Apparel Import Intermediaries: The Impact of a Hyper-Dynamic Environment on U.S. Apparel Firms
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This study's objectives were to clarify the standing of apparel import intermediaries (AIIs) and to obtain an immediate and deeper understanding of them in their real-life settings from the perspective of industry experts with years of immersion in apparel industry phenomena. Based on interpretive analysis of qualitative in-depth interviews with 13 corporate executives of AII firms located in New York City, the authors critically evaluated AIIs' views of their environment, development, and functions. Findings indicated ambivalent reactions to the hyper-dynamic environment that has resulted from the global reordering of the apparel industry and described two development paths of AIIs, transformation or birth. Results also showed that this hyper-dynamic environment has shaped firms' functional responses, leading AIIs to implement design, marketing, sourcing, and service activities in unique ways. The study explicates the critical role that classification systems and terminology play in firm identity, the tracking of economic data, and policy development within the U.S. apparel industry.
Clothing & Textiles Research Journal, Volume 26 Number 1, January 2008, 66-90.