scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Zero Tolerance & Uniforms
Rick Seymour (Rick@Scouter.Net
Thu Jun 08 2000 - 12:32:31 CDT
>After working in the retail garment industry for
>a number of years I can tell you that the profit
>for the uniform is not 90%.
OK, I'll give you that one. I should have continued to use the term
>Lets look at things logically, that always fun!
I would agree, logic is fun! The problem with Scouts-L is that when
"logic" doesn't work, the "Zero Tolerance" types start to fight like girls.
>The normal mark-up on clothing is called
>"Keystone" or Double. So if the store pays
>$20.00 for a shirt they will retail it for around
>$40.00...When it is all said and done the store
>will realize about a 10% profit or around $2.00
OK, but this is not a normal mark-up. My local Army/Navy store sells a
better quality American-made boy's BDU for $19.95. By your logic, it is
reasonable to assume that my local store pays $10 each for them. The BSA's
actual cost is much less because the quality is remarkably lower (these
products are easy to compare), and the quantity is so much higher (millions
Let's say the BSA pays $8. Their version of a boy's BDU sells for $34.50,
that is a mark-up of $26.50. If my locally-owned Ma & Pa store can retail
a better product for $19.95, the BSA's profit must be at least the 10% of
the retail that you calculate PLUS THE DIFFERENCE IN PRICE, for a total
PROFIT of $18. That is more than NINE TIMES the profit you are used to,
>Also the BSA Scout uniform is a great value
>it is guaranteed for life, just try to take a pair
>of BDU'S back to your local surplus store
>for a replacement when the seam tears out!
A "guarantee for life" does not make an inferior product a "great value."
How many people actually mail their poorly designed Uniforms back to South
Carolina? (or wherever it is that you mail them--help us out here again,
Mike Walton)! One out of a thousand? One out of ten thousand? One out of
a hundred thousand? True value is better measured in terms of
craftsmanship. I would be interested in your professional observations in
this area, Scott, see
BDUs are built better, they do not rip out as often as BSA pants, they
expand three sizes, and (most importantly to the Scouts) they do not call
inappropriate attention to the wearer.
>Yes I do agree that the uniform does cost
>more that most similar clothing items, but
>BSA clothing is also specialized in that a
>small percentage of the population wears
>it and that also makes the cost higher.
If locally-owned Army/Navy stores can sell American made, boys size $34.50
"Scout Pants" (BDUs) for $19.99, then this is not a logical argument. If
anything, the dynamics of "specialized clothing" work in the opposite
direction. Where in your experience of the fashion-oriented retail garment
industry do you find a product that undergoes no real change for thirty
years? Much of the overhead in your business must come from the highly
perishable nature of fashion.
Remember that this is a design from the 1970's, when famous dress
designers could get men to wear tight pants and short shorts. Boys are far
more modest now than were their 1970's fathers/grandfathers. To impose
this questionable product of a by-gone era on today's youth is hazing, pure
Like Microsoft, the BSA is a monopoly with a captive population. If the
BSA's concern was really for children and not for wild profits, they would
simply order BDUs from Rothco or MLW Corporation and sew some BSA buttons
on them. This might increase their cost to $10 per unit, but their profit
(not markup) would still be EIGHT TIMES what you are used to in the retail
Eight times the profit multiplied by millions of units! The thing about
monopolies is that too much is never enough.
The BSA's arrogance and greed is loaded gun. Sooner or later someone is
going to notice how obvious it looks amid the dirty laundry of our carry-on
Irving should take a clue from Seattle. If you have read the BSA's
Charter, you know that the BSA serves at the pleasure of Congress and this
pleasure is subject to review each and every year! If our enemies
weren't so focused on legislating morality through the Courts, they would
see how easy it would be to simply yank our Charter through the Legislature
using the democratic process as it was intended to work.
England has six different Scouting Organizations. Think of them as
operating systems. Most people will always prefer a bulky, commercial
Windows-type Scouting, but some of us would be happier with a Linux flavor.
Yours in Scouting,
PS: I do NOT recommend BDUs for Scouting. I merely use them as an example
of an easy to compare product (Scout Pants are merely wannabe BDUs: see
Last night my Junior Leaders announced to the Troop that they had voted to
adopt the Nesi "AG" model olive-drab nylon zip-off (convertible) pants with
the Official BSA Shirt as their Troop's "Activity Uniform." Adult sizes of
these particular pants are the same price as youth-sized Scout Pants, but
can be used for Camping and all High Adventure activities which require
unrestricted movement of the legs such as Rock Climbing, Canoeing, Mountain
Climbing, Backpacking. They also function as a wind shell for Winter
Camping in sub-zero weather and as shorts and swim suits in the summer.
The design and workmanship is amazing.
Nylon pants contain no cotton. They are vastly superior to Scout Pants or
BDUs as a Scouting Uniform in many ways. If there is any interest I will
If everyone could witness the pure joy and pride that my Scouts feel
towards their Boy Scout "Activity" Uniform, no Scouter would ever force a
boy into ugly, old-fashioned tight pants again.
Well, the "Zero Tolerance" types would, but that is a different story!