The U.K. high street fashion industry is a complex business with an estimated 44.5 billion in annual revenues (Barlow, 2006). It includes a wide range of enterprises in the apparel, footwear, home textiles, and accessories markets, full-price and discount retailers, and design source and selling companies. Some have their own manufacturing facilities whilst others outsource production but retain control over parts of the production process.
Dominating the highly-competitive UK fashion market is Marks & Spencer, followed by discount fashion specialist brands such as Primark and TK Maxx, all competing with Burberry, Italy's Prada, Chloe (France), Hugo Boss (Germany), and Donna Karan (U.S.).
Fashion and apparel manufacturing has almost disappeared in the U.K. due to cheap imports from China, which has likewise developed into a manufacturing base for the established global brands. U.K. manufacturing is focused on specialist fashion clothing and luxury products, mostly for wealthy customers in developed countries. The industry is marked by the integration of manufacturers and retailers, with the top three U.K. fashion retailers - M&S, Next, and Arcadia - remaining vertically integrated, producing and retailing their own brands. ...Show more