Blog: Leonie BarrieComplexities of multi-channel pricing, sourcing and stock control

Leonie Barrie | 15 November 2018

The fashion industry is operating in a multi-channel world – but when it comes to managing this approach, it seems there is no unanimity of best practice (and often no best practice at all) on multi-channel pricing, sourcing and stock control. Here we unravel some of the complexities.

The sector is also a laggard in embracing advanced analytics, often favouring merchant and designer-driven 'gut feel' over insight-driven decision making. But with the possibility of bagging a 10-15% cost saving in operations and supply chain, can businesses continue to afford to ignore its benefits?

The volume of US apparel imports saw a downturn month-on-month in September as the back-to-school season came to an end. Yet despite ongoing trade tensions, imports from China regained their upward trajectory, while Bangladesh booked the month's highest gain.

And the second article in our series examining the failure of the US garment industry looks at how US government policy to force consumers to buy made-in-America apparel succeeded in almost destroying domestic manufacturing.

Meanwhile, the wage board for Bangladesh's ready-made garment sector has finalised its proposed minimum monthly wage, despite objections from trade unions and factory owners.

Sri Lanka has been selected for the global rollout of a new project to improve factory working conditions and address the challenge of audit fatigue by creating a single assessment for all.

MAS US Holdings, a subsidiary of Sri Lankan apparel and fabric manufacturing giant MAS Capital, has been approved for a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) sub-zone in North Carolina where it will be able to reduce, eliminate or defer tariff payments on imported components.

And foreign direct investments (FDI) into Malaysia's garment and textile sector are set to rise further this year on the back of a strong performance in 2017, just-style has been told.

But UK retailer Marks & Spencer has says every aspect of the company including its supply chain is set to undergo "scrutiny and change" after sales dived yet again. Analysts have mixed feelings about the retailer's progress so far.

Adidas says it will continue to invest very heavily into its digital business model as the German sportswear giant looks to boost product innovation and speed-to-market.

And our latest monthly round-up of updates to key free trade agreements and trade preference programmes involving the US, EU and Japan covers developments in October 2018.

In other news, North Carolina State University's College of Textiles has received a donation of US$28m; Vietnam's garment exports are expected to benefit from the US-China trade spat; a new platform is launching to bring together fabric makers and buyers; and denim has been successfully authenticated from farm to finished product through DNA tagging.

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