Things that Make You Love and Hate Export Mall
In the early days of multinational brands like Levi, Ralph Lauren, and crocs, manufacturing occurred in the home country of the company. That's all before the advent of Export Mall. The design and marketing operations were completely separate from the manufacturing units. This meant that the different departments of one company-operated independently while managing all their duties.
In order to manage these vast operations, a large number of people were employed in various capacities. The rise of media and physical advertising meant that Levi’s jeans (as an example) became popular across the globe. The manufacturing cost in western countries was high due to minimum wage laws. This posed a big hurdle in the export market. Consumers in developing countries were limited by their low buying power and could not afford to pay the high prices of imported clothing.
Multinational brands like Levi and ralph Lauren manufacture their clothing in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia, etc. Manufacturing cost is lower than equivalent clothing made in western countries thanks to low labor rates. Consequently, developed countries import clothing from their less-developed counterparts. Whereas earlier only western people could afford branded clothing. The advent of locally manufactured exportable clothing sold in export malls has enabled them to enjoy the latest trends in fashion.
Then entered export leftovers. Now clothing manufactured in developing countries is exported to countries across the globe to be sold in retail outlets at typically high prices.
Not all the products eligible for export are exported, by the way. A portion of this clothing is sold locally at outlets as export leftovers.
Sometimes these products are inferior in quality to the exported product. Depending on factors like company policy, export laws, and marketability the leftovers may also defect.
The defected products normally contain minor faults in stitching and fitting invisible to the human eye but deemed unworthy of export.
However, most of the time, the leftovers are identical to the products exported internationally. They are a way for the company to attract consumers in the third-world country whose buying power would prevent them from buying clothing at its international pricing.
Thanks to local manufacturing, companies can afford to sell leftovers locally at affordable prices. Whereas international brands struggled to gain traction in developing countries, the practice of shifting manufacturing to developing countries has proven to be a win-win situation for local consumers and the manufacturer.
Like any product export leftovers sold in Export malls have disadvantages.
Local brands serving their home countries have the massive advantage of marketability and financial relief. Whereas international brands may pay additional taxes and face trouble with obtaining proper labor, local companies have the advantage of a proper understanding of laws and regulations. They can more easily hire and train labor, purchase and manage machinery and avoid legal scrutiny thanks to their smaller scale.
International brands present a global image that is favored by many. Local brands are able to roll out targeted advertising through social media, brand ambassadors, and traditional sources like radio, tv, and billboards. Through this awareness, they can effectively cater to the market’s whims and desires. Whereas global brands have a uniform image across the globe, local brands incorporate a more inclusive image.
Local brands have the advantage of knowing what fits their consumers. Whereas clothing has evolved greatly over the last century. Clothing like jeans, shirts, and ties has evolved to fit local cultures. The color palette and fitting preferred in east Asia won’t necessarily be well-received in Africa. International brands disregard this factor by selling the same product worldwide. This automatically places them at a disadvantage to the local brands that design clothing according to local preferences.
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