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Distribution channels and internationalization in a developing-country clothing industry

Distribution channels and internationalization in a developing-country clothing industry Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the distribution channels used by a Nigerian sample of apparel producers and investigate the association between the channels in use and the sample’s export involvement. In this era of sophisticated computer- and internet-mediated marketing practices, the larger proportion of entrepreneurs in developing economies still deploy largely informal marketing practices. Countries indeed have adopted the marketing revolution to varying degrees, consistent with prevailing level of development. Design/methodology/approach – A structured interview schedule was used in collecting data from 111 apparel entrepreneurs. Findings – Most of the respondents were domestic market-focused haute couture producers or low-volume producers of ready-to-wear (r-t-w) clothing who supply institutions or boutiques, using direct channels. Only a few export, mainly through ethnic-commercial networks involving overseas-based family/friends. Practical implications – For now, current distribution channels seem adequate for the personal and business goals of these entrepreneurs. However, large-volume clothing exporting through formal global distribution channels is what drives industrialization and development. These apparel entrepreneurs therefore require institutional assistance to link up with formal global marketing channels. It is only then that the industry would serve similar development roles as witnessed in other emerging economies which have climbed the development ladder through export of labour-intensive manufactures like clothing. Originality/value – The study confirmed earlier observations about apparel exporting in Nigeria, such as prevalent use of informal channels, and also draws attention to less-known details, including the existence of fledgling local trade intermediaries, “disappointed exporters” and an emerging group (yet miniscule) of exporters who utilize more formalized channels. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship Emerald Publishing

Distribution channels and internationalization in a developing-country clothing industry

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1471-5201
DOI
10.1108/JRME-03-2014-0006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the distribution channels used by a Nigerian sample of apparel producers and investigate the association between the channels in use and the sample’s export involvement. In this era of sophisticated computer- and internet-mediated marketing practices, the larger proportion of entrepreneurs in developing economies still deploy largely informal marketing practices. Countries indeed have adopted the marketing revolution to varying degrees, consistent with prevailing level of development. Design/methodology/approach – A structured interview schedule was used in collecting data from 111 apparel entrepreneurs. Findings – Most of the respondents were domestic market-focused haute couture producers or low-volume producers of ready-to-wear (r-t-w) clothing who supply institutions or boutiques, using direct channels. Only a few export, mainly through ethnic-commercial networks involving overseas-based family/friends. Practical implications – For now, current distribution channels seem adequate for the personal and business goals of these entrepreneurs. However, large-volume clothing exporting through formal global distribution channels is what drives industrialization and development. These apparel entrepreneurs therefore require institutional assistance to link up with formal global marketing channels. It is only then that the industry would serve similar development roles as witnessed in other emerging economies which have climbed the development ladder through export of labour-intensive manufactures like clothing. Originality/value – The study confirmed earlier observations about apparel exporting in Nigeria, such as prevalent use of informal channels, and also draws attention to less-known details, including the existence of fledgling local trade intermediaries, “disappointed exporters” and an emerging group (yet miniscule) of exporters who utilize more formalized channels.

Journal

Journal of Research in Marketing and EntrepreneurshipEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 19, 2015

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