Friday, October 27, 2006

The most wonderful time of the year…. Merry Halloweemas?

Yes, I know, I’m mixing up my holidays, but then again so are your customers. Don't worry, it’s all good.

We are wrapping up the Halloween holiday, a favorite of Army/Navy and military apparel retailers, and one that has been particularly strong according to most of those I talk to. And there’s even BETTER news on the horizon for the 2006 holiday shopping season.

Here’s the upside: according to a National Retail Federation survey reported on http://www.emarket.com/, the average holiday shopper is planning on spending $791.10 this season, about 7% more than last year. The interesting (and confusing) thing is that over 40% of these shoppers plan on beginning their shopping in October or before. I guess that’s why I’ve already seen ads from Lowe’s home improvement stores on TV.

But I have even better news for all of you independent retailers out there. According to the survey (you can see it here ), 66% of buyers 18-24 and over 50% of buyers 25 - 44 plan on doing their holiday shopping at Specialty Stores including specialty CLOTHING retailers. That would include just about every retailer currently buying from Rothco or reading this blog. What’s more, older shoppers are LESS likely to do their holiday shopping at specialty stores.

What should YOU do about this? Start stocking product and marketing towards younger consumers. You can begin with some of Rothco’s Vintage Fatigues and Women’s Clothing. Pick up some of our Hooded Sweatshirts (the kids love da hoodies!) or some of our great new Vintage Canvas Bags. Put some of this exciting new product in your store window. Collect your customers’ e-mail addresses on a list near the front register and send out new product announcements and specials each month. Put an ad in the local high school or college newspapers.

With cooler-than-normal weather already covering most of the U.S., a bright holiday forecast and sharply lower gasoline prices, there is every reason to be optimistic about the upcoming holiday season. If you need more ideas on how to have a great 2006 holiday season, check out Rothco.com or give us a call at 800-645-5195.

Enjoy the holiday, whichever it is!