Import competition has pushed the Women's and Girls' Apparel Manufacturing industry into a state of decline, with revenue estimated to drop at an average annual rate of 4.2% over the five years to 2012 to $8.6 billion. "With most apparel production moved to low-cost overseas manufacturers," says IBISWorld industry analyst Nikoleta Panteva, "domestic companies satisfy a small part of total demand." Import values' share of domestic demand has climbed from 82.8% in 2007 to 86.2% in 2012. Price pressures from a consolidating downstream retail sector, along with weak economic conditions worldwide, have driven many operators out of the industry. The number of firms has shrunk from 1,361 in 2007 to 1,175 in 2012. Those still in business in 2012 are reaping the benefits of growing profit margins. A shifting product mix, from low-cost apparel to high-quality, higher-priced clothing, has also helped keep profit from plummeting.
In an effort to cut costs and retain profit, operators have reduced employment, which has declined at an average annual rate of 3.0% over the five-year period. However, workers still employed have made higher average annual salaries, currently $49,200, up from $39,800 in 2007. According to Panteva, "This growth highlights the industry's focus on higher-quality manufacturing, which requires more skilled workers." Major players VF Corporation, Hanesbrands Inc. and Kellwood Company account for under a quarter of the industry's total revenue, making the Women's and Girls' Apparel Manufacturing industry fairly fragmented.
Over women's coats the next five years, revenue trends are not expected to turn around. After dropping an estimated 3.3% in 2012 due to intense import competition amid skyrocketing cotton prices, revenue is forecast to continue falling. Over the five years to 2017, IBISWorld projects that sales will decline on average annually. While profit margins are forecast to grow slightly as an increasing number of domestic manufacturers take on a more high-end focus, imports will still pose a threat to the US industry. However, developed countries such as the United Kingdom and Japan will continue to seek out high-quality American products, allowing industry exports to grow. For more information, visit IBISWorld's Women's & Girls' Apparel Manufacturing report in the US industry page.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
This industry manufactures women's and girls' apparel from purchased fabric. Women's and girls' clothing jobbers, which perform entrepreneurial functions involved in apparel manufacture, are included in this industry and complete tasks like buying raw materials, designing and preparing samples, arranging for apparel to be made from their raw materials and marketing finished apparel.
Key External Drivers
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Products & Services
Globalization & Trade
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
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