BERLIN - German clothes shoppers have started going for bright colors, after years of opting for safe gray or navy blue. So retailers – who were taken by surprise – had no choice but to act quickly to place large follow-up orders.
But according to the National Association Of German Textile Retailers (BTE), since so much of the stock now comes from China -- where surprise last-minute orders are difficult to accommodate -- stores were left in the cold.
Indeed, the brands that make their lines in Europe, says German fashion industry association German Fashion, were best positioned to respond to the colorful appetites.
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China still remains by far the largest supplier-country, however – a third of imported German clothes come from there. But even though imports totaled 7.5 billion euros in 2012, that was nearly 10% less than in 2011, Die Welt reports.
And brands aren’t just switching to Europe but also to other Asian countries – mainly Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam. China doesn’t appear to be too disturbed by the trend. "Capacities there are getting tighter because there’s growing domestic demand, and also because the government is now encouraging a focus on high tech,” says Gerd Oliver Seidensticker, president of German Fashion.