Blog: Leonie BarrieMadrid massacre

Leonie Barrie | 15 March 2004

As the reality of last week’s horrific events in Madrid unfolds – and it looks increasingly likely that terrorists planned the train bombs in a deliberate attempt to hijack public opinion amid the Spanish elections – it’s a legitimate question to ask if terrorism has succeeded there, where will it be next? While this column isn’t the right place to condemn the fanatics who commit such atrocities, it is justifiable to discuss the impact such actions will have on the textile and clothing industry.

The knock-on effect of a downturn in travel and tourism – however small – will hit a broad range of companies globally, including luxury goods retailers such as LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton. The bombings are also likely to spark renewed fears among buyers. After all, although Spain’s textile and clothing industry is fast disappearing, until last Thursday to travel there would hardly have been given a second thought. Recent events will also lead to a new focus on the risks associated with foreign travel. Terrorism has up to now had limited impact on the apparel manufacturing industry, even though several strikes have been made in countries where large volumes of clothing are sourced. But as buyers are also eyeing the changes and opportunities that will unfold at the end of this year, maybe events in Spain provide yet another wake-up call on the need to spread their risks.


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