Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 168

retail carter's inc.
www.carters.com / Estimated 2017 revenues: $3.4 billion approximately / HQ: Atlanta / Employees: 17,000 / Specialty: Children's clothing, gifts and accessories / Peter
Smith, executive vice president of supply chain: "Babywear has some unique complications that require very specific responses in order to remain competitive."

Custom Quality
Carter's manages many different product lines for multiple
retailers, including Walmart and Target. By Alan Dorich
Some might think of
the business of children's
clothing, gifts and accessories as mere child's
play, but it is often more
challenging than it appears,
PETER SMITH
Peter Smith says. "Babyexecutive vice
president of supply
wear has some unique
chain
complications that require
very specific responses in order to
remain competitive," he says.
For 150 years, Atlanta-based
Carter's Inc. has coped well with
those complications and become
America's leading brand in its
niche, with more than 10 products
for every child born in the United
States. Smith, who is the executive
vice president of supply chain for
the company, says its business is
split between Carter's own retail
operations and wholesalers.
Currently, the company sells
its products via its website and
through nearly 1,050 stores in the
United States, Canada and China.
The other 50 percent of Carter's
volume, he notes, is sold to wholesale accounts, including Macy's,
Target, Walmart, Kohl's "and just
about anyone you can name."

Coping with Complexity
Carter's has become a leader in
the babywear industry by creating responses "to meet the niche
peculiarities of our space," Smith
explains. "It's hard to move the
staggeringly large number of units
that we move to the incredibly
168

Supply Chain World FALL 2017

diverse customer base that we
serve." Very few competitors can
do it, he adds.
"There are regulatory barriers
and mine fields you need to be
aware of," he says, noting that
the number of places where kids
wear is sold is even broader when
compared to other markets, such
as branded sportswear.
"Most men's and women's
sportswear companies and outer-

Carter's is the leading brand
of children's clothing, selling
its products via its website and
through nearly 1,050 stores in the
United States, Canada and China.

wear companies don't want to deal
with the complications that kids
wear presents," he says, noting
that Carter's ability to do so has
enabled it to grow by 6 to 8 percent
annually. "[That] is better than
most of the apparel industry."
The company accomplished this
by customizing its offerings for its
retailers, including Walmart, Target and Amazon. Although it was
initially challenging for Carter's



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supply Chain World - Fall 2017

Contents
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 1
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Contents
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 3
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