Blog: Michelle RussellVietnam continuing to gain US market share

Michelle Russell | 7 March 2016

Central America's textile exports are forecast to slow this year as Vietnam continues to gain US market share. And, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) gaining new support, it is expected more sourcing and investment will move to Vietnam. In response, Central America is scrambling to hammer out a new regional textiles growth strategy.

Thanks to globalisation, challenges face apparel and textile manufacturers around the world as never before. Robert Antoshak, managing director at Olah Inc, argues the sector is now moving into a new stage of development where cost remains a prerequisite for some types of production while quality, low unit production increasingly carves out space elsewhere.

Transparency is a challenge often talked about in the global apparel industry, and one US start-up - Project JUST - is hoping to address that with the addition of an extra dimension: distilling information for the consumer, providing a quick and easy-to-use tool to check a brand's manufacturing practices and ethics.

And, February proved to be a mixed month for US apparel retailers as market volatility spooked investors and consumers, while low gas prices, positive housing data and upbeat labour market indicators suggested consumers had the means to spend.

Looking at the wider fourth quarter, filings from US apparel brands and retailers continued to roll in. Our round-up of the results includes updates from Burlington Stores, Stage Stores, American Eagle Outfitters, and Weyco Group.

Unseasonably mild winters are cooling off sales of traditional warm-weather clothing - prompting insulation innovators to adapt accordingly, with variations that adapt to changing outdoor conditions and activity levels, and the use of "smart" thermal technologies.

And in other news, we look at the ten trends set to impact retail in 2016; world ending cotton stocks are projected to fall by 8% to 20.4m tons this fiscal; Under Armour reaffirms its outlook, despite one of its longest standing customers entering Chapter 11 Bankruptcy; and Gap posts another decline in monthly comparable store sales.

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