METRO’S INTERNATIONAL PUSH: In an effort to attract apparel makers that already source goods overseas, Metro Fabrics Inc., a New York-based print converter, said it has begun to aggressively source and print fabrics in Asia and Eastern Europe.
Metro, which has primarily done domestic converting, is having apparel fabrics printed in Korea, Japan and Turkey, said its president and chief executive officer David Caplan. While he wouldn’t cite specific price differentials, he did say the overseas goods were less expensive.
“This gives customers an opportunity to source goods overseas from a U.S. converter who understands their needs,” said Caplan, adding that the Metro offerings will include polyester crepes and georgettes and rayon crepes, failles and challis.
Caplan said added offshore production will not affect Metro’s domestic sourcing and printing, which the executive said “is strong.”
Caplan said the move toward international sourcing and printing could double Metro’s sales, which are around $50 million, “in about five years.”
NAFTA NORTH: Representatives from about 75 U.S. textile, apparel and home furnishings firms are expected to participate in the first “After NAFTA Advantage: Selling in Canada,” a series of meetings and seminars slated for June 11-14 at Toronto, at the Holiday Inn there.
The event is designed to enable U.S. firms to establish contacts with Canadian firms and to seek sales, distribution and representation opportunities in the Canadian market, said Larry Brill, a representative from the U.S. Department of Commerce/Office of Textiles and Apparel. Brill’s office — along with KPMG Peat Marwick and Accord Business Credit Inc., Toronto, a factor — is sponsoring the event.
“This is not a trade show in the typical sense, but more of a getting-to-know-you type of thing,” said Brill. “It’s for U.S. companies only, and they will be allowed to show only a small number of samples of their lines, which, for the most part, haven’t been available in Canada yet.” Brill said letters informing potential participants of the parley were sent out April 27 to more than 3,000 firms, each of which has at least $5 million in sales. While awaiting confirmations, Brill said: “We could easily have more than 75, but once you start going over that amount, it becomes difficult to have a worthwhile session.”
He noted he expects between 400 and 500 Canadian buyers, agents and distributors to attend.