Magazine article International Trade Forum

It's a Buyer's Market

Magazine article International Trade Forum

It's a Buyer's Market

Article excerpt

It's a buyer's market in the textiles and clothing industry. In today's post-quota world, let the seller beware! The industry has gone through fast and wrenching changes, especially in the last year.

Under pressure from buyers, clothing suppliers are becoming service providers. With buyers focused on their core business of retailing, the most competitive suppliers offer services that go far beyond sewing garments. Alliances with fabric and trim producers give manufacturers an edge. They bring manufacturers in at an early stage in providing an important service (sourcing) for buyers.

Another "must" is related to information and communications technology. Big buyers now insist on technology applications that handle everything from stock management to design to bidding for orders. Along with the overview we provided earlier this year, articles in this issue give you a flavour of trends and concerns, from the perspective of developing and transition economies.

Sharp competition is a feature of most business sectors, even if the clothing industry stands out right now. With the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) taking place in 2005, businesses everywhere still ask the fundamental question, "How can 'e' help me compete? …

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