There may be room for some niches to survive...Yet there cannot be a niche for everyone and, niches apart, the survival of Italy's footwear, textiles and clothing companies depends on them getting their strategies right across four main factors: brands; market positioning; exporting; and careful buying for price and quality.

Many mid-market brands have already moved almost all of their production abroad. Only 10% of the sportswear sold by Carpi-based Navigare is made in Italy. Most of the garments are made in the firm's own factory in Bulgaria or elsewhere in eastern Europe. Sauro Mambrini, head of Champion Europe, a global brand in sportswear whose head office is in Carpi, notes that its suppliers migrated from Italy to eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s...

From The Economist
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=5545480

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