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Missed opportunities for domestic apparel manufacturers
Feb '09
The Vietnamese apparel and footwear domestic markets for long have been dominated by foreign brands. The main reason being that, the local manufacturers are not able to deliver on the quality expectations of the local people and these domestically manufactured products are considered inferior to their foreign counterparts in the minds of the Vietnamese.

In the US $2 billion fashion clothing market, the Vietnamese companies have only a 20 percent share of the segment, with the rest dominated by European and American brands. The same principle applies to footwear too, in which Vietnam has an export turnover of $4.7 billion, but is not able to penetrate the home markets of Vietnam.

Vietnam, which manufactures textiles, clothing and footwear for big global brands and has made a mark for itself in delivering quality of the highest standards, is not able to deliver the same quality to its domestic consumer base, who in the process get attracted to foreign brands, which by irony are more likely to have been manufactured in Vietnam itself.

The mass consumption market is completely dominated by the Chinese apparel companies who are able to keep pace with changing fashions, while the high end of the markets is shared between European and US based brands. The domestic brands do not have the same image that a US brand carries in the mind of the consumer.

But the situation is now slowly but surely changing for the better. After years of generating record export growths, which did not impel the local manufacturers to concentrate on the domestic markets, they are now compelled out of choice by the global slowdown to snatch a share of the $2 billion clothing pie.

A few garment companies like the well known Garment No -10, Nha Be Garment Corporation, emerging fashion brand Bolzano and Thai Tuan Textile and Garment JSC recently were in the news for launching new fashion brands in the domestic markets.

Branding is a very long and painful process. But the domestic fashion clothing producers have all the time in the world, what with the global slowdown expected to run through the whole course of 2009.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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