Women's Clothing Manufacturing
Companies in this industry manufacture garments for women, girls, and infants made from purchased fabric and from fabric they produce themselves. Major companies include VF Corporation, Calvin Klein (owned by PVH), Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Hanesbrands, and Carter's (all based in the US), along with Delta Galil (Israel), Gerry Weber (Germany), Page Industries (India), and World Company (Japan).
Global retail sales of women's wear (including clothing, footwear, sportswear, and accessories) were about $650 billion in 2014, according to MarketLine. The market was expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 4.1% through 2019, to an estimated $797 billion. China, the world's largest apparel manufacturer, controls more than a third of the world export market. The European Union, Japan, and the US are the largest importers of apparel.
The US industry for manufacturing women's, girls', and infants' apparel includes about 1,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $3.2 billion. The industry does not include apparel contractors that cut and sew materials owned by other companies. Women's clothing cut and sew contractors are covered in the Apparel Manufacturing profile.
Demand is driven by consumer tastes and disposable income. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and the ability to secure contracts with clothing marketers. Small companies can compete effectively with large ones by specializing in a particular type of apparel manufacture. There are few economies of scale in manufacturing, because of the high labor content of most apparel. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 65% of revenue. About 90% of establishments in the industry have fewer than 20 employees.
Imports account for more than 90% of the US market. The largest suppliers to the US are China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Mexico. Major export markets for US apparel manufacturers include Canada and Mexico. Exports account for about 50% of US production.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include women's and girls' shirts, blouses, dresses, coats, jeans, pants, sweaters, bras, panties, and uniforms and work clothes. Other
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms