Interview with Harel Wiesel

Face2Face
Harel Wiesel
Harel Wiesel
Co-Founder and CEO
Fox Wizel Ltd
Fox Wizel Ltd

How do you see bricks and mortar stores competing with e-commerce and m-commerce companies coming in? Is it viable in textile and garment sector?

I'm not an expert in internet business but it seems that garment business has a way to go as it is still in the single digit market share. The main reason is that customers still want to feel the fabric and to try it prior to the purchase. On the other hand, I'm sure that the trend of digitalization will increase in the clothing business with supportive technologies. For instance, we have already seen mannequins representing the size and color of individuals. So the gap between brick & mortar stores as well as online shops will become less in the next few years.

Let me ask you this, the global travel retail sector is expected to reach US$ 60 billion by 2015. What do you think is the share of garment business in it?

The airport business is in a loop, on one hand massive consumer traffic, on the other hand imaginary rent , so only high-end apparel business with a very high gross margin can sell there and the sales are not high. What they should do is to go all the way with the "percentages from the revenue" scheme, this could bring a lot of other brands which could generate massive sales, and both side could be satisfied, the consumers, the brands and the airport authorities, wherever they are. But nobody is brave enough to think outside of the box, and it is not happening.

Countries like China are now in a transition stage and are moving to high-end apparel manufacturing. How will this impact the current production and marketing of high-end apparel segment?

From our experience, even after ten years, China will still remain the major garment sourcing destination of the developed and developing countries.

Can you let us about the increase in demand for organic cotton garments globally?

This trend is rapidly growing in countries like Japan and Australia. Rest of the world is sharing only a fraction of market share in organic cotton garments.

Being a global firm, what would be your message for companies' aspiring to become truly global?

First of all, if you would like to play in the global market you must conduct 'open business environment' both in your company and outside of it. You must be open to the local trends and integrate it with your brand DNA. You must have a thorough knowledge about the tastes and preferences of every country. You must show your presence in the markets as early as possible, in order to let them pick whatever styles they like and to consolidate the orders early enough to maximize your global supply chain advantages. You have to monitor global trends, cost of rent, cost of labor, etc. for each country. In a nut shell, you must have global thinking with local solutions, or with a new buzz word "Glocal".

Finally, to be successful in today's world, a company needs to be ever aware of the pulse of the market place. Is there any technique for this?

There is no one technique for feeling the market pulse, but if your company has good technology, you know what is your brand DNA, you are consistent with it, you use best tools to analyze your sales, you investigate your wins and your failures, you hire brilliant staff in the key position, you succeed to preserve them in the company, while they improve their knowledge and experience. Take these ingredients with systematic work and high-quality staff will provide you the secret formula to how to do it
Published on: 19/05/2014

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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