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Jantzen Update #2343249324

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
I just got off of the phone with Ricky.  He says he slept 1 hour last night by the time he left the shop and then turned around to come in early.  The folks who make the shirts are apparently working 12 hours on in-store orders and 2 hours on internet order, hence the long wait for those of us who order online. He reported that a lot of his friends with businesses in the area are also swamped and he has talked with them about how to improve his situation.  His main concern is not lowering his quality standards, which I certainly appreciate. He sends his regards to the StyleForum and all of the "loyal customers" here as he put it. The wait continues.....
post #2 of 61
He's at the point now where he's going to have to invest in some customer service or his business is going to take a hit. He can't keep growing like this without his standards suffering a bit. A nice problem to have if you are a businessman.
post #3 of 61
I really think it would be worth his while to bring on someone who looks after customer service issues such as answering e-mails, incoming and outgoing orders, etc. I would think that by the sound of the bulk of orders he gets, a small increase in price ($2-3USD) per shirt should cover off that person's salary. It would certainly make his life easier and customers much happier. I also think things could run a lot smoother with an improved web site that links to a small database. Nothing elaborate or overly expensive. Does that sound realistic or over-simplimatic?
post #4 of 61
Thread Starter 
We discussed that, actually. I think an additional concern is still making all of those d*mn shirts without sacricing quality. Although having someone to continously email me with an update stating they're not done yet and no one forgot me would help some, it doesn't resolve the real issue.
post #5 of 61
I'm all for a price increase if it helps hire more hands to make those shirts. $40 is a steal. I wouldn't mind paying $50, but I'll stop at $60. I'm cheap.
post #6 of 61
Is Ricky actually making the shirts himself? That's impressive then. You have to give it to the guy.
post #7 of 61
I'm all for a price increase if it helps hire more hands to make those shirts. $40 is a steal. I wouldn't mind paying $50, but I'll stop at $60. I'm cheap.
At least you're closer to the source than the rest of us located on the far side of the world. Jon.
post #8 of 61
Is Ricky actually making the shirts himself? That's impressive then. You have to give it to the guy.
No. Ricky has a factory, I believe in Kowloon. Ricky operates his business (the public-side) from a small postage stamp store front on the 2nd floor of a working- to middle-class shopping mall. He spends his time managing the operation and providing customer service. Part of the increase in business is seasonal. The fall is a traditional time for overseas Chinese to return to China and HK. Part of it is the increased demand for M-T-M and bespoke clothing in China and HK. As China has long since abandoned the notion that dressing and eating well is unacceptably western and decadent, Chinese professionals are increasingly interested in finer clothing and dining. I suspect part of it is also the increase in the American-market throguh the internet and fora such as this.
post #9 of 61
I would gladly pay $60 for Jantzen shirts if I could get them sooner than 3-4 months. Even $80 or $90 would be a great deal when you look at what other companies are charging for lower-quality shirts with fewer options. I know Ricky doesn't want to raise prices, but it's getting to the point where he is going to start losing business because of the long waits, etc. If he doesn't want to raise prices, he should at least consider giving customers the option of paying an extra $10-15 for rush/expedited service to get their shirts within a month.
post #10 of 61
Or devoting more time to internet orders
post #11 of 61
Or just hire and train more good workers. I would not mind paying $60 for a good custom shirt. Those $20 could go towards customer service, more employees, and PROFIT for him.
post #12 of 61
Really, would he have to raise his prices as much as $20 a shirt? What is the cost of labour in Hong Kong? I would have thought that with the amount of shirt orders he has started to receive, $5 a shirt would allow him to hire extra hands. I really do think he should spend on his web site and connect the thing to a database for receiving and tracking orders. It could even be as simple as when he checks a radio button on a database form an e-mail is sent to the customer saying the shirt has been mailed. Not very complicated. This would improve his customer service greatly without great cost. Add to this one employee who answers e-mails, calls, etc. I mean, the guy can do whatever he feels is best, but this seems, at least to me, to be a relatively quick and easy semi-solution.
post #13 of 61
Seems to me there's room for a competitor to come in and address the issues we're dealing with. It looks like there's excess demand. I've held off on placing more orders because the wait is so long.
post #14 of 61
I personally would have a hard time paying $60 per shirt when Ricky is not taking the measurements himself, nor is he around for fittings once the shirt is complete.  Just my two cents.
post #15 of 61
It occurs to me that the real bottleneck might be getting high quality, ultra-cheap fabrics. This is really what Jantzen does well, leverages connections to get interesting patterns, in high quality italian and swiss cloth. More shirtmakers and faster turn around might gobble up all of Ricky's fabric. If he wasn't getting that so cheaply, prices would probably climb steeply.
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