The Fashion & Apparel industry is one of the largest in the world. The industry generates over $3 trillion a year, and none of it would be possible without a robust textile and apparel manufacturing sector. In 2014, manufacturers created nearly $73 billion in revenue. Since the economic downturn of 2008, the clothing manufacturing sector has enjoyed a period of stability and growth. Since 2009, the industry has grown 11.4% and is expected to maintain a 0.7% annual growth rate.
This is an excellent time to enter the textile manufacturing industry. Employment has decreased slightly, but is holding steady with 400 thousand workers employed in garment factories across the country. More importantly though, wages for workers have been increasing at a rate of 2.3% every year. The most encouraging news is the rate of business openings and closings. The rate of establishments being created is up 8.2%, and establishment deaths are down 13.8%. With promising figures and encouraging market trends, the future looks bright for clothing and textile manufacturers.
Fabric and clothing manufacturers in the United States have a number of key advantages. American clothes have a strong reputation for being high-quality products. Given the option, customers show a strong preference for American goods and a “Made in USA” label. Not only are the products perceived as more durable and higher-quality, consumers perceive less risk of buying products made in unsafe, exploitative working conditions. With the majority of manufacturers concentrated in California, Georgia, and North Carolina, American manufacturers are uniquely situated to deliver products quickly and reliably to customers. The short distance between manufacturers and customers represents a significant decrease in distribution and logistic costs.
The current Chinese economic landscape has proven fortuitous for American manufacturers. Rising wages and a stagnating economy are motivating more companies to move their production back to America. While imported clothes still have a significant price advantage, technological innovation will allow manufacturers to cut labor costs and reduce overhead to become more competitive. In addition, the fashion manufacturing industry is marked by a great deal of security and stability. Sales and revenue are projected to grow at a 0.5% rate through 2018. Local and foreign conditions are coming together to form an environment companies can flourish in.
As healthy as the industry is, companies should not underestimate the challenges to be faced. Technological innovation will reduce costs over the long term, but businesses will still be forced to shoulder the short-term costs before the long-term benefits materialize. From 2011 to 2013, expenditures for ICT equipment and business software grew by 22.4%. Once cost reducing innovations have been achieved, no business can be successful by resting on their laurels. The advances made here are just as feasible in China and other manufacturing companies. If effort is not made to continuously improve and advance, the technological advantage will be lost. While the overall growth of the industry is something to celebrate, it’s not without its drawbacks. Increased global demand will inevitably raises the prices of inputs and supplies. With American products already unable to compete on price, this will make it even more vital to run efficient operations and offer high-quality clothing.
The Benefits of Powerlinx
To best take advantage of the coming opportunities and overcome the imminent challenges, no resource is more valuable for a company than Powerlinx. Powerlinx has created a business matching service unlike any other. While American textile and apparel manufacturing is on the rise, critical production infrastructure is still lacking. Powerlinx’ ability to quickly and easily connect manufacturers with strategic partners will allow companies to overcome this deficiency.
Powerlinx utilization of big data analysis is changing how businesses connect with potential partners. Every day, Powerlinx is helping clothing companies connect with investors to build inventory, retailers to bring their products to consumers, suppliers to provide textile inputs and machinery, marketing agencies to build and communicate brand values, and freight shipping companies to lower transport costs and distribute your products quickly and reliably. Powerlinx’s proprietary PowerScore™ algorithm allows companies to instantly measure their compatibility with a potential partner without having to rely on costly, unreliable business development consultants. With its unique capabilities, Powerlinx is an invaluable resource for clothing manufacturers looking to grow and succeed.