BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The environment in which the fashion industry operates the world over has become turbulent, unpredictable and therefore, difficult to exert managerial control. Cultures around the world are constantly influencing each other; hence, the world’s cultures are changing fashion constantly. Also, social, economic, political and legal factors keep changing than before. Competition in the fashion industry is so rife such that the survival of fashion organizations cannot be guaranteed (Stuart, 1995). During the last decade, the developments of new technologies all over the world and growing globalization of countries economies have produced the fastest changes ever.
The fashion industry in Ghana, especially, the clothing sub sector (which is the focus of this study) has not been without the effect of economic, political, social, cultural and legal pressures brought to bear on all organizations. In recent years, protectionism has given way to globalization. With that change, Ghanaian clothing sector of the fashion industry has had to compete with imports from low wage countries. Retailers, unencumbered by protectionism, have also seized on the opportunity, often choosing to go directly to offshore manufacturers. As retailers become larger and more globally connected, they continue to build global brands marketed around the world. In doing so, they eliminate many Ghanaian clothing companies from their supply chain. The result has been major market share declines and job losses in the industry.
Aug The Ghanaian clothing sector of the fashion industry faces many challenges. the rise of low-cost goods from Asia, a slowdown in consumer spending, difficulty in accessing capital, lack of innovation from entrepreneurs, relatively high prices of products due to high unit cost, poor distribution channels and inability to promote local brands.
It is without doubt that low-cost Chinese imports have increasingly dominated the local fashion scene. As a result some local manufacturers, in an attempt to remain competitive, have subcontracted their production processes offshore.
The issue of access to capital for the industry is not new. For years, industry players have indicated that they feel there is a lack of support for their industry from the banking community. Under these circumstances, it is not a surprise that many companies cannot secure financing. as a result of banking formula-based lending practices, financing remains a challenge to many well-run clothing companies and small businesses in general.
Brand DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN A MJOR ISSUE IN THE clothing sub sector in the fashion industry in Ghana. Many Designers have not been able to design unique Ghanaian designs that would bear their own brand name in order to project their business. However, a few creative ones have had their product design copied wrongly and produced cheaply from China, thereby destroying the brands they have developed. These and other factors have created serious marketing challenges for the clothing sub sector of the fashion industry in Ghana. This study would go into detail to look at the nature of the marketing challenges facing the industry in Ghana.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There are growing signs Ghanaian garment and fashion industry is approaching a serious crossroad. Increasing numbers of mainland Chinese manufacturers are taking Ghana’s role of mass-producing quality fashion items at reasonable cost.
Industry players, also have difficulty securing financing from other lenders. For example, asset based lenders often require substantial premium interest rates. Other larger non-traditional lending institutions and professionals that can assist prefer working with larger companies where greater fees and returns can be earned. The traditional financing problems will likely become further exacerbated as companies implement new models that do not generate assets that can be collateralized.