Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It’s still Halloween, it’s just a little greener


A few weeks ago our founder, Milton Somberg, brought me an article from the New York Times entitled “Army’s Fashion Fatigue” where a career Army bride bemoans the passing of the traditional military Woodland Camouflage Battle Dress Uniform (B.D.U.) in favor of the new Digital Camouflage Army Combat Uniform (A.C.U.). While it was an interesting read, it really didn’t move me much since, being in the industry, I’ve already grown accustomed to the new Army uniforms. (You can read the article here:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/06/opinion/edburana.php)

Then, this afternoon, I was checking sales of our kids’ camouflage uniforms as we head into the last days before “the most wonderful time of the year” in the Army-Navy business, Halloween. This is our first year carrying the kids’ Army Digital Camouflage uniforms and sales have been just great, quickly becoming our second best seller to the ever-popular Woodland Camouflage. I also noticed that our sales of the kids’ woodland fatigues are down just a bit. Then it hit me. Not only will our soldiers look different, but now so will all those trick-or-treaters walking down sidewalk. More and more of them will be in the green and tan Army Digital Camo and less and less in the old Woodland. This is more of what I call the “CNN factor” where the latest military uniforms show up on cable news and create a demand in the local Army-Navy store. When we first went into Iraq, that meant tremendous demand for the Tri-Color Desert Camo. Now it means kids wearing the Digital Camo in big numbers. (For the record, that's Sales Manager Hans' son in the Digital fatigues. We call him "Pretty Boy" after the horse he rode in Zion Canyon)

I hope your Halloween season has been shaping up well, ours has been very strong. The National Retail Federation projected costume sales to jump 50 percent this year with princesses, pirates and witches anticipated to be the leading costumes. If you’ve been stocking any of the dozens of skull tees and headgear that Rothco has been offering, you still have a few days to merchandise these together as pirate accessories. Any one of our skull headwraps or bandanas makes a perfect accessory item to for all those pirate costumes folks will be putting together over the next few days.

I’d love to hear about YOUR Halloween success stories as the season winds down. Just click on the comments link below or e-mail me at john.ottaviano@rothco.com

Have a very green Halloween!!

John Ottaviano