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Editorial: Geographical Proximity May No Longer Be a Critical Factor in Textile and Apparel Sourcing
published in Issue 141, September 2009
It has long been argued—not least in this publication—that suppliers who are geographically close to their main markets enjoy a distinct competitive advantage over those based some distance away.
It has been further argued that this competitive advantage has become stronger in recent years as fashion cycles have become shorter, the number of collections in a year has increased, and pressure on manufacturers to reduce lead times has intensified.
The costs of transportation from nearby sources are usually lower and transportation times quicker. Moreover, it is generally easier to make adjustments to existing orders, and to replenish inventories in-season, when the goods in question are manufactured in a nearby country.
Having merchandise manufactured in China or India, by contrast, is problematic if changes need to be made after the goods have already been produced, packed and loaded on to a ship. Indeed, the ship may already have left port—such are the lead times required when sourcing over long distances.
Given the attractions of nearby sourcing, it is hard for an outsider to understand why any buyer would want to source from Asia at all. Goods sent by truck from Turkey to Germany or from Mexico to the USA can be despatched closer to the time they are needed. This allows for last minute adjustments to be made—giving buyers more time to assess how well a particular product line is selling in retail stores.
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:
"Ten years ago while working in the UK, I discovered Textile Outlook International. Since then, while working in the United States and now in Italy, I have relied upon this publication to support many of my strategic sourcing decisions. Textiles Intelligence has created a world-class publication that I will continue to depend upon in my work with the global textile industry."
(Peter G Allison; Vice President, Mediterranean Sourcing; Gap Inc.)