Letter: On Smyth McKissick
I read your article on Smyth McKissick. I agree he is a piece of crap, but not because he’s begging – it’s because he has insane amounts of cash at hand and couldn’t be nimble enough to add real value to his organization. He had five plants at one point: Their incorporated ‘Alice’ plant in Easley (that is being torn down right now, shuttered in 2003), Ellison plant (only one still up – spins cotton), Foster plant (shut down in 2008), Arial plant (warehouse), and Elljean (shut down in 2006).
Now look at this for an example of what is currently happening due to inflation in China and energy costs in India.
I know Dov Charney isn’t the best example, but his hipster apparel vertically integrated business model is now profitable (at least in the last 2 or 3 quarters). Look where most of his fabric comes from.
If you’re going to attack an individual, use the right platform. There is a strong demand for high quality garments, and when you’re not selling a Kohl’s special that requires good stitching to a finicky consumer, you can’t exactly put your rejected product back on the boat to make a quality reject return.
Same theory goes into why high pressure oil lines were recently resourced to a South Carolina auto parts manufacturer for Ford. The Mexican made lines burned up a few customers.
Smyth McKissick is a pile of crap because he can’t reap the benefits and sell his product to a growing industry. He can easily do what Cone White Oak in North Carolina (part of a conglomerate of ITG, Cone has China plants but their North Carolina plant is bustling) is doing and sell to the high end fashion industry. Instead he sticks with the same old model that he’s comfy with and wants Congress to do his heavy lifting, while he shutters plants and sells equipment off.
Food for thought, rather than the simple “f*ck you commie” bull crap I was reading in your comments section.
Wow. Good feedback, Aaron. Thanks for sharing.