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USFIA releases fifth Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study

"The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) has released the fifth annual Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study, a survey of executives from nearly 30 leading fashion brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers, including some of the largest brands and retailers in the country. Done in conjunction with Sheng Lu, Associate Professor at the University of Delaware Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies, the survey quizzed respondents on their business outlook, sourcing practices, utilisation of Free Trade Agreements and preference programs, and views on trade policy."

 

USFIA releases fifth Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study 002The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) has released the fifth annual Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study, a survey of executives from nearly 30 leading fashion brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers, including some of the largest brands and retailers in the country. Done in conjunction with Sheng Lu, Associate Professor at the University of Delaware Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies, the survey quizzed respondents on their business outlook, sourcing practices, utilisation of Free Trade Agreements and preference programs, and views on trade policy.

The “protectionist trade policy agenda in the United States” was ranked as the top challenge for the US fashion industry for the second time in a row. More than 60 per cent respondents ranked this issue among their top five business challenges, with more than one-third ranking it first or second. From 2014 and 2016, respondents consistently ranked trade protectionism between eighth and eleventh position.

Rising cost ranks high

The pressure of “increasing production or sourcing cost” was ranked as one of the top five challenges by about 54USFIA releases fifth Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study 001 per cent executives, a notable increase from 34 per cent in 2017. This cost could be rising in absolute terms and intensified trade tensions caused by protectionist policy agenda may force companies to switch to more expensive sourcing destinations.

A positive picture

Executives are more confident about the five-year outlook for the US fashion industry in 2018 compared to a year ago, although confidence has not fully recovered to the level seen in 2015 and 2016. Almost, 100 per cent respondents plan to hire more employees in the next five years, compared to 80-85 per cent in previous studies; market analysts, data scientists, sustainability/compliance related specialists or managers, and supply chain specialists are expected to be the most in-demand.

The survey was conducted between April 2018 and May 2018. In terms of business size, 76 per cent respondents have more than 1,000 employees, and around 64 per cent with more than 3,000 employees; the findings well reflect the views of the most influential players in the US fashion industry.

Eliminating barriers

The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is dedicated to fashion made possible by global trade. USFIA represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989, USFIA works to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the fashion industry’s ability to trade freely and create jobs in the United States. Headquartered in Washington D.C., USFIA is the voice of the fashion industry in front of the US. government as well as international governments and stakeholders. With constant, two-way communication, USFIA staff and counsel serve as the eyes and ears of our members in Washington and around the world, enabling them to stay ahead of the regulatory challenges of today and tomorrow.

 

 
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