China’s underwear and swimwear industry is banking on an upmarket shift to revive lack luster sales. This is also a long-term strategy for boosting competitiveness and ensuring sustained growth amid economic challenges.
The global financial crisis hit the industry severely, pulling both the volume and value of exports down 25 percent to 3.7 billion pieces worth $3.8billion in the first six months of 2009.
Despite dwindling sales, many suppliers are positive the increased emphasis on mid range and high-end designs will facilitate recovery through 2010. Many are even projecting export revenue to grow between 10 and 20 percent in the next 12 months.
Moreover, several businesses believe that economic indicators are pointing to steady recovery in markets worldwide. In addition, measures implemented during the past year to stave off further contraction have been helping companies weather challenges.
Although forecasts are optimistic, most makers continue to enforce cost-cutting steps that will help them remain financially viable in case costs escalate.
The following are some of the key developments we see in China’s underwear and swimwear industry:
• More suppliers will be focusing R&D on environment-friendly fabrics in the months ahead. Despite difficulties in material sourcing and higher costs, companies believe heightened consumer awareness of “green” fibers can stimulate enough demand to warrant the production of eco-friendly intimate apparel on a larger scale. Consequently, this can help them procure textiles in bulk and lower expenses.
• Apart from ecologically safe fabrics, makers will continue to use premium fibers such as silk in upscale releases, particularly for nighties and lingerie sets.
• Although many businesses have increased emphasis on emerging markets such as South Africa, the EU and the US will remain the primary export destinations in the year ahead.
The above is extracted from the Executive Summary of China Sourcing Report: Underwear & Swimwear
To learn more about this report, visit: http://www.chinasourcingreports.com/csr/underwear-swimwear
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