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Macro-Environmental Affecting the Clothing Industry

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Analysis of Macro-Environmental Factors Affecting the Clothing Industry

Dick’s sporting Goods, Inc., is an American corporation in the sporting goods and retail industries with its headquarters in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. By July 25th, 2011, Dick’s had 525 stores in 42 states primarily in the eastern half of the United States. The company also owns Golf Galaxy, Inc., a golf specialty retailer with 81 stores in 30 states. It was founded in 1948 and now has expanded to become one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the world. Under Armour Big Logo hoodie is one of the most popular hoodies on the market today. It comes in different type for men, women and boys and also available in bold colors and prints. This essay analyses the overall macro-environmental factors which affect the textile – apparel clothing industry. A number of macro-environmental factors affect the textile- apparel clothing industry. First are the consumer factors which include; cultures, norms, lifestyle and demographics. These factors affect the clothing industry in different ways. For instance, Under Armour Sporting Clothing and Accessories Company has made Big Logo Hoodie in styles that appeal to different cultures. On the contrary, clothing manufacturers and retailers avoid creating clothing items that fall outside the norms of society (Kwan, et al. 2003). Under Armour Big Logo Hoodie gives women a bold look and upgrades boy apparel athletic look while keeping them warm. This makes it acceptable in the American society.
Secondly, technological factors which include availability of resources, demand and production. For example, the scarcity of certain materials, such as leather, may force retail and wholesale clothing companies to sell more faux or substitute leather products. The introduction of new clothing styles by a competitor can shift demand away from older fashions. Hence, a clothing manufacturer may need to discontinue certain clothing lines and produce new ones that meet the needs of consumers (Kwan, et al. 2003). For instance, Under Armour Company uses the UA storm technology to manufacture Big Logo Hoodie. This technology uses a durable water resistant finish to repel water and snow without sacrificing breathability or adding bulk.
Thirdly, legal and political factors affect the clothing industry. Issues such as child labor laws and workers’ rights have repeatedly affected the clothing industry. Employee Unions in clothing manufacturing plants can picket their employers, especially if their medical benefits and wages or are less favorable than employees in comparable industries. This usually impacts production and causes delays for retailers in getting stock or fashions on time (Kwan, et al. 2003). Activists may also picket retailers who purchase clothing from countries known for violation of child labor laws. In case of such negative publicity it can impact both Under Armour company and Dick’s Sporting Goods sales and profits.
Lastly are the Economic factors which can have both negative and positive impacts on the apparel – textile clothing industry. During economic boom phases, consumers have more disposable income thus buy more increasing sales. Conversely, recessions lead to significantly lower sales. Consequently, the retailer may be stuck with large amounts of stock and may have to sell the product at substantively reduced prices. Manufacturer and retailers may also sell lower-priced products to compete with more generic brands during recession (Kwan, et al. 2003).

All products have a chain of supply from the manufacturer to the consumer. Under Armour is the sole manufacturer of Big Logo Hoodie and has Dick’s Sporting Goods as the main retailer. A number of factors which are beyond the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers control affect this chain of supply. The consumer, technological, legal and political, physical environmental and economic factors affect the supply, sales and profits of from the sale of the products.
Kwan. C.Y, Yeung K.W & Au. K.F, (2003). “A statistical investigation of the changing apparel retailing environment in China”: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. Vol. 7(1) pp. 87-100.

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