Global Value Chain for Apparel Sold at Target

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Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

1 thought on “Global Value Chain for Apparel Sold at Target”

  1. Target claims “70% of the value of imported apparel is created in the United States” and I agree.

    Even though a low-skilled foreign factory worker sews Target’s apparel, Target clarifies that it does not imply the value of their product lays within the factory worker’s hands. A relatively simple shirt that Target produces is more than what meets the eye. The important decisions made by Target’s high-skilled employees are the reason why consumers can purchase said shirt. Bringing manufacturing back to American would be harder said than done. Due to globalizations, we cannot just bring manufacturing back to the US; we have become too exposed and opened Pandora’s box to the world.

    Within Target’s design and development team itself, there is an umbrella of highly skilled specialists who work towards creating the best-valued product—such as the: product development team, buyers, designers, fabric engineers and fabric sourcing, technical designers, apparel designers, product safety team and quality assurance. All of these positions require dozens of employees to work as a team to make it through the various steps of production. It is a minimum of six months of product development before the sourcing and production step begins and then the factory workers will begin their share of work for the production process. However, just because a garment has been sewn together and is now a tangible item for a consumer to purchase, it does not mean the lifecycle is complete and will be found in Target stores tomorrow.

    What most people do not know is the products must go through transportation and distribution approval before being delivered at a Target location. Next, comes the store’s role in merchandise flow, backroom organization, and presentation of the products on the sales floor and much more to run a store effectively. Keep in mind; while the production process is following the necessary steps—there are a multitude of other jobs that must be completed on a corporate level, such as branding, marketing, placement and selling.

    In todays world, the global economy works together to produce all the clothing we wear, hence the impact of globalization, and the global economy. Would the world consider off-shoring a loss to America, if Americans understood how it affects the world and helps struggling countries?

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