.. e trade events. There is also a trade magazine called the Apparel Industry Magazine, which can also be accessed on the Internet. The magazine presents updated information about technology, fashion, and business, on the apparel Industry, and their webpage also features a Virtual Apparel Trade show. The American Apparel Producer’s Network (AAPN) also produces trade shows.
LABOR UNIONS There are many labor unions associated with the apparel retail industry, such as the Fair Labor Association, the American Apparel Manufacturers Association, UNITE, an apparel’s workers’ union that represents apparel sewing employees with labor issues, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the National Labor Committee(NLC), which is a coalition made up primarily of labor unions, and the National Retail Federation. These labor unions and government unions regulate fair labor practices in the apparel retail industry. INDUSTRY TRENDS Responding to fashion trends and consumer needs- The challenge for many apparel retailers is anticipating the coming trends and deciding how they will or won’t fit into the company’s image. In some cases, a trend might not be right for a specific retailer, and that’s where it has to work to stay as trend-right as possible without losing focus. Companies in this industry need to learn what their customers want, and be able to give them what they want, and that is one giant step towards success. International Expansion – Another critical element for long-term success in this industry is global expansion.
Companies have to be deliberate in international expansion and expand into countries where the greatest potential exists. In doing this, not only do they make a profit, but they make a name for themselves. Now the international part of the business is becoming more important to business as a whole. International expansion is certainly going to be the focus of growth for companies in the apparel retail industry. Increased Automation and Efficiency – In response to increased competition from new market participants, retailers are exercising a variety of strategies, including downsizing and restructuring, changing their merchandise mix, adding services, and adapting the quick response system for controlling inventory management costs. Leveraging Apparel Brands – Many manufacturers and retail stores are beginning to leverage their products by licensing their brands for accessories such as sunglasses, watches, fragrances, wallets, and footwear.
This strategy increases exposure for a well- known brand and can build consumer confidence in a specific brand. Internet – The Internet is another tremendous advantage in this Industry. With the Internet, you can get updated and almost instantaneous information on things. Because many retailers have some of the best e-commerce Web sites in the business, that alone can help ensure global business. Internet sales can guide retailers into just the right international and domestic cities to build stores. It even allows a company to make its brand known internationally even before it has any physical presence in international markets. The Internet also provides for a great channel of feedback from consumers.
That way, a company can better understand what will work and make changes immediately when a problem arises. Awareness of demographic shift – As the nation’s largest age group, baby boomers are getting older, and the as the population growth rate remains at a record low, less than 1% this year, the industry is shifting its strategy to redirect their production and advertising toward this group. According to statistics, this is the group with the highest buying power. Thus, retailers and producers are grasping to this opportunity and are spending tremendous effort in trying to please them. GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS The retail apparel industry has benefited extremely as a protected industry of the United States since 1957. Protection means that the government limits foreign import of apparel through quotas and high tariffs.
It is estimated in 1990 that protection of this industry, has cost the American consumers 21 billions dollars. In another word, consumers have to pay six times higher than what they would have to pay to protect this industry. Without this protection, the industry would have to face extreme foreign competition as raw materials and labor cost are much lower in the third world countries such as China, and Indonesia. Domestic production of the industry would go down by 11 billions dollars without such protection. CHRONOLOGY 1900–1910: THE BEGINNINGS OF THE MASS MARKET 1900 The escalator enables stores to continuously move traffic to upper floors, and helps make multi-level department stores a standard for the century. 1911–1920: USING MACHINES TO GAIN EFFICIENCY 1911 NCR produces its 1 millionth cash register..
The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. the forerunner of IBM, is incorporated. 1921–1930: THE RISE OF THE CHAIN STORE 1924 Air conditioning for comfort rather than to enhance manufacturing is first introduced at the J.L. Hudson department store in Detroit to keep women from fainting at bargain basement sales. Air conditioning later allows windowless stores and enclosed malls 1928 Farrington Manufacturing introduces the Charga-Plate system, made by Addressograph, the forerunner of the charge card.
The embossed metal tag is used to print the customer’s name and address on a sales check. 1931–1940: VALUE AND PROGRESS THROUGH THE DEPRESSION 1935 Rural Electrification Act brings electricity, and later telephones, to rural America.. IBM is selling more than three billion Hollerith cards a year for its tabulating machines, which are rented, never sold. It has 90% of this market. 1941–1960: THE AGE OF COMPUTING AND DATA PROCESSING BEGINS 1956 Southdale near Minneapolis becomes the first enclosed, two level shopping mall in America.. IBM sells RAMAC, (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), the first computer disk storage system..
Eisenhower launches the interstate highway systems, speeding migration to the suburbs and displacing rail for many goods shipments 1961–1970: NEW FORMATS AND NEW TECHNIQUES 1962 Discounters appear: Kmart from Kresge, Woolco from Woolworth, Target from Dayton’s, and Wal-Mart Discount City from Sam Walton’s Ben Franklin variety store.. Sears opens its first data center.. IBM introduces Wholesale IMPACT (Inventory Program and Control Techniques), an automated replenishment system (and the forerunner of INFOREM) that uses statistics and a smoothing algorithm rather than a min/max system. 1990 – PRESENT: MAJOR INVENTIONS AND LABOR ISSUES 1993 Invention of the Internet. The retail industry went online! 1996 – More than 300 fashion industry representatives — including retailers, manufacturers, designers, workers, labor, consumer advocates, and celebrity endorsers — participate in a Forum to discuss the challenges embodied in eradicating sweatshops and the importance of working together to identify and implement solutions. 1997 Creation of the Workplace Code of Conduct, and Principles of Monitoring by the Apparel Industry Partnership to ensure the elimination of sweatshops and certify that products are produced in compliance with the Fair Labor Association Standards.
1998 Invention of the security tags to attach on garment, a major prevention of theft. 1998 Walmart Sweatshops in Honduras – Labor Issues 1998 Liz Claiborne sweatshop production in El Salvador makes the news 1999 The Department of Labor announces the recovery of $247,000 in back wages for 138 workers of a Los Angeles area garment shop, Emeraldtex, Inc. The DOL investigation, which covered a 2-year period, was conducted by the rapid response unit established in the Fall of 1998. The shop assembles garments exclusively for Jowett Garment Factory, Inc. which provides clothes for a variety of retailers including Eddie Bauer, The North Face, Reebok, Jones New York and The Gap. Emeraldtex, Inc, also fined $20,000 for willful violations, signed a consent judgment stipulating future compliance.