Monday, April 28, 2008

The Devil Went Down to Georgia Looking For Camouflage

Got a call recently from some folks who are providing merchandise for the upcoming Charlie Daniels Band tour. They ordered some of our Womens Camouflage Spaghetti Strap Tank Top which led me to the merchandise page at Charlie Daniels' website. To my surprise, they already carry Rothco merchandise, specifically our Army Digital Camouflage Tees and Fatigue Cap, printed up with the Charles Daniel Band logo.

Besides a healthy does of nostalgia for the heyday of Southern Rock in the late '70s, what does this all mean to us? Well, while you all know me by day as a mild-mannered sales and marketing guy, each Monday night I'm a radio DJ at WUSB radio 90.1 FM in Stony Brook, NY. As such, I'm pretty familiar with the music scene both locally and nationally. While Rothco clothing has been part of merchandise offerings for established artists like the Rolling Stones and Neil Young we've also been worn by newer artists like Omarion and The Lox. Even local bands are now offering tees and other apparel with their logos on it and you might be able to provide those bands with some of this merchandise, especially if you can offer them printing services as well.

Where would you find music artists in your local area? Many of them can be found listed in your local music and entertainment magazines that are distributed in record stores and nightclubs. You can reach out to the bands individually (almost every band has a page at MySpace ) or you can even put a low-cost ad in the music papers themselves offering your services. Pretty much every type of contemporary music has picked up on the military look in the past, including hip-hop, rock & roll, indie rock, electronic dance, country, reggae etc. Local bands would be attracted to the quick turnaround and low minimums an independent retailer can offer.

Good luck with any forays you make into the music merchandising business and please let us know about YOUR success stories.

John Ottaviano

P S If you're looking for the best in modern Southern Rock, I highly suggest the Drive-By Truckers

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Raise your prices, Increase your sales!!!

OK, so the consumers out there may not want to read this, but I know all you retailers and especially internet sellers want to know about this.

It's always been my firm belief that all of us, you, me, retailers, manufacturers, EVERYONE, needs to sell on VALUE rather than PRICE. Price only reflects the cash part of the equation, not the total package of service, experience and security.

I just read an amazing article in Business Week by Steve McKee entitled "Low Prices Are Not Always Your Friend". In it, he makes an outstanding case for maintaining prices, even in a tough economy, because of the underlying value statement it makes to the customer.

Here are a couple of items from the article that stuck out for me:

"... thousands of previous purchase decisions have taught me price isn't merely a reflection of product quality, it's an indicator of it as well. If something is more expensive, it's usually for good reason. "


"Higher prices may lead to lower sales volume in the short term, but they also provide the margins companies need to invest in brand-building or to expand their distribution networks."

Basically, if we all continue to sell at ridiculously low prices with little margin, we won't be able to grow or promote our businesses and we'll be stuck in a cycle of constantly working with no profit.

I highly recommend this one for your weekend reading.


John Ottaviano

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Military is Back so Fast, It Never Had a Chance to Leave

Yes, it's all over the news, especially the pages of DNR. In the April 14, 2008 edition in its review of the Atlanta area men's wear shows, Mark Rosenfeld of Torre Big & Tall in Philly said, "the top young men's trend he saw at the show was the military look. It isn't new, but it's gaining momentum... ".

Then yesterday, on trend site, an article appeared touting the new additions Marc Jacobs' line , including the M-65 and German Duffle bag pictured here.

It's always amusing to us to see everyone come right back to where we've been all along. You can see our huge line of M-65s for the fall here:

Rothco New & Vintage M-65s

And our line of dozens of duffle bags here:

Rothco Canvas Duffle Bags

When you see any military out their in the fashion world, please shoot me an e-mail @

Talk to you soon.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Back in the Saddle, or Stirrups, or Shirt Stays

Sorry it's been so long since I've blogged, but I'm back!!

I've decided to make shorter, less frequent blogs. It's especially necessary now because Rothco products and military clothing in general are EVERYWHERE, even the most unlikely places.

For instance, Time Out NY recently came out with their Fashion issue. Time Out is the leading entertainment and lifestyle magazine in New York (they also have Chicago, London and other international editions), and they often highlight fashion in various avenues.

This particular article, entitled "Pretty in Drink" details the resurgence of the classically dressed old-school bartender (see picture). Along with the watch fob, two-tone shoes and stingy brim hat, you'll see an item better known for it's use among cops and security guards, the trusty Shirt Stay!!

With more men dressing up and looking dapper, you might want to make sure you offer this as an impulse item at the register.

Check out our 2 Piece Uniform Shirt Stays and our 4 Piece Uniform Shirt Stays.

I'll be back soon with a post showing the women in one of New York's hottest health clubs decked out in Rothco's Women's apparel.

John Ottaviano