Bari Offers Tale of Caution
March 14, 2005,
The owners of home textiles manufacturer Bari Mills know all about what happens when quota falls off a category. They've been through the process — and it nearly killed their company.
“The customers didn't stay loyal, so we went from $45 million to nothing,” said Yahya Yousuf Bari, director of the family-owned company.
Bari considers his family's tale a cautionary one for overseas suppliers who expect a quota-free landscape to provide quick growth.
“Everybody has the same price point. What customers need are quality producers, on-time shipping and customer service,” he said.
Today the company is more diversified, producing bedding ensembles, jersey sheets, solid and printed sheets, towels, kitchen towels and bath robes. Last year, the company acquired terry weaving equipment that formerly belonged to Pillowtex, a modern dying unit and a print mill.
The company, founded by Bari's grandfather in 1947, sells into the United States primarily through importers servicing specialty and department stores, along with some discounters. Roughly 65 percent of its exports go to the United States.
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