By and and  on May 15, 2013

LONDON — With European economies barely treading water and only the most fragile signs of recovery bubbling up, business remains a challenge for fashion companies at all levels of the price ladder, from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to the British men’s and denim label Mark Thomas Taylor.

The headwinds are many and powerful: A strong euro and pound that makes exports unattractive; austerity-scarred consumers who are reluctant to spend, and uneven patterns of demand in Asia, particularly China.

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Earlier this month, the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a new record low of 0.5 percent to help jump-start lagging economies in a region marked by shrinking manufacturing, rising unemployment and consumer malaise. As a result, companies are rethinking how they manufacture, market and sell their goods in order to balance growth and preserve profit margins.

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