Men's and Boy's Apparel Wholesalers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 3,200 men’s and boy’s apparel wholesalers in the US act as middlemen between apparel manufacturers and retailers. They purchase apparel and accessories in large quantities from manufacturers and importers and resell them to retailers. Some firms have exclusive relationships with manufacturers to sell within a designated territory. Wholesalers often represent multiple apparel manufacturers and carry a variety of categories, brands, and styles. Some firms specialize in past season or overstock merchandise.

Competition with Large Apparel Manufacturers

Big apparel companies and importers serve large accounts, such as department store chains and mass merchandisers, directly and operate their own distribution networks.

Complex Supply Chain

The apparel supply chain is long and complex, and typically involves numerous parties, many of which are located overseas.

Industry size & Structure

The average men's and boy's apparel wholesaler operates out of a single location, employs 19 workers, and generates about $16-17 million annually.

    • The men's and boy's apparel wholesale industry consists of about 3,200 firms that employ 60,700 workers and generate about $54 billion annually.
    • The men's and boy's apparel wholesale industry is somewhat concentrated; the top 50 companies account for 66% of industry revenue.
    • Most domestic apparel companies (which are technically classified as apparel manufacturers) own or license brand names and outsource the majority of production to third-party manufacturers overseas. These apparel companies are often referred to as wholesalers because they sell apparel at wholesale to major accounts.
    • Large apparel companies with wholesale operations include Perry Ellis (Perry Ellis, Munsingwear, Penguin) and Oxford Industries (Tommy Bahama, Southern Tide).
                              Industry Forecast
                              Men's and Boy's Apparel Wholesalers Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Coronavirus Update

                              May 5, 2022 - China’s Zero-COVID Policy Slows Factory Output, Exports
                              • Apparel wholesalers that rely on suppliers in China may be experiencing increased supply chain disruptions. China’s manufacturing output decreased to a 26-month low in April as its zero-tolerance approach to the pandemic slowed factory output. The Caixin China General Manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped from 48.4 in March 2022 to 46 in April. A reading below 50 suggests output is contracting rather than expanding. In April, new orders and production fell to their lowest levels since the survey began in 2004, and exports declined at the steepest rate in nearly two years. Delivery times grew at the second-fastest rate in the index’s history amid travel restrictions and raw materials shortages.
                              • US seasonally adjusted wholesale apparel sales fell 0.7% in February 2022 compared to the prior month and increased 23.5% from the same month a year earlier on an unadjusted basis. Unadjusted clothing and accessory store sales increased 7.5% in March 2022 compared to the same month in 2021, according to the US Department of Commerce. In March, seasonally adjusted clothing and accessory store sales rose 2.6% compared to the month before.
                              • US consumer prices in March were up 8.5% compared to a year earlier, marking a new four-decade high. According to The Wall Street Journal, with gasoline prices at record highs, consumers are likely pulling back on some discretionary spending. In March, consumer prices for men’s and boys’ apparel were up 7.8% year over year. While apparel inflation has been lower relative to other items such as vehicles and fuel, apparel industry watchers suggest that when consumers are price-pinched on necessities, they may have less discretionary income to spend on updating their wardrobes.
                              • Hobbled global supply chains could reduce the profitability of North American apparel and footwear brands by $9 billion to $17 billion in 2022, according to a recent report by management consulting firm Kearney. While brands could benefit from pent-up demand, a swift uptick in spending could worsen existing supply chain snarls. Areas of focus for making supply chains more resilient include trimming the numbers of stock-keeping units (SKUs), optimizing ocean shipping, building additional redundancy into supply bases, increasing data sharing with suppliers, and forecasting demand using AI.
                              • In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, several clothing brands have announced they would alter their business operations in Russia. Levi Strauss is temporarily suspending its operations in Russia. The owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, TJX, says it plans to divest its stake in a discount retailer in Russia that operates more than 400 stores. Nike is shuttering about 116 stores in Russia, and Adidas is also ceasing sales in the country.
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