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Drapers Operations Forum: The US is toughest market to crack, says Barbour ops boss

The US is the toughest market to crack, Barbour head of global distribution Paul Johnson-Barnett told Drapers Operations Forum.

Barbour trades in 19 countries but Johnson-Barnett said the “sheer scale” of the US made it a difficult market in which to supply and distribute product.

“It’s a tough market to break when you’re a small player. Finding supply chain has proven difficult,” he said.

Johnson-Barnett said retailers should try to balance service expectations with cost when it comes to fulfilment rather than try to match the offer of larger competitors

“Not everyone can be in the golden triangle. It’s not about being optimum – it’s about optimising what you do,” he said.

However, he said using expertise from third parties can help improve operations: “If you can’t be the best at what you do, find the best,” he advised.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Thierry BAYLE

    Yes I agree the USA market represent a dream country for many Brands however not being able to set up the foundations right can destroy the investment you are making.
    Way too many brands forget that the back office is critical.

    Still today, some people give the advice to offer the American buyer an FOB price list whereas for me it just does not make sense.
    Not only you give the wrong signal to buyers, agents and the other partners you could be working with and in addition you prevent the Brand to grow.
    You can of course pick up a handful of accounts but don't expect more.

    A killer question is:
    Do you have a warehouse?
    Where do you ship from?
    Give the wrong answer and the buyer runs away.

    Thierry Bayle

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