At this point, Mr. Hathcock — president of the Mount Prospect, Ill.-based private brander since 1991 — declined to comment on what measures Vogue might take in the event the U.S. decides to impose anti-dumping and/or countervailing duties on Chinese imports in general and/or Sailun specifically.
He did, however, laud Sailun for how it worked with Vogue in 2009-10 when Vogue was evaluating a new supplier in the wake of Goodyear's decision to close its plant in Union City, Tenn., and start phasing out its private brand business.
Shifting to a Chinese supplier at that time had a “profound effect on what we could offer,” Mr. Hathcock acknowledged.
Moving to an offshore manufacturer meant Vogue had to improve its distribution assets — opening a warehouse in Atlanta and moving to a bigger warehouse in Texas — and devote resources to DOT compliance testing, something Goodyear had done for Vogue during the 42 years it had been Vogue's supplier. That change alone adds up to a six-figure investment annually, he said.
“We had to be able to handle three times the inventory that we had before,” he said, “to allow for the lead times in production and shipping from China.”