Views: 315 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-05-24 Origin: Site
Zippers are common items in life. These convenient everyday devices were invented in the United States more than a century ago, but have now spread all over the world. They are manufactured in many places, sewn or glued almost everywhere, and absolutely everywhere. However, no matter how inconspicuous and ubiquitous the zipper looks, its historical development is very rich. Let us take a look at the connection between the small zipper and the global competition.
Take samples from five items in the closet and check the labels on any metal zippers or nylon zippers. It is likely that at least one is marked with the letters YKK. It is manufactured by a Japanese company and is currently the world's top zipper manufacturer with an annual revenue of 10 billion U.S. dollars and a global market share of 40%!
The land of Japan has never specialized in zipper or broader light manufacturing. Most importantly, the success of YKK zippers is not because of exports. Rather, it is about a company that invests in setting up factories abroad. It now has representative offices in 73 different countries through approximately 100 wholly-owned subsidiaries.
Blue Jeans House
If any place enjoys a comparative advantage in different zippers, it is the United States. The device was invented there. From the submission of the original patent in 1893 to the first practical use in rubber overshoes, 25 years have passed. This is indeed an innovation that is urgently seeking applications. For many years, tailors and clothing manufacturers only used hooks, buttons and ribbons. They are cheap and easy to replace, and come in a variety of colors and uses. But the need for speed and fashion's desire for novelty ultimately made the zipper an indispensable accessory. Blue jeans are a perfect example of this process. In 1947, Levi's introduced the first style with zipper and was warmly welcomed by everyone.
But maybe we should go back to the United States and international trade. In the 1960s, the current zipper manufacturer Talon enjoyed an easy dominance in its domestic market. Its name appears on the seven-tenths label. But 10 years later, it lost half of its market share. Today, its market share is almost only a few percentage points. This is a typical case of a monopolistic enterprise going bankrupt after a long-term standstill. It has not done enough to improve productivity, so its price is too high; it fails to innovate, so it ignores new applications such as handbags, luggage or outdoor equipment.
Towards a global duopoly
The zipper industry has gradually changed from being dominated by national champions, where each country initially established itself on its own land, and then was challenged by imports from the most enterprising foreign competitors, to a dominant multinational company YKK and the edge of competition. The coexisting market, which includes hundreds of companies, is mainly Chinese companies. In recent years, through the integration of China's zipper industry, the competitive landscape has changed again.