January 12, 2011
Filed under: Tip of the Day
Looking for a way to convince clients that American-made apparel is the way to go? Here are three ways to get them to see beyond price, and consider purchasing apparel manufactured by domestic factories:
- Quality: Yes, foreign goods can be cheaper. However, “Most people say that price is the most important thing. But it’s not always the most important,” says Howard Levine, who runs Alliance Graphics (asi/117905) and buys U.S.-made apparel. “Quality and service matter.” Stress with clients the higher quality of fabrics and construction that tends to be found on American-made apparel. Show samples of domestic and imported products to prove this point.
- Convenience: What takes weeks sometimes for overseas manufacturers to deliver can take days for U.S. ones. Also, other issues like customs snafus and tariff markups can be avoided easily. Considering inventory and pricing problems that many apparel makers outside of the U.S. have had over the past 12 to 18 months, this is an angle that many clients would be interested in. Domestic manufacturers can have more of a just-in-time manufacturing model, affording them an edge in inventory and production time.
- Markets: There are lots of groups that prefer or even require apparel made in the United States. They include unions, political campaigns, patriotic committees (who might hold a Fourth of July parade) and even big companies demonstrating their commitment to domestic manufacturing. Plus, overseas markets like Japan, which don’t have their own base of apparel manufacturing, tend to appreciate the high quality nature of clothing that can be imported to them from America. The international angle is one that can be the most fruitful for distributors looking to sell made-in-the-USA clothing.
From Counselor’s January 2011 issue.