Blog: Leonie BarrieTaking control of costs

Leonie Barrie | 15 November 2010

Coinciding with an analysis on just-style that advised retailers and buyers they can continue to offer cheap clothing prices by introducing creative new sourcing practices, two of the world's leading clothing companies revealed they are doing just that.

Apparel maker Liz Claiborne is working to offset the impact of rising costs and believes changes being made on its sourcing front mean the company won't be faced with steep increases in its prices. An ongoing revaluation of its country of origin strategy, helped by a deal agreed early last year to offload its sourcing operations to Hong Kong-based giant Li & Fung, is helping to offset higher cotton and labour rates, as well as factory relocations and closings in southern and eastern china.

And discount fashion chain Primark has pledged to absorb soaring cotton costs to keep prices low and remain "the best value on the high street."

The focus at Marks and Spencer, meanwhile, has been on the long-awaited business strategy from new chief executive Marc Bolland, who last week revealed he intends to expand its clothing stores in the UK and overhaul its fashion brands to make it easier for customers to shop.

Bolland wants more focus on the M&S brand, will axe the Portfolio label, hire brand managers, and commit to the new marketing mantra 'A world of fashion, fashion of the world'. His plans were unveiled as the company booked a 13.7% rise in first-half pre-tax profit to GBP348.6m (US$562.1m).

Children's wear has proved to be a "star performer" at UK retailer J Sainsbury, which has booked a 38% jump in first-half profit. Britain's third-biggest supermarket group also said the addition of new stores and the expansion of its non-food ranges - which include clothing and footwear - would help it tackle a challenging economic environment.

But an ongoing two-horse race between Nike and Adidas looks set to continue well into the next decade, after Adidas unveiled a five-year strategy aimed at ousting Nike as the world's leading sporting goods company. The German sportswear firm told investors that it plans to grow sales by 50% to EUR17bn by 2015, with compound earnings growth of 15% a year over the same period. Adidas' strategic plan, called Route 2015, is designed "to lay the foundation for leadership in the sporting goods industry by outgrowing its major competitor in the next five years."

And just-style's news editor Joe Ayling has been filing stories from Sri Lanka, where he is taking part in the Sri Lanka Design Festival 2010. It's the second time the country has held the event, which puts a spotlight on the apparel industry as a leader in ethical design and fashion manufacturing practices. Activities include an ethical fashion forum, factory visits and catwalk shows.


BLOG

Covid sparks calls for more responsible industry

The coronavirus pandemic is seen as triggering a set-back for labour rights in apparel supply chains, with workers left vulnerable as brands and retailers cancelled orders. But it could also lead to r...

BLOG

Retail in spotlight as bankruptcies stack up

The impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is starting to be felt more heavily across the retail sector with more bankruptcies emerging....

BLOG

Excess inventory adds to apparel industry woes

With spring/summer now a write-off for most fashion retailers, the resulting flood of excess inventory is set to add to industry woes, with discounting and margin erosion likely to lead to widespread ...

BLOG

Labour rights set to worsen across Asia’s garment sector

Labour rights are set to worsen in Asia's garment sector as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the region – with knock-on implications for fashion companies trying to maintain supply ...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?