Interview: American apparel industry’s Off Price Show organizer appreciates China’s role

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by Julia Pierrepont III

LAS VEGAS, the United States, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — At the garment industry’s Off Price Show (OPS), held in Las Vegas from this weekend through Monday as part of the city’s much lauded Fashion Week, Trish Barglof, executive director of the annual trade event, hailed China’s role for American customers on Sunday.

She credited China with being a major impetus behind the launch of the very first Off Price Show in 1994 that helped establish it as an important incubator for the country’s garment industry.

“Back in the very beginning, trade with China and access to their low-cost apparel goods was one of the key factors that enabled the Off Price Show to get started,” Barglof said. “They are always welcome at the Show.”

Now at its peak, in recent years, the OPS hosts between 450 and 1,000 exhibitors and thousands of interested buyers. Moreover, more than 80 percent goods traded here are made in China even though the trade disputes ignited by the White House have been escalating for over one year.

The high quality and good price are keys to the industry’s success, and are also characters of China’s products, she said.

When asked how the U.S.-China trade disputes were affecting the OPS and her customers, Barglof expressed concerns.

“Many of our exhibitors source a lot of their products in China. They are frequent visitors to the factories there. They’re looking for deals, products, anything that they can bring back to the U.S.”

“So everybody is talking about the trade war. They are cautiously watching what the new U.S.-China trade relations are and how they’re going to impact on their business,” she told Xinhua. “They know that it’s going to have an impact, but don’t quite know how bad it is going to be.”

She didn’t think sourcing from China would change immediately despite the price pressure new tariffs would bring, because many of the buyer-seller relationships have been built over 10, 20 or 30 years or more.

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