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By Wayne Messick


So I definitely think that’s what sets Global apart-- our focus on prompt, personalized service at a level that most places can’t or won’t provide.

What I find with smaller company clients is that my experience with merchandising is so much broader than what is available to them in-house. For example, one customer bought a business selling bathroom accessories. The company was manufacturing in the United States, but they found that the labor costs were too expensive and they had to go overseas. In their case, they already had a factory over there through another connection that could do ceramics. He asked me to quote some items, and with one style we were significantly cheaper than what he was already doing.

Later, he decided he needed to branch out into wood, metal, and leather products, but he knew nothing about these areas, so he turned it over to me because he knew we had contacts who produce it. At the same time, I was able to give him suggestions from a fashion standpoint and to connect him to other people who do design, from the standpoint of merchandising and packaging.

The average person doesn’t have the retail, importing, and merchandising experience. The average agent overseas will just say ‘what do you want? Gimme a picture and I’ll try to get it for you.’ But they can’t expand on that, or add any other value.

So it’s really a combination of the sourcing and the mentoring…

The advantage with us is that these things don’t cost extra. In the floral industry, I have over 20 years of experience and contacts. I have a truly extensive knowledge of floral containers and basketry of all kinds.

There’s a need to buy it right, and to understand the merchandising. You’ve got to know what people in this country will buy…

…and then what pricepoint should be. And it’s not just one pricepoint: You’ve got to know what they’ll pay for it at Sam’s Club or at Wal-Mart, and what they’ll pay for it at Bloomingdales. If I had to say I had one skill that not everyone has, it’s the ability to spot an exciting look, product or emerging trend. That comes from a little bit of talent, and from many years of retail experience. There’s a lot to it. It’s the combination of service and knowledge and connections and service and knowing how Asia works.


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