A Market Study of the Imprinted T-shirt Industry
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The main objective of this project is to gain insight into the T -shirt industry by first, studying the historical background of the T-shirt industry, from its earliest stages to its current development, and second, by taking an in-depth look at its environment, its relative health and various strategies that can and are being utilized to maintain competitiveness within the industry. Findings on the environmental study of the T-shirt industry indicates that there are many buyers and sellers that exist within the market and that the industry is highly fragmented due to low barriers to entry. It is segmented by a national and regional market, with big companies such as Hanes and Fruit of the Loom accounting for more than half of the domestic outwear T-shirt market. The number of small to mid-sized printers, manufacturers, wholesalers and integrated screen printers and wholesalers are so great that any company within the regional market captures only a small percentage of the market. The outerwear T -shirt industry has grown significantly over the years. Demand reached its peak during the late 1980's and the imprinted T-shirt is still considered to be a "hot" selling item, despite its current surplus capacity and declining growth. Relative to other garment industries, the T -shirt industry has fared better than others during economic down times. However, there are legitimate causes for concern in regards to the health of the industry. As a result of a maturing market with greater production, both foreign and domestic, stiffer competition has ensued, causing businesses to be more price competitive and search for more cost effective methods of production. Although creativity and a close watch on changing trends are necessary ingredients for success, the movement has been towards a greater reliance on service as a means of maintaining old customers and attracting new ones. The industry structure and the actions and policies of all the "players" need to be evaluated if the overall health of the industry is to be maintained. Along with a brief historical look at the T-shirt industry, this paper will view the current situation in the industry and possible strategies that may be employed to affirm success and survival within the industry.