Retail analyst Forester predicts, most apparel companies aren’t in a state of emergency yet. They started moving business out of China a decade ago because of increasing costs and, in the last couple of years, because of the trade war. Those changes are paying off even more now that supply from China is at risk.
The fact that these companies often do have diversified supply chains enables them to shift some of the production where possible. Asia has a hold on the apparel market, with Vietnam and Bangladesh coming in after China. And according to Julie Hughes, president of the U.S. Fashion Industry Association, more companies are moving production to Africa. What about American factories stepping in
U.S. factories can’t compete with Asia’s quick churn. And, China is still the place to make complicated pieces like sweaters and difficult-to-make fabrics like cashmere and silk.
For Adelman, the production slowdown in China isn’t affecting what’s on shelves now, but what’s coming down the line a few months from now.