Blog: Hannah AbdullaCentral America clothing suppliers warn on delays due to coronavirus

Hannah Abdulla | 2 March 2020

Central American garment suppliers are fretting over delays of up to a month in essential Chinese fabric supplies as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Columbia Sportswear says the outbreak is impacting its suppliers' ability to source certain raw materials and fulfil finished goods orders.

And Covid-19 is presenting a challenge for Myanmar's garment sector as factories tackle supply issues, logistical challenges, and the possibility of factory closures.

The owner of value fashion retailer Primark has warned that prolonged delays to factory production in China as a result of the outbreak could lead to supply shortages on some lines later in its financial year.

And a shortage of workers and higher costs and shortfalls on the raw material side are among the top challenges facing China's garment industry as the coronavirus disrupts their supply chains, according to a survey of almost 300 apparel companies.

Elsewhere, Vietnam is confident the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will be an opportunity to increase the export of textiles and footwear, while also playing an important role with those export commodities facing difficulties due to the impact of coronavirus.

While the US and India have said they are working to conclude negotiations on a trade deal between the two nations.

US apparel import data offers a key insight into the shifting supply chain strategies of US fashion brands and retailers. Unpicking the latest annual numbers, four key sourcing trends have emerged.  

In Jordan, a training scheme aimed at bolstering the number of Jordanians working in the country's garment sector has added 350 recruits to clothing manufacturer Classic Fashion Apparel Industry  – with further expansion already planned.

Meanwhile, manufacturing giant Grupo Kattan is seeking a venture partner to help build a $70m woven fabric plant in Honduras.

On the appointments-front Authentic Brands Group (ABG) has named Daniel Kulle, former president of H&M North America, as the new CEO of Forever 21.

And Sainsbury's has appointed former Amazon executive Jessica Brown to head up the UK supermarket retailer's e-commerce Tu clothing divisions.

In other news, European companies, including apparel firms, have been slammed for not disclosing enough about climate change and other sustainability issues such as human rights.


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