Past, Present, Future  (This Is Not a Christmas Story)
December 3, 2005 by Bruce Berton


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The year of 2005 has been one of turmoil, uncertainty, and catastrophic events. So, what else is new? For our textile apparel industry, I would say that it is just another normal day at the office!  These events should become learning experiences so that you can prepare and have plans to take care of the many bumps in the road to success.

I could start listing all of the bumps we had during the year, but it simply it comes down to the statement, There is nothing as permanent as change.

Please look inside your own infrastructure, the customers you sell, the customers you hope to sell, and especially the consumers and their needs and desires.

Here are some questions I think you should be asking yourself before plunging into the present market place:

       How much more room is there in the luxury denim bottoms market?

How am I going to replace the Robinsons May business?

Should I try to create my own brand, or should I license a name brand?

How do I gain more real estate in the retailer's operations?

How are consumers spending their dollars in their current lifestyles?

How can I adjust my sourcing or manufacturing of product to facilitate my customers needs?

How can I receive factual information so that I can adjust, be flexible and still deliver on time?

How can I grow my sales revenues in different marketplaces?

These are just a few questions that you should use as a good history lesson since many of these so-called bumps took place this year.


This article is coming to you in the middle of December, but for all intents and purposes, 2006 is here.

If you are in the business, you are working on Fall 2006 and you are in the planning stages of Holiday 2006. Therefore, the present is already half over. My question to you is, are you going to be here for the future?

In a previous article I mentioned that some genius analysts seem to think that 2006 most likely will be a dud, or at best
ho hum.  I am saying to you that you should control and aggressively make 2006 your year!

There is no question in my mind that your dollars will take care of themselves, but you had better watch your pennies very carefully.

Spend the time and money to have the facts at your fingertips, to make plans and execute those plans, and to have the supervision in place to enable you to deliver your products profitably.  This requires hiring quality employees (there are many available, thanks to all of the consolidations), paying a competitive wage, and offering incentives, as well as putting in the technical systems required to give you factual information in a timely manner.

Finally, you must train your total work force, both internally and externally, and disseminate the information to all in order to create a strong team effort.


The good news is that we have an ever increasing population on earth, and except for a very few regions globally, they all will be wearing apparel.

The final question is, Will they being wearing yours?


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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San Francisco
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Hong Kong, or send an e-mail to:


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