At the Cutting Edge? Financialization and UK Clothing Retailers' Global Sourcing Patterns and Practices

Authors: 
Publication Type: 
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Volume: 
6
Number: 
3
Page Numbers: 
289-309
Month/Season: 
Published On: 
2002

This paper examines the relation between financialisation and firm-level management decision-making in a specific sector and in relation to a specific area of decision-making (sourcing), drawing on evidence from interviews, unpublished UK trade data and company annual reports. It argues that, while requirements for higher returns on capital employed have been internalised at firm-level, these are compatible with a variety of general strategic responses and more practical decisions. Firms have selected between these largely on the basis of considerations that are best described as ‘retailerist’, as opposed to strictly ‘financialist’. Thus while financialisation matters, it only does so in ways that are highly mediated.