There is no
question that the U.S. marketplace has been
experiencing a slowdown since November of 2007.
Because the U.S. economy is so diversified, not all
sectors are hit with a lack of growth opportunities
at the same time.
June Gloom is a
phrase we use when summer begins (officially June 21). We are expecting
sunshine and summer weather but we get clouds, haze, and overcast gloomy
weather. Sometimes with a little luck or strategic planning, we can travel
to where we can enjoy the summer sunshine.
This planning can also
be applicable to the business cycle of Textile/Apparel by seeking sales,
researching design, upgrading production technology, and most important,
putting your facility or brand in front of the international buyers. As I
have stated in previous articles, there is a definite paradigm shift as
China is going through higher costs for raw materials and labor issues.
India is now showing an upswing in this sector of business, but so are
Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam. Importers are in the finishing design
stages of Spring 2009, which is the largest market for India's type of
The economists have
not yet declared a recession, and I believe the majority are looking for a
good 4th quarter 2008. This means that you must make sure your
representatives are out in front of the buyers, getting costing done and
samples made. I will guarantee your buyers may desire earlier delivery
(December/January) for Spring product as they want to satisfy the shoppers
that do cruises and holiday vacations in resort areas. NOW is the
opportunity to contact and assist your representatives in getting the
purchase orders this June through September. Are you going to get your fair
I believe you can have
a spectacular summer, and June can be refreshing whether the sun is shining
or overcast. I do not wish to hear excuses or the words "I CANNOT", as they
are not in my vocabulary. Some of you might have to make sacrifices to find
the monies to seek and procure the business, but it is survival time and the
results of your efforts this month will be greatly rewarded.
The two largest shows
-- MAGIC and ASAP will be in Las Vegas at the end of August 2008, with
about 80% of the vendors selling goods for Spring 2009. Be assured that most
of them are already sold out as they will have been soliciting their
customers since July, but there are still many buyers just starting to look.
Here are a few pointers:
- To those of you
that will be able to make the journey to these shows, no matter what
terms you are selling, have the LANDED DUTY PRICE on all of your
- Make sure you
have an accurate Time Action Calendar for the total program and all the
required pre-production requirements, for quoting "ON TIME DELIVERY".
- Have the
necessary answers to questions regarding labor compliance,
subcontractors, logistics, etc.
- Organic seems to
be meaningful in many areas of product
this is something to think
Make June bright
rather than gloomy, and your business will become spectacular.
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
Hong Kong, or send an e-mail to: