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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2021

Doris H. Kincade and Kate E. Annett-Hitchcock

In 1978, the once powerful US apparel industry was on the cusp of change, and the consulting firm KSA conducted a Delphi survey of apparel executives’ predictions into the…

Abstract

Purpose

In 1978, the once powerful US apparel industry was on the cusp of change, and the consulting firm KSA conducted a Delphi survey of apparel executives’ predictions into the 2000s. The purpose of this paper is to compare actual changes over the subsequent decades with these 1978 expert predictions and explore the accuracy/inaccuracy of these “educated guesses” (KSA, 1978, p. 1).

Design/methodology/approach

The chorographic method was used to analyze the report and document historical data. Chorography is “concerned with significance of place, regional characterization, [and] local history […]” (Rohl, 2012, p.1) and includes contextual settings and researcher input. Primary data were examined during each decade and included: industry literature, government documents and labor data. The researchers used content analysis to reduce and organize data.

Findings

Findings cover three decades of Southeast US apparel industry data including imports, employment, number of plants, size of plants and productivity. Predictions were inaccurate about imports, predicted to be minor in comparison with domestic production, which they actually surpassed. Predicted decrease in employment was similar to actual decrease but reasons were inaccurate. Change in number and size of plants were over-predicted and under-predicted. Reasons given by experts were automation and government intervention; in actuality, limited automation occurred with insignificant impact in contrast to outsourcing, which decimated employment in US plants. Steady increase in productivity was predicted when productivity often decreased.

Originality/value

Previous studies focus on the textile sector; studies of the apparel sector tend to be regional or topical. This study is more expansive and provides insight into predictions and changes made in the US apparel industry at a critical time in its near demise. With the current climate of global change and increased market uncertainty, insights from this study may provide direction for rethinking of the domestic apparel industry for the USA and other developed countries.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2020

Ganguli Eranga Harshamali Wijewardhana, Samanthi Kumari Weerabahu, Julian Liyanage Don Nanayakkara and Premaratne Samaranayake

The main purpose of this paper is to assess the technological view of apparel new product development (NPD) process through a framework for improving the efficiency of NPD…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to assess the technological view of apparel new product development (NPD) process through a framework for improving the efficiency of NPD process in Sri Lankan apparel industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses literature review, a survey and in-depth interviews of industry experts for data collection. Descriptive analysis and correlation analysis are used to identify the relationship between NPD process performance and Industry 4.0 (I4) technology components.

Findings

All technology components are enablers of NPD process, yet the relative importance of technology components varies within the NPD life cycle. Technoware is identified as the most significant, while Humanware component is the least significant for the advancement of I4 technologies in the NPD process.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the novelty of research investigation into NPD process using I4 technologies in apparel industry, it is limited to one geographical location and a small segment of the industry.

Practical implications

This paper assists apparel industry practitioners to better understand and prioritize I4 technology components in the NPD life cycle for their successful adoption and for reaping the benefits.

Originality/value

This research generates new knowledge on the adoption of I4 technologies using industry insights into technology components mapped/aligned with key stages of NPD life cycle.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2020

Suraiyah Akbar and Kamrul Ahsan

Introducing social sustainability initiatives in the apparel industry is a complex and challenging process. This study aims to investigate the challenges facing Bangladesh…

Abstract

Purpose

Introducing social sustainability initiatives in the apparel industry is a complex and challenging process. This study aims to investigate the challenges facing Bangladesh apparel supplier organisations in implementing factory safety initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

This study identifies challenges of implementing social sustainability initiatives of the apparel industry based on a literature review and case-study interviews with senior-level management of apparel supplier organisations.

Findings

The analysis shows significant challenges facing apparel supplier organisations in implementing social sustainability initiatives relate to resource and institutional issues. These challenges are resource management and strategy, cost and financial concerns, as well as cultural, regulation and monitoring issues.

Practical implications

The identified challenges may be useful for policymakers and managers of apparel buyer and supplier organisations to recognise critical issues involved in social initiative implementation and to help improve social sustainability practices of the apparel industry.

Social implications

By addressing the identified issues, stakeholders in the apparel industry can work to ensure improved social sustainability practices in apparel manufacturing factories.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the research on social sustainability practices of the apparel industry by identifying and addressing challenges faced by apparel supplier organisations in implementing social sustainability initiatives in apparel manufacturing factories.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Barbara J. Frazier, Mozhdeh Bruss and Lynn Johnson

This paper examines the perceptions of Bolivians engaged in the country's apparel industry regarding barriers and challenges to participation in the global textile and…

Abstract

This paper examines the perceptions of Bolivians engaged in the country's apparel industry regarding barriers and challenges to participation in the global textile and apparel complex. Small Bolivian apparel producers perceive the apparel industry as a source of employment and an opportunity to improve the well being of their families. Government/small business relationships, economic and political uncertainty of trade partners, inadequate infrastructure, a depressed domestic market, and global trade policies were identified by participants as barriers to further development of the apparel industry. Apparel producers require support from both public and private sectors to foster entrepreneurship, promote Bolivian apparel products and join regional production networks to revitalize the apparel industry in Bolivia.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Constantine Campaniaris, Steve Hayes, Michael Jeffrey and Richard Murray

The purpose of this paper is to identify and map trends in the Canadian apparel industry (in a global context) and, through the application of Porter's models, establish…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and map trends in the Canadian apparel industry (in a global context) and, through the application of Porter's models, establish strategies that could be employed by Canadian small and medium enterprizes (SMEs) in response to the move toward trade liberalisation since the phasing out of the multi‐fibre arrangement.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature review established trends in the apparel industry both in Canada and globally. Qualitative research in the form of case studies highlighted apparel suppliers' perceptions of Canada's strengths and weaknesses as a business setting and provided preliminary information on possible supplier activities which provide value and competitive advantage. The analysis of the primary data also allowed the development of preliminary questions, answers to which will further enhance the understanding of clusters and their applicability to Canada's apparel SMEs.

Findings

Canada's apparel manufacturing industry is winding down while imports are continuing to grow. At the same time, the Canadian market is not large enough to sustain all the suppliers, thus forcing those who are competitive to export, primarily to the USA, which is Canada's major apparel export destination. The morphology of related and supporting industries to apparel suppliers is changing. The findings suggest that Canada's apparel supply is becoming more of a service and less of a manufacturing industry.

Originality/value

This paper provides an understanding of Canada's position in the global apparel map and ascertains whether competitive cluster strategies exist for the Canadian apparel industry. Furthermore, it sets the stage for further research by identifying knowledge gaps pertaining to the applicability of clusters to the apparel industry and providing data and findings to bridge these gaps.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Hyunjoo Oh and Moon W. Suh

The textile and apparel industries in North America have experienced dramatic changes in the past decade. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has prompted the…

Abstract

The textile and apparel industries in North America have experienced dramatic changes in the past decade. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has prompted the formation of apparel supply networks throughout the Western Hemisphere combining textile industries and retailers in the USA with apparel industries in Mexico to compete against Asian countries. Contrary to the widely acclaimed intent of NAFTA, the increased apparel production in Mexico has not led to a growth for the US textile industry. Instead, the US textile industry has continuously lost ground in global competition, giving up a large portion of its manufacturing. Today, the US textile industry is undergoing negative profits, countless plant closings, layoffs, and eventual bankruptcies. This study analyzes the impact of NAFTA and US textile companies’ corporate strategies on the performance of the textile industry and examines the pending strategic issues for maintaining US textile companies’ competitiveness in global markets.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2008

Allyson Bailey‐Todd, Molly Eckman and Kenneth Tremblay

The purpose of this paper is to analyze business patterns in the Los Angeles County apparel industry, with the primary focus being globalization, trade policy and offshore…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze business patterns in the Los Angeles County apparel industry, with the primary focus being globalization, trade policy and offshore sourcing, to establish how trade policy may affect small or mid‐size apparel manufacturers.

Design/methodology/approach

The method was a qualitative analysis of telephone interviews with apparel firms and associations in Los Angeles County. In total, 25 executives were interviewed. Analysis of the interviews enabled the investigation of the impacts of trade policy on apparel manufacturers and afforded an understanding of the viability of transitioning to a capital‐ and technology‐intensive industry.

Findings

The Los Angeles County apparel industry can succeed with both high and low value‐added activities. This combination will allow its infrastructure to survive while simultaneously growing and evolving in design and marketing.

Research limitations/implications

The apparel industry in Los Angeles County has historically been made up of immigrant workers, labor‐intensive production activities and low cost apparel products. Continued analysis of the industry concerning possible continued decline is warranted.

Practical implications

The Los Angeles County apparel industry is re‐positioning to become increasingly design‐ and marketing‐intensive, outsourcing many low value‐added activities to offshore contractors. Integration of the data may provide insight into ways in which trade policy changes alter offshore sourcing practices in Los Angeles County.

Originality/value

This study is a benchmark for the Los Angeles County apparel industry to measure its evolution. The replication of this research in subsequent years will provide a timely profile of a dynamic industry.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Peter Kilduff

The paper seeks to explain the pattern of strategic responses by the US textile and apparel industries to changes in their business environment since 1979.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to explain the pattern of strategic responses by the US textile and apparel industries to changes in their business environment since 1979.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a literature review and interviews with officers from leading US corporations, government agencies and trade associations. The approach examines strategic responses to environmental change. The study takes a macro perspective to permit an understanding of the forces operating at the industry level.

Findings

Shifting market requirements, intensifying international competition, powerful retailers, and rapid technological change have confronted the US textile and apparel sectors. In responding to these, companies have developed more creative, change‐seeking business cultures, and more flexible operational arrangements. However, both industries have exhibited change‐resisting characteristics in their responses. Many companies have been forced into bankruptcy. Today both industries are radically different, in terms of their strategies, business scope, technological intensity, organizational structure, and supply chain relationships.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides a generalized perspective on the broad thrusts of strategic changes across the two sectors. Further work could develop this analysis at a micro level.

Practical implications

The paper highlights the need for US companies to develop more change‐seeking business cultures, more flexible operational arrangements, an international orientation and a sharper business focus.

Originality/value

The paper provides a long‐term, systemic perspective on strategic responses to environmental change at the industry level. It has policy‐making value to practitioners and government agencies, and instructional value to teachers and students.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2010

Kittichai (Tu) Watchravesringkan, Elena Karpova, Nancy Nelson Hodges and Raedene Copeland

Recent liberalization of the world's textile and apparel trade policies and the consequent changes in trade patterns posited threats to smaller textile‐ and apparel

Abstract

Purpose

Recent liberalization of the world's textile and apparel trade policies and the consequent changes in trade patterns posited threats to smaller textile‐ and apparel‐exporting nations, including Thailand. Thus it is important to understand how the new trade environment affects the competitiveness of Thailand's apparel industry. This study seeks to provide insights into how Thailand's apparel industry has responded to increasingly fierce global competition by drawing on Porter's theory of The Competitive Advantage of Nations.

Design/methodology/approach

To assess the competitiveness of the Thai industry, the study triangulated data from various sources, including secondary statistics, media reports, and relevant industry publications. In‐depth, semi‐structured interviews were also conducted, and participants included key executives from Thailand's apparel industry, government officials, and academics. The interviews were conducted at various locations in three Thai provinces: Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Samutsakorn, over a two‐week period.

Findings

Findings revealed the existence of four determinants supporting the Thai apparel industry: basic v. specialized factors; sophisticated and demanding consumer market; the presence of interdependent economic agents; and strategies and structure of Thai companies and domestic rivals. These four determinants are identical to the “diamonds” outlined in Porter's theory of The Competitive Advantage of Nations and a new source of competitiveness. Furthermore, the Thai government was found to play an important role, by providing support to enhance the global competitiveness of Thai companies.

Originality/value

The study is among the first to attempt to provide insights into the competitive national advantage of the Thai apparel industry. Based on the findings, the outlook is positive for the continued success of Thailand's apparel industry in the global arena.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Vimal Kumar, Pratima Verma, Ajay Jha, Kuei-Kuei Lai and Manh-Hoang Do

This research presents a study on the supply chain process of an Indian apparel industry considering various parameters involved. The study aims to identify the main…

Abstract

Purpose

This research presents a study on the supply chain process of an Indian apparel industry considering various parameters involved. The study aims to identify the main parameters to improve the supply chain process and develop a comprehensive structural relationship to rank them to streamline the apparel supply chain process and business environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The team of five experts from this apparel industry was made to give scores to multiple parameters. The TOPSIS (Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) technique is used to develop the model for eleven key parameters and then rank them.

Findings

Based on the data analysis the planning, customer and warehouse storage have emerged as top three key parameters while the non-replenishment approach, push and pull strategy and manufacturing of the product are identified as the bottom three parameters from a hierarchy level. These parameters have been ranked based on their contributing attributes in this apparel supply chain process.

Research limitations/implications

The study provides an overall ranking of parameters and the implications are in the direction of helping the industry to improve its supply chain performances rather than focus only on productivity. Further, the key parameters are identified as critical inputs and show that the firms are being more proactive and well prepared comprised of the industry.

Originality/value

The study indicates that the key parameters are identified by this apparel brand to improve its supply chain process. The key supply chain process involves planning, manufacturing, distribution, end customer and returns logistics of the goods, etc. So, this research also provides the focused parameters on the supply chain performance received by end customer from the supplier and rank them for effectiveness and improve their overall organizational performance. It also provides a critical observation of their supply chain process improvement which includes different brand uses, strategies and approaches.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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