Astronomical gas prices. Food shortages. Global warming. It’s feeling a little apocalyptic out here, no?
In case you happen to have missed the news, are evading the stock market or avoiding all human contact—there’s this economy thing going on right now and people are kind of freaking out.
The possible imminency of a recession is palpably affecting the retail sector, according to the Women’s Wear Daily Web site, WWD.com.
Obviously, the real question is how/if it will affect the wearables contingent of the ad specialties industry. I think we’re all fairly confident the T-shirt will remain a sound investment. However, does a slowdown in aspirational purchasing mean, by extension, higher-end/specialized promotional apparel and accessories will no longer be viable for end-buyers?
By now, you’ve probably read your April PM cover-to-cover. But, in case you missed these pearls, I’ve pulled out a few salient points from our STYLE section. Watch me relate them to your slowdown concerns!
Broaden Your End-User Universe
Athletic & Performance Apparel: Dry Goods
“A good wicking shirt makes just as much sense for a trade-show exhibitor and a health-care or restaurant worker—all of whom want to look fresh, professional and comfortable,” said Les Tandler, executive vice president for Game Sportswear in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
As the principal of Grease’s Rydell High said, “If you can’t be in athletics, at least be an athletic supporter.” Heh.
Orbit around the corporate world a bit, and it’s clear some need sport-strength items (I shall resist referencing the joke again) to stay dry. Only certain designs and styles might be appropriate, but consider merging the two worlds. Tell them it’s because they work as hard as they play. Or something.
Research Little Luxuries
Private Label: Private But Not Peculiar
Both Gina Barreca, director of marketing at Vantage Apparel in Avenel, N.J. and Paul Kunitz, general manager at Scottsboro, Alabama-based Valtex said private labeling can be comparable to standard, branded apparel if, according to Kunitz, it’s “planned right and supplied by flexible manufacturers.”
This might seem frivolous, but a lot of people will be cutting corners. If it can be affordably done, private labeling might just set your clients apart. Projecting prosperity never hurt anyone, and if it’s not costing you much to do, don’t count it out.
Count On Organics
Tech Talk: Offer Up an Eco-Line (pg. 114)
With more awareness about global warming and continued scientific support on the issue, after many starts and stops … the green movement finally appears here to stay.
And it’s only going to keep growing.
How are you strategizing to maintain profit margins for the rest of the year?