Overcoming the Tides of Change: A Look at Globalization and the Italian Textile Industry

Zlatkus, Amanda
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University of Delaware
Globalization is an unstoppable trend which leads to a freer global market. The Italian textile and clothing industries are now facing greater competition from developing countries that have a comparative advantage in unskilled labor-intensive manufacturing, namely China. This study focuses on the impacts that globalization has had on the Italian textile and clothing industry and discusses recent trends in business operations, structures, and strategies and WTO trade regulations surrounding this industry. The findings of this study indicate that globalization has had a negative impact on those Italian textile and clothing manufacturers catering to the mid-market while those which utilize greater skill-intensive labor, and cater to high-end consumers, continue to survive. This study concludes that, in order to remain competitive in the global market, Italian textile, clothing, and fashion industries must shift their target consumer base to high-end consumers, for which Italians have a clear competitive advantage.