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Analysis

Apparel multinationals and subsidiaries: Which locations have the best fit?

The world’s leading apparel supply chain companies each operate an average of 185.8 subsidiaries, but which countries are in favour for these operations?


Apparel supply chain multinationals are far less likely to establish subsidiaries in North America than the average multinational company (MNC), according to analysis of GlobalData’s exclusively compiled subsidiary database.

Companies establish subsidiaries for a variety of reasons: they can allow them to expand into profitable new markets, to increase revenue, and to diversify their holdings to better manage risk. As a vital component of a company’s expansion plans, the establishment of a subsidiary can offer insight into investment trends, with our database allowing you to see these investment patterns on a wider, sector level.

Investment Monitor’s MNC subsidiary database contains information for 2,188 of the world’s top companies by revenue. Of these MNCs, eight are in the apparel supply chain industry, representing 0.4% of the companies in our database.

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These apparel supply chain companies are less likely than average to establish subsidiaries in North America (14.5% versus 27.8%) and are more likely to establish them in western Europe (43.7% versus 36.8%).

Overall, the eight apparel supply chain MNCs in our database operate 1,486 subsidiaries. This comes to an average of 185.8 subsidiaries per company, compared with an average of 99 for the entire database of 2,188 companies. It should be noted, however, that the number of subsidiaries is by no means evenly distributed within the sector. The most common number of subsidiaries for an MNC in the sector (the mode) is 47, while the median comes in at 55, indicating that the simple average is skewed heavily by the bigger parent companies.

louis-vuitton-subsidiaries
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has 1,051 subsidiaries around the world. (Photo by Jean-Francois Monier/AFP via Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton bags the top spot

France-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton has the largest number of subsidiaries among apparel supply chain sector MNCs within our database with 1,051. This means it ranks in ninth place across our entire database when measured by the total number of subsidiaries.

LVMH’s subsidiaries are distributed across the world with 45% of the total located in western Europe, the highest for any region. Some 159 of the company’s subsidiaries are located in its home country of France, while the US is the second most popular destination with 107.

Overall, 269 of the subsidiaries owned by the apparel supply chain MNCs in the database are located in the same country as the parent company is headquartered. This means that MNCs in the sector are less likely than average to have a preference for domestic subsidiaries at 18.1%, with the figure for the entire database standing at 45.7%.

Methodology

GlobalData has compiled a list of top MNCs based on revenue. Any top companies that did not have a subsidiary were removed from the list. The latest company annual reports (2019 and 2020, where available) and websites were analysed for a total of 2,188 companies.

For a subsidiary to be included, the parent company had to have a majority ownership/control in the subsidiary. Affiliates, associates, joint operations and joint ventures were included as long as the ownership criteria was met. Subsidiary information was captured at a country level. Country names were standardised. In total, 216,898 subsidiaries were captured.

This article originally appeared in Just Style.

Patrick Scott is head of data journalism at GlobalData Media.

Georges is a data visualisation developer on GlobalData Media's data journalism team.