Rick Helfenbein, president of Luen Thai USA, delivered the keynote address at an apparel industry event sponsored by Geller & Co for Retail Chief Financial Officers. Mr. Helfenbein's talk was titled: "Standing between Retail and Reality."
In his speech, Mr. Helfenbein said “In today's rapidly changing retail environment, the branding and imaging of the product, is often coupled with sophisticated supply chain models that successful retailers now utilize to maintain stock levels of product for sale at the lowest possible price.” He cited Uniqlo and Staples as unique business models that have their pulse on the customer first, and the supply chain second.
In a discussion of global sourcing, he mentioned worker productivity, transit time, skill level, and infrastructure of the country that you are working in, as important factors that are paramount for success. He noted that while China still has a 38% market share of USA apparel, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines are countries that are growing in popularity for sourcing executives.
The event was very well attended and Womens Wear Daily featured a lengthy article about Mr. Helfenbein’s speech in their June 11, 2012 issue.