At what point do we stick our heads out the window and scream: I can’t take it anymore? Cue lines are forming outside bankruptcy court; disturbing news hits the papers about Neiman Marcus / J.Crew; politicians start to attack our China sources of supply; and – to think – this was just a (new) normal week for retail in America! While significant blame is shared for our fashion industry problems, absolutely no one wants to go bust, and everyone wants a successful bounce-back. However, staring in the mirror – the image that flashes back combines private equity, tariffs, China Phase One, and coronavirus – all with a separate and distinct role in our retail crisis du jour.
The problem going forward is that our industry’s China agony is about to get worse, because our sourcing lifeline will be targeted for the next election. Trade data indicates that 40% of our apparel, 65% of our footwear, and 80% of our accessories are still sourced in China, and several political barbarians are lining up at the gate to inflict further damage to our already weakened source of supply. Honestly, we don’t want to be caught up in that, especially at a time when we need positive help from the Federal government. Read more at Forbes.