Answering the question “What’s next?” is often tricky, especially for those in the textile industry, who say they’re already feeling the effects of the downturn.
But in this case, they say they have hope for a brighter future.
“I think that there’s definitely hope for the future, and I think we’re going to see an even bigger uptick,” said Patricia Hargis, a retail consultant and author of the book “Carpenter, the Artisan.”
“I mean, I feel really good about the textile market, I’m very optimistic about the apparel business, I think there’s going to be a boom in furniture and furniture-related businesses, I hope it’s going really well.”
The recession has left many industries reeling, but they say their customers are not.
“We are a little bit more cautious than many of our peers because we’re not sure what’s going on right now, so we don’t have any data to back up that we need to be,” said John McNeil, CEO of New Balance Inc., which employs about 5,000 people in Louisville.
“The retailers are still going to thrive.
It’s just the consumers are going to continue to be impacted.
We just have to take a step back and see how far we can take.”
Still, it’s hard to predict exactly what the future holds.
“Right now, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace,” said McNeil.
“People are looking at a lot different scenarios.”
For now, he says, there are positives to be had.
“It’s just like the business of business,” he said.
“You don’t know what’s next.
It just takes a little more time.”