New Challenges for Developing Country Suppliers in Global Clothing Chains: A Comparative European Perspective

Florence Palpacuer, Peter Gibbon, Lotte Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Through an analysis of clothing import patterns and sourcing practices of major clothing retailers in the United Kingdom, France, and Scandinavia, this paper uncovers salient differences between global value chains (GVCs) serving European clothing markets. It highlights entry barriers for developing country suppliers into the sourcing networks of UK retailers and relates these to corporate financialization in the United Kingdom. Although suppliers’ entry and industrial upgrading remain easier in mainland European sourcing networks, the maturation of GVCs challenges classical “industrial upgrading” paradigms and the role of the clothing sector as a stepping stone in the industrialization of developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Development
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)409-430
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Developing countries
  • Europe
  • Clothing
  • Global value chains
  • Sourcing
  • Entry barriers

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