Holiday ’09 Discounts and Sales

As reported by California Apparel News: Mall owners and national retailers reported good retail traffic on Black Friday as consumers spent $41.2 billion during the weekend. Black Friday also found many independent shops saying big discounts were as out of date as last year’s styles. Aggressive discounts hurt their business in an already tough year and many shops that haven’t discounted are saying that it hasn’t hurt their sales. There were no shocking promotional campaigns this year as in past years. For online shoppers, the big favorite this year is FREE shipping. Of course, there are always retailers that discount and this year was no exception for them. Across the board, the decision was...

VF Forges Own Track During the Recession

Many U.S. apparel makers are ditching acquisitions and store expansion plans to conserve cash amid the consumer-spending downturn. But VF Corp. is taking a reverse tack to survive the turmoil. The largest apparel maker in the world by revenue, VF is continuing to add new retail stores and plans to snap up new brands, said Chief Executive Eric Wiseman. The Greensboro, N.C., company plans to open at least 70 new boutiques world-wide this year in an attempt to reduce reliance on department stores. Last year, it opened 89 new stores and drew 16% of revenue from its own outlets. It aims to boost direct sales to 22% of revenue by 2012, Mr. Wiseman said. The stores also showcase its brands, which include Nautica, The North Face, Lee Jeans and Vans. VF declined to provide information on its newer lease rates. But average asking rents at U.S. shopping centers fell 0.4% in the fourth quarter, the largest single-quarter decline since 1999. VF, which generated $7.6 billion in revenue in 2008, has aggressively moved in recent years to diversify its portfolio. The company went on an acquisition spree, snapping up a dozen new “lifestyle” brands, such as Reef and Lucy. Although the luxury sector has been one of the hardest hit in all of retail, Mr. Wiseman said that he is looking to buy more contemporary apparel...

Hurley Moving Towards High End Fashion

Hurley is taking steps toward offering more high-end, fashion-forward apparel for men and women according to Erin Barajas of California Apparel News. In January, the Costa Mesa, Calif.–based surf/skate brand debuted select fashion-forward pieces for both sexes at the Surf Expo trade show in Orlando, Fla. Earlier this year, the company debuted pieces such as leather vests and silk dresses for women and super-clean denim and slim wovens for men that Hurley has landed in boutiques such as Lisa Kline and American Rag. Hurley is working toward building an audience that is beyond the industry. Across the board, across all categories, Hurley is reaching for that 18-year-old customer—versus the 15-year-old customer. Hurley isn’t the first brand to court boutique business. Edgy skate/surf brands such as RVCA, Altamont and Insight have successfully straddled the line between core brand and fashion...

Surf Expo Shifts Show Dates

January 14-17, 2009 (Resort, Swim, Boutique, Souvenir & Coastal Home) January 15-17, 2009 (Surf & Skate) Surf Expo elected to make this one-day shift forward with its scheduling at the request of several anchor exhibitors in the boardsports category. These exhibitors recently received word that the Action Sports Retailer show had decided to move its January show dates forward, creating a costly, rushed, and difficult transition between the Surf Expo and ASR shows. September 24-26, 2009 (All categories) In recent years, two of Surf Expo’s September shows have overlapped with Yom Kippur and/or Rosh Hashanah holidays. By moving the September date pattern to a Thursday through Saturday schedule, our show will end the day before Yom Kippur begins, and will remain consistent with the date pattern of the January...