New Report: Media in the USA 2022


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The US is the world biggest market in the media sector, with one third of the total global media revenues. Moreover, its global influence and leadership is unparalleled in shaping the industry, imposing new trends and innovative business models. The US is home of the core of the content produced by biggest studios in the world -such as Warner, Disney, Viacom- that is distributed worldwide and dominates the world’s cultural life. More recently, the US has been the epicentre thousands of companies that make, contribute to and support digital media, drive innovation and shape the sector, such as Netflix, Amazon, Google (YouTube), or Meta in social media and metaverses.

This global leadership has huge consequences, and recent shocks have placed obstacles in this dominant position which was, until recently, unchallenged. The trade war with China, exacerbated by China’s “Great Firewall” policy which restricts the entry of foreign company (especially social media) into its territory, placed media at the heart of the commercial and diplomatic conflict; the war in Ukraine further contributed to placing on top of the agenda media companies and the strategic role they play in international spheres, from a commercial, propaganda and diplomatic perspective.

Amid this context, China’s high-tech sector developed very rapidly. With huge economies of scale, it was able to create mirror companies to the US dominant ones in each segment. These companies are now becoming key players at global level, with leadership in some areas of the world. Their popularity in the US with the rise of some services like social media TikTok (owned by Chinese ByteDance) or messaging service WeChat (owned by TenCent) are of concern not only for the US media sector, but also for the US diplomatic sphere. In 2020, former President Trump threatened to ban the ByteDance and Tencent in its territory.

In the past decades, the US media sector saw a huge activity in mergers and acquisitions and innovation, with the consolidation of Disney’s catalogue for example -through the acquisition of Marvel, LucasFilms and more recently 21st Century Fox- and the emergence of Netflix and social media. The rapid deterioration in the macroeconomic development -with a sudden increase in interest rates- is expected to inaugurate a new phase in the media market. The pace of mergers and acquisitions may slow down, and the innovation efforts of some companies (commercial, technological, consumer-driven services) may also decelerate. The sector will however continue to see innovations and new areas of development such as the metaverse are likely to be shaping it in the coming years.

The sector still benefits from a huge domestic market which allows it to develop content and new products with large economies of scale and to remain globally extremely competitive. At domestic level, Americans are amongst the biggest consumers of media, laying the base of an extremely strong internal market. Pre- COVID, Americans were consuming more than 12 hours of traditional and digital media per day, vs a world average of 7.5 hours. Combined with a population of 332 million inhabitants whose average purchase power is high, the domestic demand is high and fuelling a sector that has grown extremely concentrated and competitive.

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Report Update: Tokio Marine HCC


Report Update: Media in Europe March 2022

Baker Ing have noted an 18% increase in debt placement from our media clients this year. Learn what could be driving this activity in our Media Europe report, now updated with exclusive commentary from our partners Tokio Marine HCC.

Learn more about Media in Europe with this new report or download in full from:

New Report: Media in Europe 2022


New Report: Media in Europe March 2022

The media sector directly impacts us all and is consistently one of the most dynamic, innovative and high-value sectors of the global economy. Recent events have accelerated digital adoption but, equally, there has been a move in many jurisdictions to tighten regulation and, as ever, inflation looms as a restraining force. As online media matures, we see consolidation in markets with traditional players increasingly securing positions of dominance... significant opportunities for challengers remain, however. Learn more about Media in Europe with this new report or download from:

New White Paper: Higher-Risk Accounts for Competitive Advantage


New White Paper: Higher-Risk Accounts for Competitive Advantage

At a time of global economic turbulence and fast-changing events, many credit professionals are tightening credit policy and moving to a risk-averse position. Counterintuitively however, we observe an increasing number of seasoned credit directors viewing this period as a time of opportunity to increase their influence within their organisations by working ever more closely with their sales colleagues and increasing the efficiency of credit policies to provide a source of competitive advantage which competitors not only do not possess but, rarely even consider. In adopting a growth mindset, in conjunction with forward-looking technologies and best practice, best-in-class credit professionals are increasingly becoming central to many companies’ capacity to control risk whilst simultaneously exploiting such as an engine to capture market share. Get an overview of the most common approaches to leveraging higher-risk accounts as a source of competitive advantage in this new white paper:

Read the full paper on Global Outlook.

Fashion & Apparel 2022


Fashion & Apparel 2022

What fashion-company casualties will there be now that we are moving back to a more normal trading environment? What impact will the shift have on companies who restructured their operations to survive lockdowns? Will they need to adapt once again to meet the needs of a new commercial environment, and are they capable of doing so quick enough if so?

With strengthening global trading conditions, there is much for the fashion industry to be positive about as we move into 2022. However, times are changing for the industry – if not, already changed. Just one example of the change we are seeing is stated in the Global Clothing B2C E-Commerce Market Report by Research and Markets which forecasts that over 50% of retail growth globally is expected to derive from online sales between 2020 and 2025. As with any structural changes, there will be those that manage to adapt quick enough to thrive, and those that fail to.

The pandemic of the past two years hit the fashion industry hard. Retail fashion was, at the beginning of 2020, still heavily reliant on footfall in physical shops. Further, the disruption to global trade generally had wide ranging and profound effect on fashion, from routes to market, to labour availability, supply chain management and marketing cycles. Sales fell, orders were cancelled, and inventories built up. Where businesses were able to adapt, they most often operated far below their volume capacities, with both increased operational costs and, in many cases, capital investment required in order to adapt, with consequent profit margin shrinkage.

As well operational disruption, we’ve further seen profound shifts in consumer demand over the past two years. Lockdowns drove down demand in the luxury, formal, accessories and beauty segments whilst increasing demand for leisure, active and comfort. This further disrupted businesses’ product development and marketing cycles, as well as profoundly impacting those with less diversified product ranges.

As we move into 2022, the industry now faces old challenges but on a new scale. Input shortages, logistical constraints and inflation are challenges the industry knows only too well. However, it now faces these old challenges in a weakened financial state, during a time of market volatility, and structural changes in consumer tastes and behaviours. Retention of Title is something credit managers need to secure post COVID, with the rise of both insolvency and phoenix companies. We have seen assets and goods being moved between different trading entities and shops, as well as being sold online through platforms such as e-Bay, Vinted and luxury-fashion second-hand sites.

Nonetheless, even though the most pressing challenges are the old enemies of inflation, supply-chain disruption, and cost-control, its vital to consider the new context these old challenges approach us in. Not only has the industry been weakened financially by the lockdowns but, the past two years has rapidly accelerated fundamental changes in the industry which must be considered too:


Social Responsibility


Social responsibility, for want of a better term, was both a building consumer trend and a political force before COVID. Over the past two years though, for a variety of reasons better left to sociology professors to dissect, we have seen social responsibility come very much to the fore – again, both politically and as a consumer trend. This was driven in large part by the increasing influence of younger consumers but has very much spread wider than that demographic to the point that socially responsible value judgements are now arguably the desired consumer standard, with anything falling below the perceived bar being deemed unacceptable and undesirable.

Interestingly it is the polar-opposite ends of the industry which have been most effected so far. Both the luxury and ‘fast-fashion’ segments have come under heavy scrutiny and companies have had to act. In the luxury segment, we see a subtle shift in marketing away from purely a positional-goods value proposition (i.e., exclusivity) to one of social values and association with those values via the brand. Equally, at the other end of the scale we have seen manufacturers focus action on sanitizing their supply chains and offsetting environmental impacts.

With the political and cultural Zeitgeist seeming to grow ever more enthusiastic for social responsibility in all its forms, it will be interesting to see how the industry can adapt to this new paradigm, being as it impacts both operational practices of companies, as well as influences consumer demands and behaviours. For example, younger consumers seem very happy to purchase second-hand luxury goods or will forego brands entirely which are perceived not match up to their high standards of socially responsible behaviour. How to square these thoroughly uncommercial values with the need to maintain sales volumes and margins is a problem not yet solved. That said, we have seen some shifts to this end, such as changes to manufacturing inputs, as well as marketing in many instances moving away from a trend-focus to more emphasis on timeless quality.




Linked to the above trend of social responsibility, it seems 2022 may be the year of regulation for the fashion industry. If social responsibility is the cultural trend influencing companies to change in line with their consumer’s demand, then ESG is the big stick of government demanding change. It is a topic we have covered previously and too large to cover here but, needless to say, the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance values codified in the ESG standards currently being applied by many financial institutions, and expected to be rolled out widely, could have profound effects on companies’ ability to access finance and professional services.

As well as the potentially existential threat which ESG standards could well be to certain segments, we also have a raft of other legislation recently introduced or incoming in 2022 which will impact all fashion companies; new European online sales legislation, the UK’s Green Claims Code, France’s carbon labelling and ‘anti-waste’ laws, the USA’s strengthening of the Garment Worker’s Protection Act…and probably more to come!

The fashion industry is under pressure to adapt faster than it would like and some segments don’t yet have a solution for their long-term survival.


Route to Market and Digitization


It goes without saying that the shift to online dominance is almost complete now. Those that have not yet managed to integrate digital channels into an omnichannel route-to-market strategy are most likely not with us any more….or won’t be for long. The best businesses are now focusing on how they integrate their digital and non-digital channels across the customer journey to really make the most of this new paradigm.

However, with the pervasiveness of new technology throughout companies’ operations, often adopted at speed over the past couple of years, we must be aware of the threat of cyber-attacks. This now represents a significant and widespread risk and it is imperative that credit managers are knowledgeable about the measures companies need to take to mitigate the risk.




Whilst there is much to be optimistic about as we enter more usual trading conditions, there is no doubt that the fashion industry in under severe pressure, being impacted more than most by the old challenges of inflation, supply chain management and cost-control. What is particularly concerning is that the industry faces these challenges from a weakened financial position after two years of restrictions, as well as being buffeted by some profound and rapid changes in consumer demand/behaviour, whilst fending off increasingly interventionalist legislation around the globe.

So, optimism is appropriate as we enter 2022 but, we must be vigilant of the high-risk environment fashion companies are operating in.


Cautionary tale 1 – international group goes into administration:

  • Trinity Group
  • Trinity Group is a Chinese-owned up-market fashion conglomerate. It owns several ‘heritage’ fashion businesses, including Kent & Curwen, Gieves & Hawkes, D’Urban (Japan) and Cerruti.
  • The Group went into administration early in January 2022 and is understood to be heavily indebted. Administration is thought to have become essential when it failed to find a buyer for its Gieves & Hawkes subsidiary.
  • A majority stake in Trinity is owned by Shundong Ruyl International, based in China. This does not mean that its subsidiaries are now in administration, but they have become assets in a struggle to find a way that will repay most to Trinity’s creditors.
  • The least likely outcome is a solvent third-party acquiring Trinity. The most likely outcome is the sale or disposal of the main subsidiaries, including; Gieves & Hawkes, Kent & Curwen; D’Urban (Japan), and Cerruti and Cerruti 1881.


Cautionary tale 2 – poor footfall forces administration:

  • Kesslers International is a major retail display business formed in 1888.
  • It was put into administration by its owner, the Hexcite Group, in December 2021 after trading at a loss for several years.
  • Sales for the most recent year were £20m.
  • Out of 160 staff, 125 have been made redundant.


Cautionary tale 3 – luxury brand fails:

  • Ralph & Russo, is a high-end fashion house with 450 employees.
  • The business was set up in 2006 and opened stores in London, Europe and the Middle East. It sells couture, bags, accessories and shoes.
  • The company went into administration in March 2021.
  • Ralph & Russo was bought out of administration in July 2021 by Retail Ecommerce Ventures (owner of Dressbarn, Steinmart and Pier 1).


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