After the turmoil of 2011, the biggest challenges facing the global apparel supply chain in 2012 continue to include rising costs, political and economic uncertainty in both consumer and sourcing markets, the changing role of China, increased competition at retail, pressure to integrate supply chains and the shift towards faster fashion cycles. Against such a background, the ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions and pressures will separate the winners from the losers.

Kurt Cavano, founder, chairman and chief strategy officer, TradeCard
Economic uncertainty in Europe has shifted from Greece, to Italy and now Spain, Portugal and Ireland. China’s torrid growth rate of the last several years is slowing down and inflation is picking up. The recovery in North America is still considered fragile and under threat from rising energy prices, a stubbornly high unemployment rate and a housing market still on life support. Raw materials costs remain volatile. Consumer confidence and spending rates fluctuate month to month. Now more than ever, the key to apparel supply chain success in 2012 is agility and responsiveness. The ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions and pressures will separate the winners from the losers in 2012.

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