2017

There is an increasing possibility that we are moving inexorably towards a global trade war, writes David Birnbaum. Should there be a trade war, the responsibility will lie with the United States and, more precisely, with its President and his America First policy. And the implications would not just hit trade, but also social issues and security.


For the production of commodity products such as basic T-shirts, open costing and increased productivity are the way forwardStrategies to survive in a declining apparel market 5 October 2017

Surviving in a declining market is the biggest challenge for the discount/mass-market retailers and suppliers of commodity products such as basic T-shirts, hoodies or cotton men's shirts. David Birnbaum believes it is time to stop negotiating and bring in the engineers.


Local industry and government must be committed to change if they are to move up to higher value added productsBreaking out of the cheap commodity garment trap 31 August 2017

From basic commodities to high value added fashion, why do some industries develop while others remain forever mired in cheap garments? David Birnbaum takes a closer look.


Amazon's success is based on consistent and continuous innovation, such as its Prime Wardrobe serviceSolving tomorrow’s apparel industry problems today – Comment 2 August 2017

Almost the entire US garment retail sector is in trouble, yet companies such as Amazon are moving ahead. Brick-and-mortar stores cannot compete with Amazon. Instead, in order to succeed they must out-Amazon, Amazon, writes David Birnbaum.


Bangladesh's growth in US apparel market share has been on the wane since late 2016A tale of three countries – Vietnam, India, Bangladesh 14 July 2017

Things are no longer going well for Bangladesh when it comes to US garment imports, writes David Birnbaum, as he takes a closer look at why the country has been left behind as its competitors have moved forward. 


Lies, damned lies, and statistics – the sustainability version 22 June 2016

Garment making is to a large degree a model for sustainability, says David Birnbaum, adding that those working towards greater sustainability have an obligation to be transparent and accurate. What is not needed is input from those who lack the experience and knowledge to help.


Customers, middlemen and factory suppliers are becoming increasingly more alignedThe decline and fall of the supply chain manager 11 May 2016

The role of the middleman has become far greater and more important than ever before, with responsibility beginning before the onset of the supply chain and continuing long after its end – as David Birnbaum explains.


The yarn-forward provisions of TPP have led to a surge in spinning, weaving and knitting investmentTPP and the garment industry – are there any winners? 15 April 2016

David Birnbaum is trying very hard to understand how the garment provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) will affect US stakeholders. I can understand just who will fall into the loser column, he writes. The problem is finding anyone to place in the winner column.


The internet is the defining element of the future – but what role do the supplier factories have to play?The rise of the millennial industry requires radical change 11 January 2016

As he refocuses his business on the next generation, consultant David Birnbaum explains why he believes the global garment industry is breaking apart – and how competing in the internet age requires retailers and brands, the big internet players, the 'itsy-bitsy' internet industry, and the supplier factories to take an honest look at the problem and try to create realistic solutions.


Vietnam is one of the US apparel import countries – the winners 2 December 2015

US garment imports have not only reached record levels but, based on recent data, growth is accelerating. David Birnbaum has used this as an opportunity to take a snapshot of the global garment industry: the current position of exporting countries and more importantly the direction in which they are moving. This article, the first of three, looks at the success stories.


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