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Old 24.04.2005, 15:31   #1
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Default American Branded Products in Yerevan

Dear Friends:
I would like to introduce you to a brand new store in Yerevan. The name is Classic. It opened recently on 11 Kievian Street, closer to Metro Barekamutjun without reaching Orbeli Street, to carry American brand name products. The brands now presented at the store are Hanes Underwear and NYX Cosmetics. I am their supplier from the U.S. I work direct with manufacturers and the FOB point (Free On Board) of the products presented at the store is the United States of America.
I was born and raised in Armenia. Eight years ago I immigrated to the United States and settled in Kenmore, New York. One of my first experiences in the States was at the local Mall (shopping center). I was amazed by the variety and quality of the apparel and other products available for American customers. And it was a bit hurtful to realize that whatever was sold to Armenians was not only second sort and second hand but also mostly counterfeited.
Several months ago I opened my own business. The major goal of my business is to import to Armenia American branded products that do not differ in their quality and prices from the products sold in the U.S. I found the manufactures that would agree to give me an opportunity to achieve my goal. I studied Armenian retail market and the supply chain only to find out what I had already suspected: the majority of goods sold in Armenia come from the overstock (i.e. expired or outdated products dumped by the manufacturers to the 3rd world market), distributed in Dubai, Turkey and other borderline markets in the region. In one of my travels to Armenia I came across a notion that U.S. goods are very highly priced and unaffordable for the major population. The pricing depends on the distributor as well as retailer. And you all know too well how greedy and dishonest the majority of the people involved in that business in Armenia are. That is why they are called by a very nice nickname “spekuljant”. The pricing of our products is based on the manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices and the markup percentages are kept low to make the products affordable.
While in Armenia I visited local markets and talked to the customers. And again I realized that very little had changed since my departure from Armenia and that the Armenian customer was mostly ignorant of what the real quality product should be like.
What stunned me the most - was the fact that the retail sector was controlled by mostly male distributors. They decided what the nation should wear and brought only uncomfortable, sex-oriented products with very poor or no fashion sense. The brands carried in the underwear sector were mostly of Turkish or Polish origin priced 3 or 4 times more of what they were really worth. The customers were telling me that if they were lucky the above mentioned products would last for 3 months and then fall apart; that the colored underwear bled in wash; that the products made from cotton changed their shape and size after wash; that the seams fell apart after wear; that the bras itched and smelled; and so on and so forth. The only decent brand that was on the local market was Milavitsa from Belarusia, but even the quality of this brand needed some improvements. The Italian brands Lily and Comet and others were of doubtful origin since they did not even resemble the real Lily and Comet either by style or by quality and price! I confronted one of the “optovikov” who admitted, blushing profusely, that he brought his so called Italian Bras not from Italy as he stated before, but from Turkey!
The cosmetics market was especially poor both in variety and quality. The latest fashion orientations in makeup industry were not presented whatsoever. It was as if Armenia was evolving several years behind the rest of the world. The decorative cosmetics were simply dangerous to buy because of their age. I did realize that Armenian women did not know that in cosmetics there were factors called shelve lifespan and usage lifespan. For example: if you buy a lipstick, mascara, cream, liquid liners and etc. that has been sitting on the shelve for more than three years you risk setting yourself for a very nasty skin infection since the chemicals in those products interact to produce hazardous for skin byproducts. Here is an example of usage lifespan: lipstick should be thrown away in two years of usage, as well as the mascara and other liquid based cosmetics because the acids in your skin further shorted the longevity of the products. Cosmetics and their applicators should not be shared at all. A retailer in Yerevan tried to sell me a lipstick that she opened and tried on her arm to show me the color! Yuck! That is why the manufacturers make testers, people! But since those retailers and distributors do not buy direct from the manufacturer they do not get the free testers. I guess my point is that, again, whatever is on the market in Armenia for makeup is mostly very outdated and in this case simply dangerous.
I have been on your forums and have read your statements. You sound like a bunch of intelligent and very smart people. So educate yourselves by visiting sites www.hanes.com and www.nyxcosmetics.com . Go and check out Classic on 11 Kievian Street. Take a look at the products made for Americans and used by them. Help us grow. Shouldn't you enjoy the quality and variety that the rest of the world is enjoying? Get back to me with your comments. I would very much appreciate both your praise and critique. Write in Russian or Armenian – I can read and understand both. And, if your arguments are well supported by the premises, I will let the manufacturers know about them!
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Mila
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Old 24.04.2005, 21:24   #2
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Old 24.04.2005, 21:39   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mila
The major goal of my business is to import to Armenia American branded products that do not differ in their quality and prices from the products sold in the U.S.
not to act like a cynic here, but this is not such a good thing, is it now, as the prices in the u.s. are multiple times higher than in armenia?
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Old 24.04.2005, 22:04   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Harut_
not to act like a cynic here, but this is not such a good thing, is it now, as the prices in the u.s. are multiple times higher than in armenia?
Thank you, Harut, for a very good point. But, you forgot the first part of the statement "...the quality..." Have you tried the products sold in Armenia? In underwear if one pair lasts for 3 months and is sold for 500 drams, the cheapest underwear, how many times would you end up buying the same pair of underwear per year? That's right - 4 times; and subsequently, you will end up spending 2000 drams. This roughly equals to 4 dollars. And, if you are a neat person who does not like huge holes in you know what places, you will keep spending the same amount each year to keep you privates nice and cozy. I do not know if you do your own shopping and laundry, but if you do, you will agree that American quality products, in this case Hanes, will last you for at least three years if not more and will still look the same. Agree?
As for the prices for the cosmetics and the underwear, the margin set by the manufacturers allows us to match the prices currently circulating on the Armenian market, which, believe me, are not much different from U.S. prices. Too bad you are in the States; otherwise I would have suggested you go take a look at the prices in Classic.
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Old 24.04.2005, 23:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mila
Thank you, Harut, for a very good point. But, you forgot the first part of the statement "...the quality..." Have you tried the products sold in Armenia? In underwear if one pair lasts for 3 months and is sold for 500 drams, the cheapest underwear, how many times would you end up buying the same pair of underwear per year? That's right - 4 times; and subsequently, you will end up spending 2000 drams. This roughly equals to 4 dollars. And, if you are a neat person who does not like huge holes in you know what places, you will keep spending the same amount each year to keep you privates nice and cozy. I do not know if you do your own shopping and laundry, but if you do, you will agree that American quality products, in this case Hanes, will last you for at least three years if not more and will still look the same. Agree?
As for the prices for the cosmetics and the underwear, the margin set by the manufacturers allows us to match the prices currently circulating on the Armenian market, which, believe me, are not much different from U.S. prices. Too bad you are in the States; otherwise I would have suggested you go take a look at the prices in Classic.
i wish you nothing but prosperous business and happy shopping to the armenian consumers, but please don't ask me such questions, as i have no clue because i shop at the local armenian stores, which import their products from armenia, which are in turn imported from those regional countries (emirates, iran, etc.)
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Old 25.04.2005, 00:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Harut_
i wish you nothing but prosperous business and happy shopping to the armenian consumers, but please don't ask me such questions, as i have no clue because i shop at the local armenian stores, which import their products from armenia, which are in turn imported from those regional countries (emirates, iran, etc.)
Sorry, Harut, I did not mean to embarrass you. Forgive me if I were offensive and thank you for your interest in my posting. I am actually glad that you brought up the issue with the prices. I had a chance to point out some more details.
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Old 25.04.2005, 13:24   #7
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Mila, in Michigan I was purchasing a dozen of cotton Hanes socks for $10.99+tax. Do you mean I can do the same in your shop?
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Old 25.04.2005, 14:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grig1979
Mila, in Michigan I was purchasing a dozen of cotton Hanes socks for $10.99+tax. Do you mean I can do the same in your shop?
Grig:
Thanks for your interest.
The socks are not available at the store in Yerevan yet, but my Armenian partner is pressing hard to order them next. If you did not buy your Hanes socks from the sale or reduced and discontinued product rack at the store in Michigan, I do not see why we should not be able to match the price or come close to the same price when the product arrives to Armenia. It all depends on the margin and SRP set by the manufacturer. Men’s underwear available at the store right now includes sleeveless muscle shirts (dyed), white athletic shirts, white crew neck shirts, dyed high v-neck shirts, white briefs, dyed fashion briefs, comfortsoft waistband briefs (also dyed), dyed boxer briefs. All the shirts are made out of preshrunk cotton: this means that the material has been steamed before being cut so the end product does not change its size after wash. All the shirts are tag less design: which means that there is not that annoying etiketka attached to the back of the shirt, instead the tag is embedded into the material and will not come off in wash. Go check it out!
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Old 25.04.2005, 16:10   #9
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I hope you’d forgive my Russian it got a bit bumpy over the years. Here it goes:
Дорогие Друзья:
Я хотела бы представить Вас совершенно новому магазину в Ереване. Название - Classic. Он открылся недавно на Улицe Кивиана 11, ближе к Метро Барекамутюн, не достигая Улицы Орбели, и предлагает американские изделия фирменной марки. Марки, теперь представленные в магазине - Нижнее белье Hanes и Косметика NYX. Я - их поставщик из США. Я работаю прямо с изготовителями, и пункт отправления изделий, представленных в магазине - Соединенные Штаты Америки.
Я родилась и выросла в Армении. Восемь лет назад я иммигрировала в Соединенные Штаты и обосновалась в Кенморе, Нью-Йорк. Одним из моих первых впечатлений в Америке было в местном торговом центре. Я была поражена разнообразием и качеством одеяния и других изделий, доступных для американских покупателей. И было немного грустно осознать, что большинство товаров в продаже в Армянии, не только второго сорта и подержанные, но главным образом подделки.
Несколько месяцев назад я открыла мой собственный бизнес. Главная цель моего бизнеса состоит в том, чтобы импортировать фирменные американские изделия в Армению, которые не отличались по своему качеству и ценам от изделий, проданных в США. Я нашла изготовителей, которые согласились дать мне возможность достигнуть моей цели. Я изучила армянский розничный рынок и цепь поставки только, чтобы найти подтверждение моих опасений: большинство товаров, проданных в Армении прибывает от излишнего запаса (то есть просроченных или устарелых изделий, сплавленныe изготовителями на рынок развивающихся стран) и что товары эти распределяются из Дубая, Турции и других рынков приграничных с Арменией стран. В одном из моих путешествий в Армению я натолкнулась на понятие, что американские товары очень высоко оценены и не по карману для общего населения. Оценка зависит от дистрибьютора так же как розничного продавца. И Вы все знаете слишком хорошо, насколько жадны и нечестны большинство людей, вовлеченных в этот бизнес в Армении. Именно поэтому их называют очень хорошим словом "спекулянт". Оценка наших изделий основана на Предложенных Розничных Ценах изготовителя, и проценты сохранены низкими, чтобы сделать изделия доступными для Армянского потребителя.
Во время прeбываня в Армении я посетила местные рынки и говорила с покупателями. И снова я поняла, что очень немного изменилось со дня моего отъезда из Армении и что армянский покупатель неосведомлен о том, на что изделие хорошего качества должно походить.
Самым ошеломляющим был факт, что розничным сектором управляли главным образом мужчины-дистрибьюторы. Они решали что нация должна носить и обеспечивали рынок только неудобным, ориентируемым на секс изделиями очень бедного или просто никакой вкуса. Марки, которые представлены в секторе нижнего белья имели главным образом турецкое или польское происхождение, и оцененны в 3 или в 4 раза больше своей себестоимости. Покупатели рассказывали мне, что при удачливой покупке, вышеупомянутые изделия сохраняли своё качество в течение 3 месяцев и затем разваливались; что цветное нижнее белье теряло цвет при мойке; что изделия, изготовленные из хлопка изменяли свою форму и размер после мойки; что швы расходились после ношения; что лифчики зудили и отвратительно пахли; и так далее и т.д. Единственной приличной маркой на местном рынке была Милавитса из Беларуссии, но даже качество этой марки нуждалось в некоторых усовершенствованиях. Итальянские марки Lily, Comet, и другие имели сомнительное происхождение, так как они даже не напоминали реальную Lily и Comet ни стилем, ни качеством, ни ценой! В разговоре с одним из "оптовиков", последний признал, краснея щедро, что он привозит его так называемые итальянские лифчики не из Италии, как он заявил прежде, а из Турции!
Рынок косметической продукции был особенно беден и в разнообразии и в качестве. Последние модные ориентации в промышленности косметики не были представлены вообще. У меня было такое ощущение, как будто Армения развивалась несколько лет позади остальной части мира. Декоративную косметику просто опасно покупать в стране. Я поняла, что армянские женщины не знали, что в косметической промышленнсти существуют факторы - продолжительность жизни использования и продолжительность жизни хранения. Например: если Вы покупаете помаду, тушь, крем, жидкие лайнеры и т.д., которые сидели на прилавке в течение больше чем трех лет, Вы рискуете застать себя с очень противной инфекцией кожи, так как ингредиенты в вышеупомнутых изделиях при долгом хранении входят в химичекую реакцию друг с другом и производят опасные для кожи побочные продукты. Вот пример продолжительности жизни использования: помада должна быть выброшена через два года использования, так же как и тушь и другая жидкая косметика, потому что кислоты в вашей коже далее укорачивают долговечность изделий. Ваша косметика и их апликаторы ни в коем случае не должны прикасаться к коже другого человека. Продавщица в Ереване пробовала продать мне ту же помаду, которую она открыла и провела по своей руке, чтобы показать мне цвет! Yuck! Именно поэтому изготовители предоставляют пробники, люди! Но так как те же розничные продавцы и дистрибьюторы не покупают прямо от изготовителя, они и не получают пробников. Одним словом, все мои разглаголствования приводят к одому заключению – продукция в Армении главным образом очень устарелая и в случае косметики просто опасная.
Я эти несколько дней посещала ваши форумы и читала ваши утверждения. Вы оставляете впечатление очень интеллектуальных и очень умных людей. Так обучите себя, ознакомтесь с нашей продукцией на сайтах www.hanes.com и www.nyxcosmetics.com . Посетите Classic на Улице Кивиана 11. Посмотрите на изделия, сделанные для американцев и используемые ими. Помогите нам вырасти и обосноваться в Армении. Разве Вы не должны наслаждаться качеством и разнообразием, которым остальная часть мира наслаждается? Возвратитесь ко мне с вашими комментариями. Я очень оценила бы и вашу похвалу и критический анализ. Напишите по-русски, или по-армянски. Я читаю и понимаю оба языка. И, если ваши аргументы хорошо обоснованны, я непременно уведомлю изготовителей о них!
Спасибо за ваше внимание.
Мила

Last edited by Mila; 26.04.2005 at 17:52.
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Old 25.04.2005, 16:37   #10
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Yeah, I would like to buy socks too, can't find any good durable socks here.

Btw, Kenmore is western New York, not far from Buffalo, right? Those good old days...
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Old 25.04.2005, 17:04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LayZee_Cat
Yeah, I would like to buy socks too, can't find any good durable socks here.

Btw, Kenmore is western New York, not far from Buffalo, right? Those good old days...
Hi, LayZee_Cat:
If I'd known I would have gotten some in the first order!
Yes, dude, it is just around the corner from Buffalo, NY. Do I know you?
Thanks anyway for your interest.
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Old 25.04.2005, 17:13   #12
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Yes, it's actually a problem, to find normal socks here.
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Old 25.04.2005, 17:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [ Xelgen ]
Yes, it's actually a problem, to find normal socks here.
Thanks, Xelgen,
I will definitely put socks in the next order. You guys, rock! I am so glad to be able to hear direct from the customers.
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Old 25.04.2005, 17:57   #14
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No Mila..I think YOU rock! ....and I mean that's great, ya know...
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Old 25.04.2005, 17:58   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mila
Yes, dude, it is just around the corner from Buffalo, NY. Do I know you?
I don't think so, but I've been to Kenmore a couple times. I lived not far from there, in Sanborn/North Tonawanda
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