Living in the Lap of Luxury
Like Anderson, Waterman agreed that sales of business casual apparel are increasing, “thanks to the consumer trend of trading up to more luxury fabrics.” He added: “More corporate buyers are looking to pair their logos with the best.”
While T-shirts continue to top the charts of promotional wearables, there are countless promotional applications for business casual apparel. Anderson said the garments can be used for corporate and employee events, golf tournaments, uniforms and sponsor gifts. “Business casual apparel is a different sell than T-shirts,” stated Waterman. “T-shirts tend to be used as giveaways, and [are therefore] very cost-driven. Business casual apparel tends to be used either as a uniform or a gift.”
Strom advised distributors to choose the business casual option because higher margins can be attained. “Catering to this market requires novel tactics,” he said. “One idea is wrapping your samples in gift boxes for maximum-impact presentation.”
Waterman agreed, stating the category also “lends itself well to upselling higer-priced product or the ability to branch out into areas like event wear and uniforms.”
Suppliers say that while there is a noticeable move toward a more corporate, professional look sweeping offices across the country, the need for corporate casual attire will nonetheless remain strong. “Even though you see less business casual wear at work, people are still not dressing up for church or a dinner out,” noted Anderson. “Golf is still the corporate event of choice and the uniform industry continues to grow stronger, buying sports shirts and other casual business apparel.”
So, while it lasts, enjoy the look and feel of living in the lap of luxury.