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Close-Up preview: Q&A with Mike Stopforth, managing director of Boxfresh

Drapers gives you an exclusive sneak peak of our Close-Up interview with Boxfresh managing director Mike Stopforth, ahead of the full interview in this weekend’s edition.

Q: How are online sales?

A: Good. We’re refreshing our site, in line with how we want the brand to look and feel going forward. It’s not a revolution, it’s a refresh. We’re also just in the process of signing up with a digital agency, which will help us enhance the user experience.  Also digital is a global voice more than anything, so with the strategy of becoming more global [in mind] what we say on Facebook or Twitter can reach every corner of the world. So if we can give a very clear message, then it’s only a good thing. We’re working on a mobile site but I don’t think that will be in effect until next year.

Q. What are you seeing happen with manufacturing prices at the moment?

A: They’re definitely not going down – a big shame, they’re going up. And that is right the way from raw material costs to labour costs to shipping costs, the whole supply chain. It’s difficult, I’ll be honest. I’m not sure anyone would say it’s not difficult. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing 20 million pairs or 20,000 pairs, it’s difficult. However, I’d say again the competitive advantage for the back end of this business is the group itself, and also we have bought in the expertise to be able to run a strong supply chain.

Q. Have you moved much of your production?

A: Chinese manufacturing is very good, it’s long established and there are some great factories there, so we’re going back into China for some categories. The majority of our product is made in Vietnam with a small amount in China, but I think we’ll be putting more emphasis back into China over the next one to two years.


Read the full interview in this week’s July 28 edition.

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