Executive summary

Supply chains in the lifestyle sector (which includes clothing, footwear, textiles, luxury and toys) were already under pressure prior to the 2019 coronavirus pandemic. Environmental sustainability, labour standards and technology adoption were among the internal challenges facing companies, but external headwinds were also complicating factors. Globalisation has been under threat, facing challenges in the form of the US-China trade war, Brexit, rising economic nationalism, and the crisis of the multilateral trade regime and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) itself.

While the pandemic has hit the lifestyle industry especially hard, mapping on to critical production and consumer markets like China and Italy, it should also be a spur for muchneeded reforms. The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Maersk, surveyed 450 supply-chain executives and interviewed a range of experts to garner their views and opinions on the future of supply chains in their industries.

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