Retailers and vendors believe they will have to continue to contend with a number of issues critical to remaining viable, competitive and trend-right in the second half of 2009.
They expect to have to deal with a continued harsh economy, sluggish store traffic and price-conscious consumers who want a compelling reason to buy. Executives from the manufacturing, marketing, financial and retail fields were asked what they consider to be the single biggest challenge as they tackle third- and fourth-quarter business. Here’s what they said: Bob Nolan, president of Jockey International North America wholesale and licensing operations: “The biggest challenge is the economy, getting unemployment down and making people feel comfortable about their economic future. When that happens, they will be back in the stores and will start spending vigorously again.”
Dan Sackrowitz, vice president of marketing at barenecessities.com: “The biggest issue is finding ways to remain relevant and compelling to an economy-conscious consumer, while remaining true to your brands’ core identity. Companies need to get customers to stick by their brand, without resorting to tactics that will erode the trust and positioning that they’ve spent so many years building.”
Josie Natori, chief executive officer of Natori Co.: Believes creativity will be the formula for success for retailers and consumers.
“I think the most important challenge is product newness and/or innovation that will bring back the consumer.” Allan Ellinger, senior managing partner at Marketing Management Group: Said tight credit paired with poor consumer confidence will continue to be a huge issue. “In today’s environment, lenders are trying to eliminate or minimize over-advances [advances that exceed collateral value]. The reason banks tend to be very cautious is because companies in the apparel industry are undercapitalized and retain too little earnings. I think some vendors have been dramatically impacted and some have managed accordingly.”
Ellinger said one of the biggest challenges is to get consumers to regain confidence. “Apparel sales are down 25 to 30 percent across the industry. There has to be a dramatic improvement in consumer confidence. [Retailers and vendors] have to think more realistically about the fashion calender. They need to reprogram the calender closer to season with merchandise being sold closer to season, not two or three months in advance and then put it on sale in season. That’s insanity.”
Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at Kurt Salmon Associates: “It’s really a mix of defending your franchise by being conservative in intelligent administration of all of your overhead costs, as well as maintaining an offensive state of mind about increasing the top line that’s consistent with the strategic mission of your brand. The great ceo’s of companies will have to be very nimble and quick to balance these two areas of business. They have to be peripheral, not take too many risks, but it must be intelligent risk taking.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)