[Note: The 2016 U.S. Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study has been released]
The U.S. Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) released its 2015 benchmarking study today. The report examines the industry’s business environment and outlook, sourcing practices as well as U.S. fashion companies’ viewpoints on critical trade policy agendas. Among the key findings:
- Overall, respondents remain optimistic about the five-year outlook for the U.S. fashion industry. Like last year, they are most concerned about increasing production or sourcing costs, but they expect increases to be more modest this year.
- Consistent with our 2014 findings, U.S. fashion companies are NOT moving away from China, and Bangladesh remains a popular sourcing destination with high growth potential, though not quite as high as last year.
- Companies continue to diversify their sourcing, though free trade agreements (FTAs) and preference programs remain underutilized.
- The U.S. fashion industry is a critical Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) stakeholder, as close to 80 percent of respondents expect implementation will impact their business practices. However, the restrictive rules in the agreement limit the potential.
- U.S. fashion companies continue to express interest in expanding sourcing in the United States in the next two years as they further diversify their sourcing. However, there is no evidence that companies are shifting their business models back to manufacturing.
This benchmarking study was based on a survey of 30 executives at the leading U.S. fashion companies from March 2015 to April 2015. The findings well reflect the views of the most influential players in the U.S. fashion industry, with 90 percent of respondents having more than 100 employees (including 60 percent with more than 1,000 employees).
The full report can be downloaded from HERE.