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Does country of origin matter? - Page 2

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Interesting post. So does the emphasis on "cost cutting" end up shooting the company in the foot if they lose customers due to lowering their quality standards? Or do you think that lower quality means lower prices and the "cost savings" are passed onto the end customer? I tend to think that apparel companies are driven by their performance. While this can lead to short-sighted marginal gains, they risk alienating their existing customer base... That's not a good idea based on the premise of customer loyalty, so why are more and more companies doing it? Is it just the direction that the apparel industry is heading, and customers have lost control or just don't care enough to change their buying habits?

Can you think of a company that has offshored their manufacturing and not damaged their reputations as a "luxury" brand? Ralph Lauren comes to mind, but I'm sure there are others. Thanks for your response!
post #17 of 22
all things being equal, i prefer something regionally manufactured to support local industry. and i also like to buy goods from companies with a heritage.

its a feel-good value-add more than anything. but is not a basis of decision making.

primary factors are function and form. in context of clothing this means fit and fabric (material, weave, pattern, color, etc), far ahead of anything else.

i have suits jackets trousers shirts ties etc from purple label to atolini to rubinacci but plenty of brooks, suitsupply, even lands end stuff made in malaysia/china/god knows where. and i like them equally (sometimes the latter more than the former) as long as they look and wear like what im looking for.

country of origin can't be trusted. besides the fact that things can be merely finished in a country to get a "made in " label... whos to say cheap chinese labor in italy is an higher indicator of quality than chinese in china.

provenance is intrinsically tied to Brand which obviously has tons of equity. unfortunately many people have this brand name fixation where they thrift or buy shit on discount or just blindly buy whatever BrandOfTheWeek people on the internet tell them is good , but is in fact absolutely horrendous...atleast on them. but thats what makes the fashion world turn ....
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks. As part of the class project, we'll also be evaluating what it takes to put "Made in the U.S.A." on an article of clothing. I assume many companies tread this line very closely just to keep that little piece of cloth affixed to their product.

I also found an old thread on here that referenced an article on the use of Chinese migrant workers in Italian factories. While I don't know if a. testoni uses such a workforce, it made me feel a little duped by the "Made in Italy" status. Hopefully, the quality of the leather used to make my shoes justified the hefty price tag...

With so much gray space and smoke and mirrors in the fashion industry, how does a customer know what he/she is actually buying?

Thanks again!
post #19 of 22
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post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBAStudent View Post

Interesting post. So does the emphasis on "cost cutting" end up shooting the company in the foot if they lose customers due to lowering their quality standards? Or do you think that lower quality means lower prices and the "cost savings" are passed onto the end customer? I tend to think that apparel companies are driven by their performance. While this can lead to short-sighted marginal gains, they risk alienating their existing customer base... That's not a good idea based on the premise of customer loyalty, so why are more and more companies doing it? Is it just the direction that the apparel industry is heading, and customers have lost control or just don't care enough to change their buying habits?

Can you think of a company that has offshored their manufacturing and not damaged their reputations as a "luxury" brand? Ralph Lauren comes to mind, but I'm sure there are others. Thanks for your response!

 

The motive is for both top line growth and bottom line expansion.  Fast fashion and consumerization!  It can be easily observed on this forum.  "Hey, I like Edward Green shoes because they last forever!  So let me instakop 50 pairs of them from GTMO and Sales!!"

 

Berluti also outsource their shoe manufacturing to Italy and maintained its brand reputation well.  Nike, UnderArmour, Lululemon, while not exactly luxury brands, all outsource to Taiwan, Vietnam, and China for their articles and maintained their brand image quite well.

 

There are other types of oursourcing as well.  For example, sourcing the components from foreign countries and conduct the final assembly in a country of higher perceived quality.  Quite a few Swiss Made watchmaking brands outsourced their component manufacturing to China.  Or source lower cost labors into a desired country of origin, e.g., Made in Italy of imported Chinese/EE labor, Made in Downtown LA of imported <illegal> Mexican.

 

However, there are also times where imported laboror are of much higher quality then local laborers.  For example, Italian tailors in America, Japanese shoemakers in Europe, Chinese/Indian engineers in Silicon Valley.

post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Agreed, I was more upset that I may have very well been duped into thinking that the "Made in Italy" meant something more than it actually did. Or that the brand was of a higher quality because they have a manufacturing facility in Italy. Very eye opening!

I have nothing against Chinese factories/workers. I've actually read that the quality of their craftsmanship is growing rapidly as they become more experienced in the trade. But that's not to say that the "Made in China" stigma isn't still alive and well...
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

So I'm reading this article, and the author states that:

 

"In order to better measure consumers’ willingness to pay, it is argued that the more consumers understand about the ethical dimensions of the product, the more likely they are to purchase the product. Therefore, the higher the degree of favourableness on purchase intention of ethical products would increase their willingness to pay a higher price for it (Barber, 2012; Shenetal., 2012). Consumers are increasingly aware of ethical implications of the products that they buy and consume, hence they are adapting their behaviours as a result (Davies et al., 2012).


Due to the increasing concerns surrounding issues about ethical consumption such as the issue of sweatshops, consumers are becoming more conscious about the products they buy (Barber, 2012, Deanetal., 2012; Sweetin et al., 2013). This means that, they tend to respond to these concerns by purchasing products that would minimise social impact (Sweetin et al., 2013). According to McGoldrick and Freestone (2008), consumers are willing to pay more in order to appease their moral values. In their study, it was found that consumers are willing to pay a premium of at least 6 percent for garments that are “ethically assured”. It was also stated that willingness to pay more is considered as an appropriate indicator of consumers choosing a more expensive options when they believe that the product is considered to meet ethical standards. Self-identity refers to how individuals represent themselves in different social settings (e.g. a person would think of himself as someone who concern about the environment if he is surrounded by peers who are green consumers) (Dean et al., 2012).


Consumers’ purchase intentions are the signal of actual purchasing. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration how purchase intention affects actual buying behaviour, thus, the importance of understanding consumers’ perception towards a product. On the other hand, willingness to pay for a product takes place when there is assurance about what the product can offer, hence, paying a price for the product shows the value of the product. In addition to that, willingness to pay more occurs when the value of the product exceeds the consumers’ perceived value towards the product (Dean et al., 2012; Kehand Xie, 2009). It can be postulated that (Figure 1):

 

H9. Intention not to purchase luxury fashion apparel made in sweatshops will have a positive influence towards the willingness to pay more for luxury branded apparel not made in sweatshops."

 

Essentially, he/she is saying that people are willing to pay more to purchase products that are not made in sweatshops, either due to a moral concern or perceived value. I'm noticing that a number of the survey responses state that people are willing to pay more for products that are "Made in the U.S.A." Is this decision to pay more based on a moral concern or perceived value? Not knowing whether or not a particular product is manufactured in a sweatshop, is basing the decision to buy or not buy that particular product (and potentially pay more) solely on the country of origin the only way to avoid products that are made in sweatshops?

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