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Download the Guide to Navigating Sourcing’s ‘New Normal’

While it’s little surprise that 2020 is expected to be another year plagued with uncertainty for the apparel sourcing industry, acceptance of this fact still offers cold comfort to few.

Looming tariffs, shifting fashion trends and soaring consumer expectations continue as difficult obstacles, with the solutions remaining complicated, expensive or simply elusive. Ongoing trade disputes are forcing many companies to grudgingly untangle legacy operation networks, while simultaneously competing with fleet-footed brands better able to pivot to a fickle consumer’s every whim.

Even for an industry now accustomed to operating in a state of constant upheaval, the ambiguity can be harrowing, and it’s not likely to improve any time soon.

“The overall global trading environment continues to be very volatile, as we see the world quickly moving away from the multilateral WTO framework to a proliferation of bilateral deals, brought on in part by the U.S.-China trade dispute,” Wilson Zhu, Li & Fung chief operating officer, told Sourcing Journal. “Trends are emerging to challenge the trading ecosystem, bringing both challenges and opportunity. We are now entering a ‘new normal’ in global trade that will continue for at least the next decade.”

So does “new normal” mean just more of the same? Not quite.

Through interviews with supply chain executives, analysts, consultants and retailers, the Sourcing 2020 report presents a comprehensive look at the state of the sourcing industry, and serves as a guide for anyone doing business in apparel and footwear this year.

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Download the report to learn:

  • What’s next for sourcing, according to Li & Fung and William E. Connor
  • What’s ahead for wage rates and raw material pricing
  • How the 2020 financial market outlook may affect retail margins
  • The inventory issues dogging sustainability efforts, and what changing retail metrics mean for maintaining today’s stock levels
  • What it will take for sustainability to scale, with new insight from McKinsey & Company
  • The countries companies should contemplate when plotting China exit strategies
  • The moves they should make to mitigate the risks associated with both most-favored nation (MFN) and punitive tariffs
  • How British brands are handling the latest set of tariffs on U.K.-made sweaters, cashmere and suits, and what it could mean for designs

Also featured: Case studies examining how H&M and Macy’s are managing their inventory ills, and what their progress could mean for their financial futures.

Click to download the Sourcing 2020 report, produced in partnership with CGS, Datacolor, Mercado, Sourcing at Magic and Supima.