Optimism tinged with significant concerns about the true health of the economy and the prospects for growth might best describe the overall sentiment when it comes to retail in 2014. Deborah was asked to share her feelings about gridlock in Washington, shifts in consumer demand, must-have technologies, an uptick in U.S. manufacturing, the TPP and much more of what will figure prominently in how the coming year plays out.
Head Designer/President, Satin Stitches Ltd.
As we look to the year ahead, we do so from a perspective where the country has just emerged from a government shutdown, which will likely have repercussions relative to consumer confidence and the general outlook about the position of the U.S. going forward. From a "big picture" perspective, can you share the concerns that are top of mind for you (or your customers) heading into 2014, and how you intend to address them?
I am hopeful that the House and Senate in Washington DC will figure out what they need to do for our country, not just for their particular party, but it doesn’t look very promising. So many positive things could be focused on, instead of all the negativity. Government’s inaction is definitely hurting our country’s ability to move forward.
The economic recovery is in peril BECAUSE of the inactions or negative actions of Congress. How do you expect 2014 to shape up vs. 2013 for the apparel/retail industry in general, and why? What key strengths do you think will be the common denominators for companies that take leading positions in the industry?
I am hopeful that more apparel companies will pull their manufacturing back to the United States. I am hopeful that overseas manufacturing will become safer. Maybe this will only be achieved by increasing payment to these sources.
What technologies do you think will play the largest role in transforming the apparel industry in the coming year, and what specific strategies will be built upon them?
More technology with CAD patternmaking and cutting and everything involved with this. Internet retailing continues to be more important, along with direct communication with clients. (We custom design and manufacture specifically for our clients.)
From an article By Jordan K. Speer for Apparel Technology & Business Insight –From Concept to Consumer