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February 14, 2022updated 11 Feb 2022 5:50pm

Fashion industry filings: Supply chain, logistics mentions increase 60% in Q3 2021

Mentions of supply chain and logistics within the filings of fashion industry companies increased 60% between the second and third quarters of 2021.

By Andrew Hillman

In total, the frequency of fashion and accessory company sentences related to supply chain and logistics between October 2020 and September 2021 was 37% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When fashion and accessories companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Supply chain and logistics is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether supply chain and logistics is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of fashion and accessories companies, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned supply chain and logistics at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 96% compared to 100% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to supply chain and logistics.

Of the 10 biggest employers in the fashion industry, VF Corp was the company which referred to supply chain and logistics the most between October 2020 and September 2021. GlobalData identified 202 supply chain & logistics-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 2.2% of all sentences. Hanesbrands Inc mentioned supply chain and logistics the second most - the issue was referred to in 2.1% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high supply chain & logistics mentions included Gildan Activewear Inc, Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd and Hermes International SA.

Across all fashion and accessories companies the filing published in the third quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on supply chain and logistics came from Levi Strauss & Co. The document showed 1,780 sentences and 81 (4.6%) referred to supply chain and logistics.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on supply chain and logistics and how important the issue is considered within the fashion industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning supply chain and logistics more regularly is not necessarily proof that it is utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into supply chain and logistics have been successes or failures.

In the last quarter, fashion and accessories companies based in the United States were most likely to mention supply chain and logistics with 1.72% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with headquarters in Western Europe mentioned supply chain and logistics in just 0.56% of sentences.

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