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A comparative study of the British and Italian textile and clothing industries

watchcollector2454

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I don't know if this study has been posted already but I thought I would share it because I found it very interesting even though it is a bit dated (2003). I've only got through the cloth bit so far and I thought the info below (found in the conclusion of section 2) was quite interesting:

"The British woollen and worsted industry may not export much, in comparison the Italian
industry, but its exports are of a high quality. It exported more to Italy in 2000 than any
other woollen and worsted industry. It is respected and admired, in Italy and elsewhere,
for the construction and durability of its products. But for some time it has been losing
out to the Italians. Why? The answer does not appear to be due to any shortcomings on
delivery: if anything the British mills offer quicker and more reliable delivery than the
Italian mills. Part of the answer is that, for a given quality of product, Italians manufacture
at a lower cost than the British competitor. How do they achieve this?

"¢ The Piemonte story is that they do so by exploiting scale economies, controlling the
entire process, with heavy investment allied to excellent production engineering,
working with local machinery suppliers (a cluster story again);

"¢ The Prato story is that they do so by fluid alliances of entrepreneurs and artisans,
whose respective skills complement each other. The entrepreneurs identify
opportunities, arrange materials and capital, and tap into a pool of highly specialised
and competitive small-scale weavers who supply at impressively low prices and are
prepared to experiment with materials, processes and equipment."

Here's a link to the study:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...rSkdCKgNJaVPug
 

George

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Originally Posted by watchcollector2454
I don't know if this study has been posted already but I thought I would share it because I found it very interesting even though it is a bit dated (2003). I've only got through the cloth bit so far and I thought the info below (found in the conclusion of section 2) was quite interesting: "The British woollen and worsted industry may not export much, in comparison the Italian industry, but its exports are of a high quality. It exported more to Italy in 2000 than any other woollen and worsted industry. It is respected and admired, in Italy and elsewhere, for the construction and durability of its products. But for some time it has been losing out to the Italians. Why? The answer does not appear to be due to any shortcomings on delivery: if anything the British mills offer quicker and more reliable delivery than the Italian mills. Part of the answer is that, for a given quality of product, Italians manufacture at a lower cost than the British competitor. How do they achieve this? "¢ The Piemonte story is that they do so by exploiting scale economies, controlling the entire process, with heavy investment allied to excellent production engineering, working with local machinery suppliers (a cluster story again); "¢ The Prato story is that they do so by fluid alliances of entrepreneurs and artisans, whose respective skills complement each other. The entrepreneurs identify opportunities, arrange materials and capital, and tap into a pool of highly specialised and competitive small-scale weavers who supply at impressively low prices and are prepared to experiment with materials, processes and equipment." Here's a link to the study: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...rSkdCKgNJaVPug
Good find.
 

entrero

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+1
But do the british care at all? Check out the Savile Row vs Abercrombie & Fitch documentary. The british are so conservative they even hide their clothing labels! There is little or no marketing, most of it are by word of mouth. To tell them to scale up the production it's like saying they should get dandy.
 

George

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Originally Posted by entrero
+1 But do the british care at all? Check out the Savile Row vs Abercrombie & Fitch documentary. The british are so conservative they even hide their clothing labels! There is little or no marketing, most of it are by word of mouth. To tell them to scale up the production it's like saying they should get dandy.
You are aware that the original dandy was British.?
 

George

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Intereting to read that the British suit making factories employed piece rates for manufacture. That's a bad practice.
 

watchcollector2454

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one does get the sense that the brits are quite stubborn to hold to their traditions but i think that is a good thing. also, looking at the financial data, although the italians are doing better than the brits, the brits are still holding their own for the market; or at least they did when this study took place.

regarding advertising, i wish the authors went into some details about harris tweed. they put their label everywhere and i wonder how it has affected their business and when they actually started using the harris tweed label.
 

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