ATLANTA -- Sports apparel firms are up against a shrinking manufacturer base, a dramatically altered retail arena and an increasingly demanding consumer. Growth in women's apparel will continue to come from crossover applications, rather than...
ATLANTA -- Sports apparel firms are up against a shrinking manufacturer base, a dramatically altered retail arena and an increasingly demanding consumer. Growth in women's apparel will continue to come from crossover applications, rather than sports-specific products.
This was the view that emerged at Financial Day, the traditional kickoff to the Super Show here, where industry leaders and market analysts gather for a look at the financial health of specific companies and the industry in general.
A market study by Kurt Salmon Associates pinpointed many of the trends. Among the survey's highlights:
Consumers are shopping less but spending more. The trend is away from the mall and toward direct clubs, mail order and factory outlet stores.
Consumers want individualized product, immediacy and value.
Home shopping is creating a direct link between suppliers and consumers; manufacturers will increase inventory and ship direct. To implement Quick Response, manufacturers will need high tech information systems capable of automatic stock replenishment.
Manufacturers should think globally, expanding into new markets such as Asia and Europe.
Independent manufacturers will continue to be absorbed by larger firms, particularly in licensed apparel.
Brand portfolios are needed to reach multiple distribution channels, as are stronger ties with key retailers.
The proliferation of catalogs and TV shopping networks will dramatically affect traditional retailers, said Jim Severyn, who heads the athletic and leisure markets for KSA.
"Some retailers will respond by going into other avenues, such as home shopping and computer networks," he said. "There will still be a need for stores, but they will have to make shopping fun, with concept shops."
U.S. sales of sports apparel, estimated at $14 billion wholesale in 1993, are expected to increase only 1 to 2 percent in 1994.
"The future of the market depends on expanding casual or crossover usage, as sports/fitness usage accounts for just 8 percent of sales, while casual is 35 percent and active/casual is 56 percent," said John Riddle, president and chief executive officer of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, which sponsors the Super Show."Manufacturers will optimize their chances for success by concentrating their brand offerings by functional items, such as shorts, tops and sweats, rather than expansion across sports usage."
Licensed products continue to be one of the brightest stars in sports apparel, said Riddle. Retail sales of licensed products by the major leagues of baseball, football, basketball and hockey topped $8 billion in 1993, compared with $6.7 billion in 1992. Licensed products at the Super Show have more than doubled over the past two years, to 2,700 booths this year.
Lawrence Pugh, ceo of VF Corp., said the company's commitment to licensed apparel has been underscored by recent acquisitions. In January, VF acquired Nutmeg Industries, a Tampa-based manufacturer of licensed sports apparel, including fleece and T-shirts. In October, it acquired H.H. Cutler, a Grand Rapids-based maker of licensed brand name youthwear, sold primarily through mass merchants.
"Nutmeg had a base for European imprinting and distribution, while H.H. Cutler was well positioned in the fastest growing channel of distribution," said Pugh. "These acquisitions position VF as number two in licensed sports apparel, and our goal is to be number one."
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews