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Footwear & Apparel Forecast

Aug 1, 2008
by Christoper Heine

Few categories can match the Footwear & Apparel niches when it comes to cultivating revenue from August through December. From Back-to-School to Christmas, consumers are buying shoes and clothes for school, work and gifting occasions.

Luckily, retailers have WholesaleCentral.com (www.wholesalecentral.com), where numerous wholesalers are ready to ship boxes and pallets of excellent product to your storefront. Some of the best include RG Riley, c2cwholesale.com, CLIPEZE, Cheng's Enterprises and GuayaberaShirt.com. After a lagging summer for consumer spending, retailers and other merchandise buyers will want to maximize their seasonal profits like never before. What will be the hot product trends this season?

Top Fleece Products

"What we are noticing is a trend towards solid deals to compensate for rising fuel costs, such as inexpensive, cheap products," said Mike Riley of RG Riley, an apparel wholesaler in Tinley Park, IL. "So, we expect off-price fleece to be a big seller again."

RG Riley (www.rgriley.com) has been a top wholesaler of fleece products for a number of years, and continues to be a leader in the niche. The fleece items range from $1 to $5 per unit and attract a wide range of buyers. This wholesaler offers fleece products in the following lines: shorts, skirts, sweatpants, men's pocket pants, missy petite pants, boys, girls, infants and toddlers and many others.

"My buyers are flea marketers, independent retailers, drug stores, grocery stores, secondhand specialty clothiers, etc.," Riley explained. "As far as an apparel item, fleece products are a staple. As the weather cools down, we will see these products pick up steam and stay consistently hot sellers for quite a while."

Other items available at www.rgriley.com include a huge line of inexpensive closeout clothes, such as irregular tee shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, sleeveless tee shirts and long sleeve tee shirts. The company purchases irregular clothing and overstock from many of the leading mills, such as Gildan, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Russell, Delta and Badger.

"Overall, our customer service is the best in the country," Riley explained. "We will do whatever we have to in order to help our customers increase their sales. We have tremendous confidence in our selection and service."

Best Apparel Items

c2cwholesale.com is undoubtedly confident in its slew of great products. Here is a breakdown of what the company offers at www.c2cwholesale.com:

First, there is the firm's fabulous high-end baby, toddler and kids' clothing which includes jeans, pants, shirts, sweaters, hoodies, zip-up sweatshirts, tee shirts, dresses, shorts, socks, overalls, two piece sets (top and bottom), etc.

This Athens, Maine, company's usual brands include Carters, Osh, Disney, DKNY, Quicksilver, Echo Red, Dora, Roxy, Guess, Charter Club, High School Musical, Ralph Lauren and others. The products have an average wholesale cost of $4.75 each.

"We offer a large selection of branded and nonbranded products, ranging from small lots to full container loads," said Robyn Flanders, President of c2cwholesale.com. "Our website is incredibly easy to navigate. It has assisting special features, including an online language translator, tutorial, live help and call-back request."

Flanders' firm also offers brand name women's designer surplus clothing from high-end national retail chains. These particular items at www.c2cwholesale.com include casual and dressy fashions. Most of them come with their original retail tags and prices.

"Some pieces may be missing retail tags, but all labels are intact," Flanders explained. "The lots offer a wide variety of items."

Additionally, c2cwholesale.com has brand new containers of sneakers and shoes. Typically, there are 3,900 pairs per truckload that are priced at $3.85 a pair. They make outstanding year 'round items for stores with a parental audience, since kids are always wearing out their shoes.

"We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity," Flanders said. "Whether your needs are online or offline, we can meet the task. Our sales staff at c2cwholesale.com has been in the industry for years and has expertise that you can trust."

Decorated Clogs

CLIPEZE offers a unique brand of clogs for women called CLOGEZE, coming in five different styles and fitting sizes 5 through 11.

The comfy CLOGEZE are made with a padded collar and tongue and cushioned lining, as well as antiskid/antistatic soles. The lightweight clogs come in decorative prints that are specifically meant to attract professional nurses who are on their feet all day.

"We got the idea of silkscreening prints on high quality clogs, which made a good shoe that is great for your feet and back even more attractive," said Gary Bronga, President of CLIPEZE, Titusville, FL. "Fashionwise, we were interested in doing what others in the industry did with hospital scrubs. Several years ago, scrubs used to be all blue or all white. Now they are fashionable designs available in various themes. We had the idea to do that with footwear as well."

It turned out to be a fantastic idea. There are nurses everywhere who need new work shoes that make them feel good. The clogs are perfect items for the shelf space of a gift shop. These practical, smart and marketable clogs wholesale for $10.50. Most orders from www.clipeze.com are shipped the same day, with the cutoff established at Noon ET.

"We have sold them to just about every kind of buyer," Bronga said. "I remember stopping by a flea market in Tennessee that had a shoe department inside. Sure enough, they had our shoes. We have sold to catalogs and to some outlets you would never imagine."

Canvas Shoes

Some shoes seem to have incredible staying power. James Nguyen, Sales Rep, Cheng's Trading Inc., said that his company has two such products. "Even with the stagnant economy, we are still selling very well with ballerina flats and canvas shoes," he said. "Canvas shoes are particularly hot this year."

Canvas shoes are just what they sound like: sneakers made from canvas material. The canvas sneakers come in various colors at www.chengsusa.com and average a wholesale price of $3 to $5.50 per pair.

Also, the ballerina flats are offered for the same price range and mostly come in sizes 5 through 10. Ballerina flats are attractive to high school girls and women of all ages, and are flexible and fashionable.

"We sell to everybody," said Nguyen, from his company's headquarters in Carlstadt, NJ. "We sell shoes locally and to major brands like Urban Outfitters and Six Flags."

Like CLIPEZE, Cheng's Trading has seen success with clogs this summer. Particularly, garden clogs with tie dye colors.

"The lighter the colors, the better the sales for the tie dye clogs are," Nguyen explained. "Most customers buy the orange and yellow clogs. In addition, orders placed by 2 p.m. EDT, get shipped on the same day."

Cool Men's Shirts

Meanwhile, GuayaberaShirt.com offers a varied line of "cool" shirts. For instance, the 100 percent cotton style of the Guayabera shirt has been one of the 30-year-old company's all time best sellers and remains so. It is designed to feel casual, with easy lines and a relaxed fit. The shirts are noted for their pleated stripes down the front and four pockets, two over the chest, two over the hips, as well as side vents and banded bottom.

"Our hottest products in August are still going to be short sleeve, lightweight shirts, as well as resort wear and leisure," said Miguel Gimenez of GuayaberaShirt.com, part of Miami Cool Wear. "They are consistently hot sellers."

The shirts wholesale for around $10 per unit at www.guayaberashirt.com. However, what makes this product line successful and attractive also lies in the firm's style of service. "We also manufacture our shirts," Gimenez said, "Therefore we have control over their quality and are able to back them 100 percent. We carry short sleeve shirts year-round. Whether it is for a person up in Buffalo, NY, who is going to catch a cruise in December or for someone in Wyoming who is getting married in the Caribbean, our shirts are available 365 days a year."

The company has a logistic center in Miami and another on the West Coast. Having a warehouse on each side of the country allows GuayaberaShirt.com to get wholesale orders delivered at optimal speed. Gimenez believes that his company has been successful because it knows how to think in the three tiers of product distribution. "We are able to look at things from the consumer's point-of-view, as well as the manufacturer's, wholesaler's and retailer's stand points," he explained. "We have a thumb on the pulse of what is hot, and we are able to logistically execute what needs to be done. That's why we have been in business since 1978 and will be for a long time."

For more information, contact:

R.G. Riley
Tinley Park Dist. Center
17700 Duvan Drive
Tinley Park, IL 60477
Phone: 800-624-3922
Local: 708-429-3131
Fax: 708-429-1889
Website: www.rgriley.com

C2C Wholesale, LLC
237 South Main Street
Athens, ME 04912
Phone: 207-654-3510
Website: www.c2cwholesale.com

1300 Armstrong Drive, Suite 104
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 800-385-0014
Fax: 321-268-5530
Website: www.clipeze.com

Cheng's Enterprises, Inc.
68 Broad Street
Carlstadt, NJ 07072
Phone: 201-933-9088
Fax: 201-933-3883
Website: www.chengsusa.com

Miami Cool Wear
3100 NW 72nd Ave Ste 108
Miami, FL 33122
Phone: 305-629-9758
Fax: 305-629-9760
Website: www.guayaberashirt.com

Topic: Product Trends

Related Articles: apparel 

Article ID: 697

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