Sorry if this is taking the thread back to prices, I don't normally talk about other companies costings and wholesale/retail prices, but we use a few of the same factories of a few mention labels in this thread, UK production does cost more, but not that much more, but more. We only make in London but I have travelled all over with Co-Lab work and production work for others.
Retail prices have to be completive with other retailers, there is no RRP in most markets a high retail price is based on a high wholesale price (sorry if this is a bit basic) after production and fabric costs the next big 'lump' in the wholesale mark-up is agency fees/profit, we work with a shallow mark up and no agents, but the larger companies (Cabourn in this case) use a network of agents and distribution, have a large staff and show in four markets every season, thus there increasing wholesale price driving up the retail price. There are other factors here that I will not talk about as I've been a little to close to them and would not want to cross a line, in regards to respect and history. But I will say this Fabrics also go through this production/agent/distribution cycle before most labels even start cutting garments, very few brands buy direct from loomers, this simple idea of direct to loomer saved us a LOT of money, same goes for button, zips, washings and everything else you’d use to make the garment. As you grow this is harder to do.
I’m guessing that a large percentage of us own Red Wings, some old some new, I’ve had my boots since 1990 had them from new, cost me $70, replaced the soles 5 times and the laces a few thousand, same boots are now $175, twenty two years of wear and still going, but other more costly boots don’t make it past their first winter, I use this as an example of quality not costing the earth.
There has long been an idea that quality and price are locked together, this is on the whole a correct link, sadly we have also made the reverse idea that price and quality is also linked, this is sadly not true, we all know you pay for a name and the name has value but why, what is this idea built on?
When the talk comes to cost it’s what you get out of it, is what you are paying for… how long does it last and how much do you wear it, how good does it make you feel, I have two very old jackets, one from the early days of Carhartt, the other early Woolrich, one cost me over $2000 the other I found in a bundle of ragging, love them both, wear them hard and enjoy them. My point is, if you feel the cost is right and you’ll get the enjoyment out of it, why not spend £2500 on a Parka!
In regard to Nigel not being out there in the stores as much, with the growth of this ‘heritage’ market and need for some to increase their size to best be able to deal with that growth (increased costs which are added to W/Sale prices driving up the retail price), it’s sadly just part of the whole process, if the garments sell mainly in the sales, due to price, then the stores will not return for more of the same, it’s there profit that is lost. Now the influx of high street identifying with this and pouching the style (this is the business!!) The effect on the ‘expanded or die’ companies is evident with their loss of footing and crossover products needed to keep the core moving. Many will fall ,Some will fail, a few will die…..but that is the clothing industry, it’s not built on rock it’s all shifting sands……
sorry for the length.....