US-China trade disputes to weigh on US fashion-retail businesses

LOS ANGELES (Xinhua) – United States (US)-China trade frictions ignited by the White House last year will impact the fashion-retail businesses in 2019, California Apparel News predicted.

In a story Big Issues Will Affect Retail in 2019 published on Thursday, the 74-year-old magazine quoted business insiders as saying that the shrink of consumer spending caused by cooling economy this year might be amplified by the trade disputes between the two biggest economies in the world.

“If the trade war continues, we’re going to see some real price inflation of low-end and moderate-priced product,” said Managing Partner for Retail Systems Research (RSR) Paula Rosenblum. “Since so much of apparel is a discretionary spend, the impact will be swift.”

Online returns and voice-activated retail are other main factors to affect the industry, said the report.

However, Rosenblum did not forecast the scale of the impact, just saying, “I can’t remember the last time US retailers dealt with fallout from a trade war.”