A turbulent year for apparel, footwear and their respective supply chains is now nearing an unfortunately fitting conclusion as the coronavirus pandemic continues its resurgence. With so much uncertainty in the air, industry stakeholders are asking themselves: Can we expect to see improvement in 2021, and what path do we take to get there?
As of now, it appears the holiday season won’t bring an immediate turnaround. The NPD Group projects that fourth quarter apparel sales will be down 10 percent, while footwear sales will decline mid-single digits, indicating that demand still is struggling heavily.
A Sourcing Journal webinar on Nov. 18 explored the expectations going into 2021, alongside top-of-mind political and economic issues such as the upcoming transition to a new presidential administration and its effect on tariffs, trade and a potential new stimulus round.
During the session, the panelists discussed how U.S. importers and global manufacturers will need a long-term strategy from the Biden administration regarding trade policy so these businesses can determine whether they should stay or leave China entirely, move operations to countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam, or even back into the Western Hemisphere.
Additionally, the webinar shares the ways in which Democratic and Republican leadership in Congress are aligned when it comes to tougher stances on China, including a potential move to require importers to prove that they are not using cotton derived from forced labor.
Watch this webinar to learn:
- How the election, pandemic and supply chain issues will impact the 2020 holiday season
- What the federal strategy could be as it relates to trade deals and/or tariffs in Vietnam and Bangladesh
- The Biden administration’s potential plans for the 301 tariffs on goods from China
- Whether de minimis could be in danger in the new year
- The likelihood of another stimulus package and when it might hit
- The projected inventory and sales levels for Q1 and Q2
- Vincent Iacopella, EVP Growth and Strategy, Alba Wheels Up
- Ron Sorini, Principal, Sorini, Samet & Associates LLC
- Beth Goldstein, Executive Director, Industry Analyst, Accessories and Footwear, The NPD Group
- Edward Hertzman, Founder and President of Sourcing Journal (Moderator)