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The direct-to-consumer threat to retail middlemen

An emergence of direct-to-consumer marketplaces has allowed consumers to buy directly from apparel manufacturers rather than via a wholesaler or retailer.

THE global apparel market is worth US$1.65 trillion annually, of which 12.1 per cent is now serviced by online retailers, up from 4.4 per cent five years ago, having grown at 25 per cent annually.

While this change has been rapid and has resulted in some significant disruptions to