Blog: Leonie BarrieSourcing trends show fluctuating fortunes

Leonie Barrie | 14 July 2014

Despite forecasts suggesting US imports would continue to rise in May - in part to offset the threat of possible industrial action and disruption at major West Coast container ports this summer - the latest data in fact shows apparel imports were down year-on-year.

And while Vietnam was one of the few countries bucking the overall decline, shipments from China and Bangladesh showed fluctuating fortunes.

Rising wages in China have not, as many feared, forced garment buyers to look elsewhere - thanks to the country's garment makers managing to keep their prices competitive.

But other potential problems are emerging from The China Dream adopted by Xi Jinping as the theme of his presidency. Combining "economic prosperity" with "national rejuvenation", the second part of this vision is starting to look troubling.

While the tide on US imports appears to be turning for Bangladesh, the country's overall ready-made garment exports soared by nearly 14% in the just-finished fiscal year as political stability returned to the South Asian country.

Keeping an eye on its retail supply chain has prompted Spanish retail giant Inditex, operator of the Zara fast fashion stores, to renew a "ground-breaking" agreement designed to monitor and track issues including labour standards and sub-contracting.

And an improving employment picture, favourable weather for purchases of summer clothing, and heavy promotions fuelled better-than-expected sales for US apparel retailers in June - but analysts have warned that headwinds remain.

The first quarter at UK retailer Marks & Spencer marked the twelfth consecutive decline in general merchandise sales - although clothing edged up 0.1% during the period. Some analysts describe the performance as "lacklustre" and "disappointing", while others believe it is "encouraging" and "provides some relief".

BLOG

Concern mounts over Trump's trade policies

Since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, his administration has been busy fulfilling major campaign promises on trade policy – much to the concern of US fashion brands and apparel ret...

BLOG

Jeans makers eye innovation to regain market share

just-style’s latest weekly roundup begins with a look at how jeans makers are innovating and adapting to evolving consumer needs and the impact of athleisure with new fabric innovation and more sustai...

BLOG

Trump's tariffs threaten textile trade

With tariff discussions looming over the White House, just-style’s news and analysis last week was not surprisingly dominated by talk of a possible trade war....

BLOG

Tailoring mass manufacturing to the individual

As the fashion industry shifts towards proper omnichannel it requires an on-demand supply chain that combines customisation with the ability to restock shops more efficiently and respond to trends mor...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?