Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa's Elves are Working at Rothco

Each year, the employees at ROTHCO “adopt” about 15 – 20 children in the area, and provide gifts, clothes and food for the holiday season. This year, the need expanded and we did what we do best – we rose to the occasion. One of our employees contacted the parents of her Girl Scout troop. Many of our other employees "adopted" 2 or 3 children, instead of just 1, and we added whole families.

Some of us just went to the grocery store, and picked up bags and bags of fruit and vegetables and cereal and pasta – and then we provided a few turkeys! And then we volunteered to spend hours wrapping and putting together “Christmas”.

All together, we provided gifts, and holiday groceries, for over 35 families – a total of 104 children!!!

In addition to this rewarding endeavor – we all had a great time – ROTHCO employees donated thousands of dollars to our sponsored charities. And ROTHCO corporate matched our donations 150%! Hope House Ministries received over $11,000, and Christmas Magic over $9,000.

And, as many of you know, our holiday card project allows us to donate to two additional charities, and this year, The Children’s Fund and Madonna Heights benefitted $1,700 each to help struggling and at-risk youth in our area.

Amid all the bad news, the weak economy, the high unemployment, we wanted to give you a little insight into how we stay positive and focused and determined to do our best! Tis the season……

Please go to the page Charities of our website for more information on the causes that Rothco supports.

Happy Holidays!

Ginger LaLumia
Director of Human Resources

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Function or Fashion?

In the military clothing business we are sometimes fortunate to come across old school items that become a hit with the soldiers. Other times, a military item will crossover and become a big hit with the fashion market. Rarely, if ever, will an item be hot in both areas at the same time.

Right now is one of those rare times when we've found an item that's in great demand by both military personnel and fashionistas, and that item is the Shemagh! Worn in the deserts for hundreds of years, military use of this by Westerners goes back to T.E. Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia. More recently, Charlie Sheen can be seen wearing one in the 1990 film "Navy SEALs". Here's a video from U S Cavalry showing how it's worn:

Currently, according to Wikipedia, "Since the beginning of the War on Terror, these keffiyeh, usually cotton and in military Olive drab or Khaki with black stitching, have been adopted by US and troops as well. Their practicality in an arid environment, as in Iraq, explains their constant popularity with soldiers. Soldiers often wear the keffiyeh folded in half into a triangle and wrapped around the face, with the halfway point being placed over the mouth and nose, sometimes coupled with goggles, to keep sand out of the face." Many of our dealers who serve U.S. military personnel in the Middle East and Afghanistan have requested this for their customers.

From a forum on comes this from a soldier stationed at Ft. Bragg:

"Our unit issued us all a shemagh to protect us from the sun/dust and to endear us to the local population. I took mine every mission we went on, especailly in the winter. It works alot better than the standard neck gaiter for protection from the cold. We never really had a problem with wearing them with our uniform as long as it was outside the wire.The one the soldier in the picture is wearing can be purchased at all the PXs on base."

Everyone from Kanye West (see video below) to (famously) Rachel Ray has been wearing this out on the street and whether your customer is a fashion-craving teenager or a soldier leaving for deployment to the Middle East, the Rothco Shemagh is an absolute MUST HAVE! Now available in 6 colors and finally in stock, this nearly a guaranteed sale. In fact, I would suggest going to and ordering these NOW!

John Ottaviano

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

The answer? Priceless!!

I'm speaking about the toy puppy in the window of Uncle Sam's Army Navy on 8th Street in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan. This is a store that gets a LOT of folks passing by, but the biggest challenge is getting them to come IN!

This inventive window display is certainly catching a lot of eyes, so much that it was featured in an article on, a website that chronicles the shopping happenings in New York and Los Angeles. And now that it's been picked up on that website, it's very likely it will picked up on more than a few others, each with a link to Uncle Sam's website.

There are a lot of great details in the window display, not the least of which are the military overcoats the Obamas are wearing, plus the cute little puppy the president-elect promised his young daughters on the night of the election.

Stores with prominent windows have a tremendous merchandising opportunity and it's important to update these AT LEAST once every season. This time of year is particularly important as we try to move holiday merchandise and outerwear. Your display doesn't have to be quite this provocative, but there are a lot of things you can do to attract the public (and media's) attention to your window like displays done in cooperation with local Boy Scout packs, Veteran's groups or even local charitable organizations. I once saw a great display down in Key West, FL where a retailer did a window with a dog theme to help the local ASCPA called "The Dog Days of Summer".

For more information on window displays (including pictures of that display in Key West) and store merchandising, check out Rothco's seminar from the August ASD show.

To paraphrase those credit card commercials, "What's in your windows?"

If you've got a picture of YOUR window display, we'd love to see it!!

Happy Holiday Retail Season!

John Ottaviano

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Friday, November 28, 2008

The Military Fashion Craze is still as HOT as Ever

Google has a great tool that I use called Google alerts. It's available at their homepage. I use a number of these in relation to military clothing and the army navy industry. One of the phrases I use is “woodland digital” and recently the video below came up.

On Sept 7th 2008, on ABC, USAA Presents, “America United: In Support of Our Troops,” a 2-hour special saluting those men and women who keep our nation safe… and their families who sacrifice so much for all of us.

This year’s special performance was Janet Jackson doing her famous number #1 Hit Rhythm Nation 1814. What made this stand out the most that everyone on the stage was covered in Woodland Digital from head to toe. Shirts, Pants, Marine Corp Caps & Desert Boots.

Woodland Digital is becoming more and more popular in the for paintball, airsoft and even fashion. Rothco had developed a great variety of Woodland Digital clothing and accessories for all of your customer’s needs. Camouflage has been popular in the fashion industry for many years, and Rothco carries almost every flavor including Woodland Digital. From Mens to Kids Clothing and even women's Booty Shorts and Tank Tops. We have all the accessories you need, too, like hats, bandanas and headwraps.

PS. For more info on Google Alerts, check them out here

Have a great weekend

ToniMarie Anselmo
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"I Feel Like Speedy Gonzales...

... on the new, upgraded system." That's what my good friend Jon of Galaxy Army Navy Store said about Rothco's new and improved B2B Web Express Ordering System. Just in time for the busy ordering season, Rothco has made big speed improvements in our ordering system, making it faster than ever! Even when we're closed this Thanksgiving, you'll be able to quickly and effeciently place those holiday rush orders. Plus Rothco will be open to serve you on Black Friday, November 28th.

Besides improved speed, you'll also get enhanced search ability with a more intuitive search engine. Look for even more improvements in the coming weeks including the ability to change your default ship-to location. Just a few more ways that Rothco is continuing to offer our dealers the best service in the military and outdoor merchandise marketplace.

Hope you and your family have a very happy Thanksgiving. Rothco is also extremely thankful for the continued sacrifice of our armed forces personnel at home and overseas.

John Ottaviano

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Trail Testing our Camo Form Camouflage Wrap

In this post, Darin Kaye, Rothco's National Account Manager, puts Rothco's style #9411 Camo Foam Self Cling Camouflage Wrap to a very interesting use.

With a full suspension entry level mountain bike starting at $1500 I’m always looking for something to help protect the frame from being on a bike rack with other bikes, crashing and all the other normal abuse a mountain bike is meant to handle.

I noticed the “Camo Form” Self Cling Camouflage Wraps in the 2009 Rothco catalog , I thought this could be perfect. I decided to give it a shot. I wrapped the bike (which was more fun than I expected, and you will see in the pictures I went a little crazy and wrapped the entire bike ) it took two and a half 2” X 144” rolls to do the entire bike. I did not have to disconnect anything.

RACKED IT - When my ride showed up everyone got out of the car to checkout my new bike and realized that is was not new just my bike wrapped in very cool camo foam.

ROAD IT – After everyone at the trail head was done touching and asking questions about the wrap we were off to put it through the test: 8 miles of trails in Cunningham Park in Queens. Over logs, through the switchbacks, off the rock drops, and even a good crash off a 6 foot log climb into the bushes were not a problem for the camo wrap. The wrap was able to handle everything and did not come off or even move out of place.

WASHED IT – After getting the wrap good and dirty in the woods, I removed the wrap, followed the instructions: hand washed with soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and air dry. The wrap was good as new and ready to go back on the bike.

This product will protect anything you apply it to. I highly recommend it.

Darin Kaye
National Account Manager

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

There's Rothco Again, in MR Magazine

This time in the September issue of MR Magazine, "the Magazine of Menswear Retailing". In a
pictoral feature called "Who IS that guy?" you'll see a couple of Rothco products pictured in some decidely different ways. First, on the title page are our Black Jungle Boots paired up with a Mottainai blazer and Free Country swim trunks.

Then, on a page with the caption "Youthful styline, sophisticated textures ... Confident attitude." is our Vintage Black Army Air Corp T-Shirt underneath a very preppy Company 81 jacket.

Where will Rothco pop-up next? Wait a few days and you'll see.

John Ottaviano

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Mucho Rothco Featured in ASI's Wearables Magazine

Yes, indeed, Rothco is everywhere once again. This time in the Advertising Specialty Institute's (ASI) magazine Wearables . In fact, we are all over the magazine, with five products in this month's issue.

In their Fashion Sense section there is a section on military trends with Rothco's Booty Camp Shorts and our hard to get Shemaghs.

The Hot Product Showcase section focuses on Footwear and Socks and features our Woodland Camo Slip-On Sneakers and Pink Camo Hi-Top Sneakers . They also show our Wigwam All Terrain Hiker Socks and tout their CoolMax moisture wicking properties.

You really can't get away from it. Wherever you go, there's Rothco with some of the best variety of military and outdoor clothing anywhere. Got a picture of Rothco products in the press or on the street? Send it to me at

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Spice Up Your Life!

My kids are BIG Spice Girls fans so it was an extra bit of serendipity when this image ended up in my inbox this morning. Posh Spice aka Victoria Beckham is wearing what looks to be a Rothco Fatigue Cap . It's not clear from the picture if it's one of our Womens Adjustable Caps or one of our Fitted Vintage Fatigue Caps . As you can see from the picture, they are paired up with a snazzy pair of designer oversized aviator sunglasses which probably cost a whole lot more than my first car. Fortunately, Rothco can hook you up with a great pair of Aviator Sunglasses (as featured in MR Magazine) and the hat for about $20.00 retail! That's right, you can look like a pop star for less than the double CD version of the "Spice Girls Greatest Hits".

Just another way Rothco helps you look like a Pop Star even when you get paid like Posh's nanny.

Did I mention that Victoria and David Beckham named one of their son's "Brooklyn" after the borough that was home to Rothco for over 20 years?

John Ottaviano

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Now that ToniMarie is done with her great series of Halloween costumes, I want to start posting images and videos of Rothco products seen pretty much everywhere. I want to start today with something ToniMarie saw on VH-1 this weekend, some pictures of top selling hip-hop artist Jordan "Juicy J" Houston of Academy Award winners Three 6 Mafia wearing Rothco's Skull Wing Olive Drab T-Shirt .
Seems the guys in Three 6 Mafia favor hardcore horror influenced apparel and our t-shirt has just the right edge for their style.

As I said, Rothco is everywhere, and I'll be posting more Rothco sitings very soon.

John Ottaviano

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Your Last Chance for Halloween Goodies!

Wow, there are only 7 days till Halloween. This will be your last chance to make sure you have these "Halloween Must Have's".

Having these items in your store will mean great last minute sales and could make or break your month. How? These items happen to be very unique, and few stores will carry anything remotely close. For instance the Woodland Camo and Army Digital Camoshopping bags are perfect for trick or treaters to carry around their candy. They're durable and camouflage and nothing goes better with that soldier costume!

The items below are the perfect accessories for lots of Halloween costumes. Those Soldiers, Sailors and Pilots can't complete their costumes without face paint, boots, helmet and helmet covers and dog tag chains and those Police Officers need their sunglasses, boots and duty belt!

Go to and stock up on these today!

Halloween Check List

8205 5-Color Camo/Grey Bark Compact

8203 Camo Face Paint Creme Tubes

8301 Nato Camo Face Paint Stick

595 Camo Army Helmet

395 Kid's Desert Camo Army Helmet

1994 Gi Style Helmet

9355 Camouflage Helmet Cover

9356 Acu Digital Camo Helmet Cover

707 6" Green Chemical Lightstick

638 Ultra Force D-Cell Flashlight - O D

324 Mini Army Style Flashlight - O D

8383 Dog Tag & Dog Tag

4141 Woodland Bandana

2421 Woodland Camo Lightweight Zipper Bag

2422 Woodland Camo Lightweight Tote Bag

10804 G.I. Type 58mm Sunglasses 'Ce'

10604 G.I. Type 52mm Sunglasses 'Ce'

10570 Police Duty Belt

5081 Ultra Force Black Jungle Boots

3460 Fingerless Black Neoprene Glove

4918 GI Type Blk Beret W/Flash

5521 White Sailor Hat

65127 Ultralight Ghillie Jacket & Pants

65128 Ultra Light Long Ghillie Jacket

65111 Ghillie-Flage Complete Ghillie Suit

5661 Ultra Force 8 Point Police/Security Cap

9850 Uf Black Trooper Hat

9860 Fur Flyer's Hat

2200 Reversible Neoprene Facemask Blk /Camo

2202 Reversible Neoprene Facemask Acu / Blk

2208 Neoprene Half Facemask - Skull

2209 Neoprene Half Facemask - Orange Flames

9996 Medium Woodland Camo Shopping Bag (100 Pk)

9994 Medium Acu Digital Camo Shopping Bag (100 Pk)

On the same note as every Blog, check back on Monday for your final Halloween Blog

Have a great weekend
ToniMarie Anselmo

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Sexy Police Officer

As I promised here's another Halloween Costume idea courtesy of your friends at Rothco. With only 9 more days till Halloween here is a perfect costume that is a combination of some basic Rothco public safety accessories. Believe it or not, women LOVE to dress up and show a little skin and this costume was created with this in mind. Police Officers ranked very high among female and male costumes for 2008. And don't forget we've got the men's version of this costume, too.

I hope by now your store is fully stock with the "Halloween must
have's", if not contact any sales associate here and we'll be glad to help you.

Make sure you're helping to provide your customers an escape from the gloom of current events so they can let loose and have fun this Halloween! Check back Friday for some more Halloween costume ideas.

The Sexy Police Officer Complete Costume Kit:

3877 Women's Blue ''Police Booty" Booty Shorts

30000 White L/S Police Uniform Shirt

30081 Blue Velcro Tie

5661 Ultra Force 8 Point Police/Security Cap

1907 Gold Special Police Badge

10201 Mirror Af Type Sunglass W/Case

5081 Ultra Force Black Jungle Boots

ToniMarie Anselmo

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Rothco's Lara Croft Halloween Costume

Friday, October 17, 2008

So here's my second military themed costumes

Besides Movie Actors, Video Game costumes are second on everyone's list. Remember Halloween isn't just for kids! There are many adult Halloween parties thrown every year where adults dress up in costumes. You too can be one of the few to wear one of the top choices for Halloween costumes this year. Lara Croft is the heroine in the Video Game World, an intelligent, athletic, tough, heavily armed adventurer and one sexy Brit. Lara Croft came to life in 2000 when Angelina Jolie played the role as Lara Croft in the movie, Tomb Raider.

Lara Croft's complete Halloween Costume Kit:
8010 Women’s Khaki 100% Cotton T-Shirt
3176 Women’s Olive Drab Shorts
5081 Ultra Force Black Jungle Boots
3460 Black Fingerless Gloves
10570 Nylon Duty Belt
10550 Black 4” Holsters
10374 Black Should Holsters
8384 and 8384 Dog tags and chain

Still continue to check back every few days for more military themed costumes.

ToniMarie Anselmo
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Army Boot Camp Babe

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween is a great escape and there are few years when folks need an escape more than this one. Despite the spooky economic conditions in retail, forecasters believe that Americans need for escape is exactly what will make this Halloween stronger than ever. The National Retail Federation estimates 64.5% of consumers plan to purchase a costume for this year, up from 58.7% last Halloween. Total Halloween spending for 2008 is estimated to reach $5.77 billion.
Oct 31st is approaching soon, is your store filled with costumes and accessories? If not, no problem. Rothco is here to help; we want your store to get a piece of this huge pumpkin pie!

We’ve developed some costumes for men, women and children and even created a Halloween Check List.

Today’s costume (pictured at right, courtesy of Polyvore) is something we call Army Boot Camp Babe but don’t even think of calling this girl babe when she’s in her costume.

Here are the items that make up today's costume:

1045 Women's Vintage Woodland Camo Blazer

8029 Women's Od ''Army'' T-Shirt

3476 Women's Woodland "Booty Camp" Booty Shorts

5081 Ultra Force Black Jungle Boots

1150 Uf Women's Woodland Adjustable Cap

8384 and 8384 Dog Tag and Chains

Check back every few days for new military themed costumes.

ToniMarie Anselmo

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Product Guaranteed to Increase the Size of Your....

...STORE!! (whadya think I was going to say?)

Now that I have your attention, here's the scoop: we all want a bigger store, but who can afford the space? And how does anyone pay for all that inventory, especially given the current credit crunch?

It's easy as long as you have an online presence. Your store size and inventory are finite, but your offerings on the internet are not limited by land size or your back room. Make sure your retail customers can place online orders IN your store either through a terminal kiosk or at the front counter. Being able to see images and details will increase your chance of making the sale. A Rothco catalog on the counter is a good step in the right direction, but doesn't provide the instant gratification of placing an in-store online order.

Remember, Rothco has a 98% in stock inventory rate and you can view live inventory online 24/7 by logging in with your dealer username and password . And we'll ship the same day in most instances, so your customer will get the goods almost as quickly as shopping in your store. In an article from today you can see that retailers lose $93 BILLION in sales
annually to competitors due to out of stock conditions. Don't let this happen to you! 1 in 4 retailers already offer such services. It may be time to join their ranks.

I'm hoping to post much briefer and more frequent blogposts. If you have an idea for a post or would like to guest blog, drop me a line at

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