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Veratex finds imports more responsive

Veratex

Panorama City, California

President: Avi Cohen

Principal business: luxury bedding

According to Avi Cohen, president of luxury bedding manufacturer Veratex, the main reason why companies like his are going overseas is simple. According to Cohen, "nobody is hungry enough around here."

As a result, Cohen believes United States-based mills were extremely slow to respond to what their customers wanted. Since that was the case, the domestic producers' delivery times of product sometimes varied from 12 to 18 weeks, an unacceptable amount of time in the rapidly changing world of upscale fashion bedding.

Companies like Veratex, Cohen asserts, were then forced to go overseas and actually got better delivery times, sometimes as quickly as a month, as well as better prices.

"The shipping times are much better from overseas," Cohen said. "The labor is much less expensive and you get things from other countries faster and better than we do here [in the United States] sometimes."

For its products, Veratex imports much of its fabric from Israel, Spain and Korea and has also begun importing from China and India. Cut and sew operations for finished products is done in Panorama City, CA, where the company also owns a distribution center.

And while some may question the quality of overseas products, Cohen said that was not the key issue. What really matters is how new, fresh and exciting the fashion is to retailers and ultimately to consumers.

"In fashion, you always have to bring in something new," Cohen said. "People expect me to bring in something new every time. If I don't, they're going to leave me behind."

While fashion bedding like Veratex's might be a hot commodity in other countries, Cohen said the company would focus its efforts on only the United States.

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