Sylvan LakeSeptember 18, 2012
Online retailer touts growth of U.S. clothing biz
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
SYLVAN LAKE — An online retailer of domestically manufactured clothing is continuing to make itself at home in Sylvan Lake.
All USA Clothing and its website, AllUSAClothing.com, are expanding. Owners say business has doubled year-over-year. According to its owners, the business set up its online retail shop in 2006.
Co-owner Emma Zerkel, of West Bloomfield, said she and her husband, Michael, have recently acquired a warehouse on Orchard Lake Road in Sylvan Lake.
“We hired four employees in addition to ourselves,” she said. “We’ve been expanding on our wholesales and business end.”
According to Zerkel, two major changes have recently affected business on the consumer end. While the company is continuing to sell clothing for men, women and children, an expanded product line brings more variety with underwear, socks and outerwear, she said.
A more modern website, she said, brandishes a more intuitive interface that lets viewers zoom in on clothing images and change color swatches with ease.
“The graphics finally do justice to the products,” she said. “The American product clothing is just as good quality as anything out there.”
She said all her brands and products are made in the U.S., and a good majority are manufactured with all-American fabrics and materials.
“We have a lower margin, so where importers might raise their products 200-300 percent as a markup, we are nowhere near where they are,” she said. “The customer isn’t paying more. … We’re making it up in volume.”
Zerkel said her core customer base has grown lately through word of mouth, email blasts, search engine optimization and such social media as Facebook. She said her company made 115 percent more in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011 than it did in the fourth quarter of 2010.
According to Zerkel, All USA Clothing’s clients include the College of William and Mary, Penn State University, the United Auto Workers, the Teamsters, Electrolux and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
She added that her business sells to a broad cross-section of the country, including blue-collar workers and people looking for organic, eco-friendly products. “We’ve really been all over the board,” she said. “It’s a nice variety.”
David Rubin, owner of the Rubin Manufacturing, Rubin Brothers and Union Line companies, said his Chicago factory helps supply All USA Clothing, a customer, with some of its goods. He praised the Zerkels for their hard work, support, and strong ethics and practices.
“They’re old-school,” he said. “Their word is their bond.”
To learn more about All USA Clothing, visit www.allusaclothing.com.
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