Forecating%20and%20the%20retailers - BUSINESS -JULY 16,...

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BUSINESS --JULY 16, 2010 Tug-of-War in Apparel World Tension is rising in the apparel industry, as retailers push garment makers for faster turnaround on smaller orders ahead of the key Christmas holiday season. The old model—where retailers placed orders six to nine months in advance and suppliers ramped up factories to produce high volumes cheaply—has been thrown out the window after a recession that left stores swamped with unsold clothes and idled factories. Head-to-Head To lower the risk of a fashion miss, more retailers and apparel companies are pressing their suppliers to crank out a small order quickly—allowing them to test styles in stores—and then fill re-order requests even faster, a tactic known as chasing, says Josh Green, chief executive of Panjiva, an international trade data service. Teen retailer Aéropostale Inc., known for racks of marked-down items, has spent the past 18 months honing its ability to quickly follow up orders for items that sell briskly. "We buy conservatively, and then we chase," co-Chief Executive Tom Johnson says. But shorter lead times mean more uncertainty for factories that have been burned when orders were scaled back or, in some cases, canceled altogether. Wary of bringing capacity back too fast, some manufacturers are keeping some production lines off line and turning down even
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Forecating%20and%20the%20retailers - BUSINESS -JULY 16,...

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