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Is overseas sourcing losing its appeal?

In the past decade we’ve seen retail manufacturing in the UK diminish to almost non-existent levels, as companies outsource reduction to more cost effective overseas locations such as China and India.

With the financial benefits of lower priced materials and staffing costs, it makes economic sense to move production away from the UK. As with most large purchases across the globe, the US dollar is the currency of choice, and the dollar was at record lows againt the GBP for the majority of 2008-09, but how long will manufactures be able to continue to source goods from overseas?

Fluctuating exchange rates have consequences for business around the world, but for fashion brands, retailers and suppliers that source offshore, this could be one of the biggest threats they’ve faced in recent years.

As Kerry King from Hays Retail in Manchester says, “I talk to people working for branded wholesale companies on a daily basis and although demand for talented professionals remains high, there is a air of caution, with people waiting to see where the economy will turn next. The impact of the fluctuating exchange rates has had an effect; one that is hopefully in reserve now that the pound is becoming stronger”.

Costs for all aspects of manufacturing are starting to soar and putting already tight margins under more and more pressure. Will this change bring manufacturing back to the UK? Only time will tell.

Talk to your local Hays Retail consultant about your hiring needs or find your next retail employee in our candidate database.