International Sales News - As Seen on TV Products

International news, issues, and trends for innovative consumer products in the direct response television industry (DRTV), as well as tips for export management & international product sales. This blog focuses on the As Seen on TV product category.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Foreign Apparel Retailers Are Quickly Moving Into US Territory

Modestly priced apparel retailers from all over Europe, Asia, and Canada are increasingly setting their sites on US malls for new store locations. Between 1997 and 2007 the amount of foreign retailers' investment in clothing and accessory stores in the US rose more than 60% to reach an astounding $4.1 billion.

This is the result of a combination of the weakening dollar which in turn lowers the initial cost of investment for foreign retailers to set up shop, and the increased ease of obtaining attractive store leases. As numerous large US retail apparel chains are closing many of their lower performing stores, mall vacancies have risen to 6.3% in the second quarter, the highest it has been since 2002. Now, in an effort to attract and excite new customers, US mall developers are offering the best deals and lease terms to international retailers who are becoming the "hot" retailers American companies used to be.

Some of the retailers moving in are Sweden's H & M which refers to the US as it's largest expansion market, with 156 US locations already and plans to open 27 more this year, and South Korea's Who AU plans to open 450 stores over the next 10 years. The list of foreign retailers looking to the US for international expansion is quite long; there aren't many large retail apparel companies that are not considering the US which despite low growth is still the largest consumer market in the world.

AddThis Feed Button

Thursday, July 24, 2008

TV Ads Soon To Be History in France

Last January President of France Nicolas Sarcozy first divulged his intention to develop a strategy to phase out all advertising on public television entirely by 2011. On June 25th of this year Sarcozy confirmed the reality of the plan, announcing that the phase out will begin as early as January 1, 2009.

The proposal to cut out advertising on public television channels came after TF1, the owner of France's most popular television channels petitioned the president to ban the use of advertising. The siginificant loss in advertising revenues for public broadcasters is said to be compensated for with a new tax placed on private broadcasters, telephone operators, and internet service providers.

The plan has become a highly controversial issue in France, with many claiming that the new tax is illegal and will actually cost the industry nearly 400 million euros per year. However, President Sarcozy explains that his plan will benefit the culture of France and revolutionize the entire public-television service.

The proposal will continue to be debated and drawn up into a law that will be up for vote by parliament this September.

AddThis Feed Button

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How To Choose The Right Chinese Factory

There is no doubt that deciding to manufacture your product in China poses many cost-saving and efficiency perks. Yet, with over 200,000 factories open currently in China and hundreds more expected to open this year, finding the right factory for you may seem to be like a lot of work. Doing the research to find an appropriate factory for your business is an essential step, and failure to do so could end up devastatingly costly to your business. Below are some suggestions on criteria to consider when selecting a Chinese factory.
  • Identify suppliers by creating a database of all that you can find via: trade shows, visiting web sites, participating in China trade organizations, and networking.
  • Narrow down your database by looking at key factors such as: experience in producing similar items, the history of the factory in terms of reputation and reliability.
  • Look at their physical location. Chinese factories are assessed Value Added Taxes on the goods they produce and the percentage varies from province to province. Choosing a factory located in a higher taxed province can significantly affect your cost.
  • Assess their communication skills in terms of speed in response, clarity and efficiency of contact.
  • Evaluate their production in capacity in relation to your needs. In the DRTV industry demand for products can fluctuate greatly in a very short amount of time, so it is important to find a factory that is able to scale production quickly.
  • Of course consider price and quality. To avoid being taken advantage of obtain samples of similar items they have produced and explain the quality will be closely scrutinized.
Finally, once you have narrowed down your list and have decided on a factory an inspection of the factory is essential. Look for appropriate machinery, if they have enough staff, and inquire about their quality control measures and testing procedures.

AddThis Feed Button

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Broadband Users in Asia To Reach 171 Million in '08

The number of broadband subscribers across the Asia-Pacific region increased 31.5% from last year to 170 million in 2007, and is expected to reach 171 million by the end of 2008. Researchers suggest this number will continue to grow at a rate of 19.9% annually through the year 2013 where it should nearly hit 322 million.

How does this calculate into monetary terms? In 2007, broadband revenue reached US$28.1 billion!

There appear to be three main factors contributing to the enormous growth in the broadband market for the Asia-Pacific region. First, the increasing popularity and demand for services such as video-on-demand, video sharing, online multi-player games, and social networking sites such as Facebook and You Tube. Second, broadband operators have been promoting and improving their services aggressively by offering cheaper product-service bundles, providing applications such as Internet Protocol TV. And lastly, there have been numerous government-led initiatives introduced throughout the region, but especially in the most developed economies, that push for the adoption of broadband service and development of its local content and applications through advanced infrastructure.

AddThis Feed Button

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Business Etiquette Abroad

Conducting business abroad will almost always require traveling to a foreign country at some point. With technology advancing at an exponential rate, access to foreign markets is becoming easier than ever before and it may be easy to forget, or neglect consider at all the large role culture still plays in the business world and the vast differences between different cultures. For that reason, it is crucial to gain at least a general understanding of business culture and etiquette if you wish to have any success in a particular market. Business cards tend to be a staple in any business prospect in any part of the world. However, it is in the method of delivery and design of the card itself that varies greatly between cultures. Below are a few examples of business card etiquette from a few important markets around the world.

US and UK: the exchange of business cards is not a very formal procedure. There is not much ritual too it; they are simply handed out as a manner of exchanging contact information for use in the future.

China: you should be sure to do so with two hands or else you run the risk of displaying a lack of understanding the Chinese etiquette, which may greatly diminish your chances of landing a deal. Also, use red and/or gold colors on your card as they are considered lucky. When receiving a Chinese partner's card be sure to examine and comment on it rather than stuffing it in your pocket.

Middle East: always present your card with your right hand and never your left.

Japan: the exchange of business cards is very ritualistic. It is OK to give your card out with one hand, but be sure to accept one from someone else with both hands. Also, status is considered very important so be sure to display your title in a prominent way on the card. As with the Chinese, do not put a card you have received in our pocket right away, keep it out for the entire meeting as a sign of respect.

India: educational achievement is emphasized; include any university certifications or honors on the card with name and contact info. And be sure to always use your right hand when offering a business card.

AddThis Feed Button