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Textile Outlook International
Issue 94:
July 2001

Product Overview
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Reports in this issue
Editorial: Is There a Future for Apparel Manufacturing in the USA?
Profile of VF Corporation
Trends in EU textile and clothing imports, July-August 2001
Profile of William Baird
World Capacities and Shipments of Textile Machinery
Global Apparel Sourcing: Options for the Future

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Profile of William Baird

published in Issue 94, July 2001  

William Baird, one of the UK’s leading clothing manufacturers in the 1990s, has effectively reinvented itself over the past 18 months. The company has decided to concentrate on its strengths as “the UK’s largest concession retailer”, with a focus on the marketing of branded women’s wear and activewear products. Already, William Baird has withdrawn from men’s wear and corporatewear manufacture and looks set to withdraw from manufacturing entirely.

Prior to 1999 William Baird had been a significant and long standing manufacturer of apparel for Marks & Spencer—the UK’s largest clothing retail group. Marks & Spencer had accounted for around 40% of William Baird’s business, and William Baird had made considerable financial and other commitments in the expectation that this business would continue. But in October 1999 Marks & Spencer abruptly terminated its relationship with the company. The impact on the group’s finances was profound. Turnover was reduced substantially, and William Baird was compelled to implement thousands of redundancies and close 16 factories in the UK. In January 2000 the company initiated a £54 mn (plus interest) legal suit for compensation against Marks & Spencer. But the action was finally resolved in summer 2001 in Marks & Spencer’s favour.

Since late 2000 William Baird has divested its men’s wear operations, its corporatewear business and other assets. This has enabled it to pay down debt and free-up resources in order to focus on developing its strengths as a retailer of women’s wear and activewear. In the meantime, William Baird remains a potential takeover target. In particular, a bid from Alchemy Partners in late 2000, which lapsed in January 2001, could be revived in the future.

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Product Overview   

Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of expert comment and analysis. A subscription provides an overview of the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. It is essential reading for senior executives in the fibre, textile and apparel industries – and for anyone who is not involved in the industry, but needs to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues.
Reports in Textile Outlook International include:
 country profiles – providing a comprehensive guide to the textile and clothing industries in a range of countries and regions. The reports include an economic and political profile together with a comprehensive overview of the main issues, plus an outlook for the future.
 company profiles – giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others. Companies profiled recently include retailers, manufacturers, innovators and sourcing companies involved in textiles and apparel as well as smaller companies which illustrate the opportunities for firms which are interested in selected sourcing locations.
 trends in world textile and apparel trade and production – taking into account current issues facing the industry – such as global fibre prices; competition from China and other low cost countries; the elimination of quotas and imposition of selective new ones; relocation of production operations; the impact of economic factors affecting trade; international trade agreements; trade promotion agreements (TPAs); and much more.
 trends in EU and US imports of textiles and clothing – providing comprehensive statistical data and analysis of the top ten supplying countries to the EU and US markets. These reports are updated each year and contain value and volume data as well as average prices and analyses of trends for up to 15 product categories.
 innovations, technological developments, business development opportunities, individual sector analysis and political implications which affect players in the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. Some of the topics which have been covered in recent reports include: new innovations in the textile and clothing industry, such as environmentally friendly textiles, plant based fibres, and developments in textile colorants; innovations in textile machinery; and overviews of the European swimwear, hosiery and lingerie markets.
So whether you are involved in fibres, textiles or clothing – in manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, import/export, retailing – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance, a subscription to Textile Outlook International will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Textile Outlook International is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 6 printed publications a year, containing a total of 30 reports plus editorials written by Robin Anson, our editorial director and in-house industry expert.
Electronic supplement
If you choose the printed and electronic option, you will receive an extra service. You will still receive each issue in printed format, delivered to you by traditional post.

In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information – but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you don’t have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.

This is what our customers say:
"In 1987 I was working as a graduate-trainee in the buying teams at Marks & Spencer in London. I was asked to prepare a paper on the textile and clothing industry in Italy. In my search for information I discovered Textile Outlook International. The quality of information that this publication provided was nothing short of excellent. As I look back over the past 25 years, there have been several times that I've turned to the publications of Textiles Intelligence. They have always been of the highest quality and provided me with the opportunity to talk with confidence about the global textile & clothing industries. Today, I'm the Chief Supply Office for Umbro, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nike Inc. As I look back, of course there are many factors that have helped me to get to where I am today. I've no doubt that the information provided by Textiles Intelligence has been a contributory factor."
(Peter G Allison; Chief Supply Officer; Umbro International Limited)