Knightly virtues Featured

9:32am EDT June 28, 2005

Knights Apparel was founded in 2000 by Joe Bozich. The company sells primarily to mass merchandisers and universities by licensing team logos and names and putting them on various apparel.

But this isn't your average garment business.

Bozich's approach to value and service is the main driver behind Knights Apparel and has led the company to the second-largest share in the athletic apparel market.

The company uses proprietary software that breaks down every component of a garment and determines each cost individually. The company evaluates the costs, and then tells the manufacturers where to source the raw material components.

Competitors simply provide product dimensions, then take bids on a complete product and select the lowest-cost provider.

KA's model allows it to understand and control the cost components. For example, a plain white T-shirt with no collar or buttons has more than 20 different cost components. A hooded sweatshirt might have more than 100. By understanding the components and costs and how they affect the end product gives KA a strong competitive advantage as its price to produce is significantly lower.

Bozich uses this advantage to produce a better product than the competition that has a higher retail price point. KA's higher-priced, higher-quality items have significantly better sell-through and create much higher sales dollars for the merchants in retail sales per square foot, a key measure in the retail industry.