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Restructuring and reconfiguration: EU T/C industry in transition. Ian M Taplin Wake Forest University & Bordeaux Business School. Main points. Clothing: past 4 years has seen employment decline of18% Textiles: employment decline of 10% Clothing: firms declined by 15%

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restructuring and reconfiguration eu t c industry in transition

Restructuring and reconfiguration: EU T/C industry in transition

Ian M Taplin

Wake Forest University

&

Bordeaux Business School

main points
Main points
  • Clothing: past 4 years has seen employment decline of18%
  • Textiles: employment decline of 10%
  • Clothing: firms declined by 15%
  • Textiles: firms declined by 9%
  • Clothing labour productivity = €22000 pa
  • Textiles labour productivity = €33000 pa
  • Textiles retain better labour-related cost competitiveness than clothing
main points1
Main points
  • ¾ of T/C production in 5 countries (Italy, Spain, UK, Germany and France)
  • Italy accounted for 40% of EU clothing production in 2002
  • Netherlands had highest T/C productivity rates (textile dominant)
  • Portugal the lowest (clothing dominant)
  • Spain and Sweden increased employment 1995-2002 (but Sweden from such low absolute numbers)
capital investment
Capital investment
  • Multi-year average annual investment
    • Italy dominant at 47% of EU total for clothing and 27% for textiles
  • Investment rate (share of value added)
    • Ireland, Portugal, Belgium and Greece all invested more than 15% of value added
    • UK bottom with 5%
    • EU average is 9%; Italy is 10%
  • Investment per person
    • Netherlands & Belgium have highest investment per person (€8400 and €7800)
    • Portugal and Spain both very low (€1750 and €1800) as is UK (€1900)
    • EU average = €3300
noteworthy trends
Noteworthy trends
  • Italy
    • Continues to compete on quality/design dimensions
    • Value added stable, productivity rising, employment falling
    • OPT shift to eastern Europe, Romania becoming pre-eminent
    • OPT of higher value added goods; low value added mechanised domestically in early 1990s. Continuing??
    • Large independent retailer presence, many of who now doing their own sourcing overseas (overcame early problems of small size)
    • Branded manufacturers developing retail outlets (Max Mara, Diesel, Zegna). Networks important.
    • Retail concentration low = lower rates of import penetration
trends continued
Trends continued
  • UK
    • Rapid decline in both sectors since mid 1990s
    • Increase in import penetration = lower prices = increased consumption
    • Minimum wage introduction not seen as problem
    • Firms unwilling to invest in worker training and skill acquisition
    • Male/female ratios now 50:50
    • New categories of workers emerging as firms specialise in distribution coordination and design/marketing functions
trends continued1
Trends continued
  • Germany
    • Continued capital intensification and technological upgrading in textiles (high value added and innovative products)
    • Clothing focused upon organisational optimisation and outsourcing
    • As firms outsourced, demand for high quality production resulted in industrial upgrading for overseas manufacturers and further competition for domestic manufacturers
    • Strong links between textile firms and buyer groups (autos, packaging etc.)
    • New job categories emerging: distribution and coordination plus craft-like specialist studios
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