Southeast Asia’s garment supply chain torn up by virus

Inventories under pressure at Uniqlo, Gap and Nike.

The coronavirus outbreak is wreaking havoc on Southeast Asia’s garment supply chain, threatening the inventories of international brands such as Uniqlo, Gap and Nike.

Uniqlo’s shipments from Vietnamese suppliers have been delayed by about two weeks, according to a source familiar with the Japanese fashion brand’s supply structure, potentially leading to stock shortages by March. Uniqlo has already pushed back the launch of some new product lines.

Southeast Asian suppliers, not only in Vietnam but also Cambodia and Myanmar, have become increasingly important to global fashion brands. Nearly 20% of Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing’s disclosed core sewing factories are in Vietnam, though China is still home to about half.

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