Summary of the 2019 AAPN Mexico Leadership Forum: State of the Industry

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Here is a short summary of our 2019 AAPN Mexico Leadership Forum: State of the Industry in Mexico City last week, Dec 4, 2019

Nearly 70 executives spent the day together in a 'room with a view' atop the Gerber Garment Technology office building. In addition to our host Jorge DeLeon of Gerber, other event sponsors included Carlos Sarmiento/Coats; William Yidi/Finotex; Ed Gribbin/Impactiva; Mike Smith/Printcraft; and John Crisco/Stretchline Central America & Stretchline Mexico.

Our keynote speaker was Nicole Bivens Collinson, President, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, PA: with the topic: Openings, Options, Opportunities. Her speech covered all the following:

• China

• US-Mexico-Canada (USMCA)

• Forced Labor

• Climate Change

• Congressional Update

• Opportunities

The discussion she moderated is best described by this headline from a recent headline on CNBC: "What Trump does before trade deadline is the ‘wild card’ that will drive markets in the week ahead".

Nicole detailed the extreme uncertainty in trade today while, at the same time, covering all open trade issues and fielding a barrage of questions and comments from senior executive in every link of the chain and from multiple countries. She especially detailed the NAFTA replacement legislation. Nicole also shared this detailed list of items subject to China changes.

Kurt Cavano, the industry's resident Technology & Supply Chain Evangelist gave his usual terrifying overview of what is here that we don't know about and what is coming that we need to plan for now.

As someone approaching late middle age, I am anxious for my own personal robot which whom I have many stories to share. I'm also excited that in 6 or so years 'they' will be able to 3D print a human heart. And I am delighted to learn that had a 1970 VW Beatle evolved in the same fashion as computer chips, it would cost 4 cents, go 300,000 miles per hour and run infinitely on one tank of gas.

Our outgoing president Tony Anzovino, Chief Sourcing & Merchandising Officer, Haggar, spoke on "Retail's Apocalypse or New Dawn?" and his great presentation covered all the following.

Retail Trends 2020

• Online is going Offline

• Subscription boxes are here to stay

• Rise of Private Labels

• Deep Retail

• Voice Search & Personal Assistants

• Instashopping

• Instagram native payment system

• Omnichannel Reality

• “Experience” Economy

• By Your Powers Combined

• Time is Money

Frankly, it is hard to imagine how someone who is so busy, with such a large staff and so many duties and travels so extensively could possible have compiled his long and detailed look at retail today. On top of that, as a supplier to so many retailers himself, he lives what his analysis reveals – that retail is dynamic and evolving almost daily.

We ended the day with a terrific panel consisting of:

Elias Assa Cojab, CEO, Zentrix (Mexico)

Jose Antonio Torre, General Manager, Grupo Providencia, S.A. de C.V. (Mexico)

John Crisco, VP Sales & New Business Development, Stretchline Holdings Ltd

Linda Tiberi, Managing Director LATAM – Apparel Sourcing, Under Armour

Despite being a relatively small and actually unique event, more came out of this meeting than any we have hosted this year. We're back at the office with MAJOR actions and initiatives raised during this conference.

We were honored to be hosted by Jorge DeLeon and his terrific staff in beautiful Mexico City. Speaking personally, my first trip outside of the state of Ohio was when I was 20 and spent 3 months in college in Mexico City.

That experience changed my life, redirected it to seek international travel and to understand how countries work around the world. It in fact prepared me for this job spent covering this hemisphere. So returning to Mexico City, where it all started, reminded me just how lucky, LUCKY, I have been to be a part of this amazing network.