The Rupp Report: Open Your Eyes For Business

A few weeks ago,

Textile World
reported about the disastrous financial situation around the world. Apart from the
ever-so-resilient nonwovens and technical textiles sectors, the textile industry is facing problems
too, but not everyone. If you look around for business opportunities, you’ll find them. Here is a
small but fine example of true entrepreneurship from Hong Kong:

Fashion Place: Nathan Road

Giordano is one of the big labels in Asia, especially popular in Hong Kong. Many
always-crowded shops in Hong Kong show the importance of the brand. Recently, I was in Hong Kong.
And, as always, to get a feeling for the latest fashion trends in Hong Kong, one of the first trips
is going up and down Nathan Road.

But, where is the link to the financial crisis with institutes such as Morgan Stanley,
Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers or even AIG? Look in a shop window at Giordano in
Hong Kong, and you’ll find the answer.


Pick Up The Situation

Some clever designers at Giordano picked up on the current financial situation, creating
funny T-shirts with quite nasty prints. One of the T-shirts was printed with the image of the grim
reaper; the others you can see in the picture. I was amazed and thought to myself, “What a
brilliant idea! I’m sure they will be sold out soon.” The next idea was to buy some of these
T-shirts as a wonderful example of entrepreneurship. Bearing in mind my own collection of probably
more than 100 T-shirts, I decided not to buy one.

Sorry, We’re Sold Out

Forty-eight hours later, being on Nathan Road again, I saw the shop window and decided to buy
a T-shirt. By now, two of the mannequins had the same T-shirt on, and two prints were already gone.
I went into the shop and asked for one T-shirt like the one in the shop window. “Sorry, sir,” the
sales person said. “We’re sold out – no more T-shirts. The success was enormous.”

It took me one hour to convince the shop manager to undress a mannequin and sell me the
T-shirt. These days, I read in the financial newspapers that some fired Swiss bankers have started
to pay back some of their exorbitant bonuses. Maybe I should show them the T-shirt?

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December 2, 2008