Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2005.
Box Label at the APL Distribution Center
A label is worth a thousand words since the photo was taken in a
distribution center in Shenzhen, China. KCP stands for Kenneth Cole Production,
a leading fashion designer in New York. Secaucus (New Jersey) is a large
agglomeration of offices, outlets and distribution centers, mainly linked
with the New York fashion industry. While the forefront / storefront
is in Manhattan, the lower level functions, such as production planning,
are held elsewhere; Secaucus for this particular product line. KCP shoes
are sold between $75 and $250. The production cost in China would be
around $10. The purchaser is TJ Maxx, the largest apparel store chain
in the United States and the delivery address corresponds to its main
distribution center in Evansville, Illinois.
It is interesting to note
that the Chinese manufacturer is here totally unknown as two American
corporations are transacting, while the manufacturing of the product
(shoes) has been sub-contracted. This is an advanced form of disintermediation
where only the designer and the retailer are identified. What remains,
international distribution, is handled by a third party logistics provider.