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EXPORTS POTENTIAL OF TURKISH KNITTED APPAREL INDUSTRY GOING UP

Among the clothing products that are most preferred in the post-pandemic period, knitwear keeps increasing its share in the US market, and Türkiye’s knitwear exports to the county has been on the rise in recent years.

The United States of America (USA) Knitted Apparel Country Report prepared by ZOBU Consulting for Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (İHKİB) serves as a guide for Turkish apparel exporters willing to gain information about the size of the US knitted apparel market and the breakdown of product groups, as well as the growth expectations, future trends and competition related to the sector.

Advanced logistics infrastructure allows for the remote management of distribution channels, and logistics companies with widespread branches enable a system that allows fast delivery.

Knitted apparel: A good opportunity for companies willing to access the US market

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely damaged the fashion sector, retail industry and distribution channels. While most retailers and vendors stopped their activities in the face of this situation, some others continued their businesses, struggling with large turnover losses. Since brands have started to look for a way out during this period, it is predicted that the demand in the market will concentrate towards faster moving, agile and relatively smaller textile manufacturers, textile vendors, retailers and fashion brands. Partial gaps in the market, on the other hand, create a unique opportunity for exporters looking for methods to access different markets. In such a period, it is stated that it will be easier for exporters with the right product mix and advanced distribution and online sales capabilities to get a share from the very large US market. The country's advanced logistics infrastructure allows for the remote management of distribution channels, and logistics companies with widespread branches enable a system that allows fast delivery. With the right human resources, a well-chosen product range and a reasonable stock level, the chances of establishing a successful distribution channel in the country seem quite high.

Türkiye as the 22nd largest knitted apparel supplier of the US.

Türkiye, the largest supplier of the US

The report lists the top countries from which the United States made the highest knitted apparel imports in 2019 as China, Vietnam, Honduras, Indonesia, Cambodia, Mexico, India, Nicaragua, Jordan and El Salvador, respectively, and positions Türkiye as the 22nd largest knitted apparel supplier of the US.

Exporters guided by post-pandemic sectoral trends

The closing down of manufacturing plants leading to problems in textile sourcing, as well as the cancelation or postponement of international events such as fashion shows, fashion weeks, fashion fairs and textile shows, the cancellation of orders, the significant shifts in consumer demand and the closing of stores due to the Covid-19 pandemic put the global fashion industry in jeopardy. The problems in textile sourcing affected many fashion brands directly, as they faced challenges due to the lack of fabric availability. The reduced demand for clothing, and the cancellation of payments for orders that have already been placed with their manufacturers resulted in serious difficulties in apparel sourcing as well.

More comfortable lounge wear, knitwear products turned out to be the most preferred type of clothes in 2020

In time, as people started staying at home with less occasions requiring formal dressing, and as consumers, especially those attending video meetings while working from home, those who leave the house only to meet their daily needs, or those who spend most of their time at home, started looking for more comfortable lounge wear, knitwear products turned out to be the most preferred type of clothes in 2020. Mainly consisting of t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweatsuits, lounge wear is expected to be highly demanded by consumers in the coming years as well, and exporters following these developments will most probably turn to markets featuring high demand for such clothing products.