When a Small Business has a Chance to Become Large

Suzanne G. Marshall
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Business Case
Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases
DOI: 10.5040/9781474208796.0016
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Experienced in retail and product development a woman decided to open her own apparel manufacturing business. She went in and out of a partnership, and then took full ownership of her wholesale junior-knit business. The domestically produced merchandise line successfully grew. One of her sales reps was well connected with JCPenney and wanted to get her merchandise into the stores. After some time and repeated effort, they partnered and bought her junior line, adding her brand to their vendor matrix, and it successfully sold. In the meantime, the brand manufacturer decided to expand her business and produce a sub-brand for children that she showed to Penney’s for testing. They bought it and it also did well. One item in the children’s line, a T-shirt, was especially liked by the buyer, so she decided to show it to the centralized buying group. They loved the T-shirt and placed a huge corporate order within a timeframe. The manufacturer was excited, but, a bit overwhelmed and panicky for several reasons. It was her company’s biggest order yet; they had only ever used domestic sources, and they would need offshore suppliers to meet the deadline for the order. Additionally, the company owner felt that even if they could deliver on time, and the merchandise sold well, her business could change dramatically. So, she had a major decision to make about accepting Penney’s order.

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