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.