The US fashion industry: a supply chain review
International Journal of Production Economics
571 - 593
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The fashion industry has short product life cycles, tremendous product variety, volatile and unpredictable demand, and long and inflexible supply processes. These characteristics, a complex supply chain and wide availability of data make the industry a suitable avenue for efficient supply chain management practices. The industry has also been in a transition over the last 20 years: significant consolidation in retail, majority of apparel manufacturing operations moving overseas and, more recently, increasing use of electronic commerce in retail and wholesale trade. This paper aims to review the current state of operations and recent trends across the fashion supply chain in the US. We use industry-wide data, articles from business journals, industry reviews and extensive interviews with an apparel manufacturer in California, and a major US department store chain to describe the current operational practices and how the industry is restructuring itself during the transition, focusing at the apparel manufacture and retail segments of the supply chain.