the consolidation of Kmart/Sears, Federated/May Co., Jones New
York/Barney's, the possibility of Tommy Hilfiger being purchased by
Wal-Mart, and the many other buyouts in the manufacturing retail arena,
are you prepared? With the consolidation of factors, the banking
industry and the insurance industry, all integral parts of our business,
are you prepared?
recently saw an advertisement for a Big Name Mergers & Acquisition Summit
specifically for retail and apparel manufacturing to be held soon.
in a world of takeovers. China is trying to purchase U.S. name brands in
household categories, battles and buyouts of the luxury name brands are
happening in Europe, financial groups are buying large retail chains. Are
business world (including worldwide), relationships are important
keys to doing business. Where do you stand with all the changes that are
constantly taking place, and are you prepared for changes in relationships?
many years ago, the Buyer was King, and that was where the relationship
was maintained. Today, the retailer is King, and the relationships are not
with the buyers. Paramount is the philosophy of the retailer and
understanding what it takes from top to bottom, being able to service their
needs and still maintain a profit for your business.
with these consolidations, the old tried and true relationships, in most
cases, are no longer in place. You are dealing with people you never knew
existed, or you were a huge vendor with a store group and now it has been
merged under a completely different name and management. Are you
service arena, referral business is done by networking in the hopes of
getting new clients. Therefore, we are constantly selling face to face, one
on one, as to who we are and what services we have to offer potential
manufacturing/retail area it may be that you have established a recognized
name brand, or you can deliver the best value of product, or you are fashion
right on. This is all well and good, and in most cases you have built a
sales and marketing infrastructure to bring your product to the marketplace.
servicing these new merged giants, you must add an important ingredient to
your existing marketing structure, and that is you, the CEO or owner
of the business. I don't care whether you are the back office financial guy
or the sales/marketing part of the business, you must know first hand and
not through your sales representatives exactly what your customer wants and
needs, and how you can build a new relationship with the new powers in
important that you establish these one-on-one (networking) direct contacts.
Your sales organization will do the day-to-day servicing, put you should
get out of your office and go with your sales representatives to meet these
important new retailers. We all know that the competition is vicious and you
must have competitive cost, quality specifications, and on-time delivery.
now have to be the executive bridge directly to your retail customers
almost on a daily basis. You are the business, and it should be known and
understood that you can make decisions to enhance the relationship and
respond to special requests. Meeting with and maintaining a first-name
relationship with the new powers will be a key method to be prepared.
Que Sera, Sera! attitude will just put you behind the eight ball, and
this can be a very costly situation.
professionals at Stonefield Josephson have been working with mergers and
acquisitions as part of our client services for many years. We are in it as
a normal course of our business.
have over 100 years of experience in the textile/apparel business, and we
can assist you in being prepared.
Bruce S. Berton is a business and management consultant with Stonefield
Josephson, Inc., a leading regional consulting and accounting firm with
offices in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Mexico City.
The information in this column is of a general nature. Readers
inquiries are welcome; and may be sent to Bruce Berton, at Stonefield
Josephson, Inc., 2049 Century Park East Suite 400 Los Angeles,
California 90067 310-432-7437 Direct
866-225-4511 Toll Free
310-432-7519 Fax Los Angeles
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