For several years the clothing industry in France has been experiencing real problems. On the one hand, consumption has been stagnant, or indeed falling, and on the other, foreign competition has been growing at the same time as multifibre agreements are being dismantled. Result: between 1984 and 1994, the sector has lost 40 per cent of its workforce in France and a recent report by the European Commission predicts further losses which may well reach 30 per cent of the present workforce between now and the year 2008. The objective of this work is therefore to provide a brief survey of the present state of the industry, consumption, retail distribution and French foreign trade in order to set out its principal characteristics.
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