Tokatli, Nebahat, Wrigley, Neil and Kizilgün, Ömür
Shifting global supply networks and fast fashion: made in Turkey for Marks & Spencer
Global Networks, 8, (3), . (doi:10.1111/j.1471-0374.2008.00195.x).
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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was noted that retailers in Britain had started providing increased variety and fashionability to their customers, had added mid-season purchasing to their previous two-season calendars, and that a high fashion and low price ‘throwaway market’ had appeared on the retail scene. Since then mid-season purchasing has evolved into purchasing throughout the year; and the ‘throwaway market’ (now called fast fashion) has become almost the norm. Here we
revisit one of those British retailers (Marks & Spencer) together with its Turkish suppliers and observe a trend towards the diffusion of design capabilities to suppliers that is more widespread than is suggested in the literature. We also consider the question of how most appropriately to conceptualize the nature of these retailer–supplier relations in today’s circumstances. We especially look into the manner in
which these relations are reflected in price negotiations, the eventual distribution of the value-added, and the nature of everyday interactions such as accreditation and reclamation practices. We conclude that even though Turkish suppliers seem to be successfully upgrading into design – a high value-added activity – the question of whether or not this development has entailed a renegotiation of power between retailer and supplier remains a complicated one.
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