Zipper - a device for closing or fastening the outfits or other products as bags and tents has been widely used across the globe. Its tremendous use for various daily products has led to increase in demand for zippers. There are a few Asian firms battling to be the largest producers in this industry. These firms have formed a strong foothold in the market, affecting the supply chain of the majority of the fashion brands.
Zipper trading has evolved in a shocking cutthroat manner in the current global era with too many competitors. The experts estimate that half of the global zipper market has been taken over by Japanese and Chinese firms.
A renowned Japanese firm has become one of the largest zipper producers worldwide, surpassing American manufacturers Talon after World War II by using aluminum with copper. But with strong competition in terms of cost, quality and innovation; some of the protruding clients of the Japanese firms have been opting for Chinese products in the current scenario. These Chinese organisations have been selling reasonably-priced zippers to the mass-market brands, prior to becoming a global fastening force and have also invaded territories that were previously clients of the Japanese firms.
As per 2015 Zipper Market Research Report from Global Industry Analysts, the zipper market is highly scrappy, that is replicated in terms of cost, quality and innovation. The entrance of Asian manufacturer from China has further intensified the competition on the international ground, which will be worth $13.7 billion by 2020. Market information by one of the Chinese firm reveals that China is now the biggest zipper producer worldwide, wherein the company facilitates the production of 80 million zippers and 1.4 billion sliders on monthly basis, making the firm- a largest volume domestic producer.
In response to the present rapid growth of China, the report by Global Industry Analysts reveals that Japanese corporations would be implementing certain strategies to expand their market in Asia, specifically in China.
War of Innovation
In fashion industry, zipper manufacturers work on certain trenches mainly based on the price segment.
In terms of design and innovation, the luxury market is the vital segment to focus on. Historically, majority of the European brands remained on top. Italian manufacturer, Riri, formed fasteners for Maison Margiela and Dries Van Noten. Raccagni produced customised high-end zips in partnership with Tom Ford and Lompo has partnered with Balmain. In such a competitive market, the Japanese gaint YKK and its Chinese challenger, SBS Zipper, have also invented new fasteners. YKK unveiled its Excella - one of the high-end fastener and SBS Zipper working on its R&D for the same, has acquired high-fashion clients like Giorgio Armani.
Despite undercutting each other in price range, neither of the renowned zipper firms has been able to do well with small traders of China and India. This signifies that the battlefield at the mid-level is highly competitive than it appears globally.