Will It Be June Gloom Or Summer Spectacular?
By: Bruce S. Berton , June 2008


Consultants Corner News Consulting Manufacturing Clothing



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 fabrics.

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 share?

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:

  1. 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 products.
  2. 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".
  3. Have the necessary answers to questions regarding labor compliance, subcontractors, logistics, etc.
  4. Organic seems to be meaningful in many areas of product
    this is something to think about.

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
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San Francisco
East Bay Silicon Valley
Hong Kong, or send an e-mail to: 





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