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FASHION CHANGES, LABOR WOES HAVE APPAREL SALES DOWN
Published December 12, 1994
In St. Louis, Dan O'Neill examines retail sales of licensed baseball and hockey apparel, which "are sagging at stores." Stores such as No Contest, which is operated by Chicago-based Sportmart, have "adjusted to compensate for disappointing sales in hockey jerseys and jackets." Matt Powell, VP/Marketing for No Contest: "We've been able to mitigate the drop in hockey and baseball by stepping up our assortments in those categories." Bob Noblitt, VP of Superstar's, which has stores in St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit, notes that the company has "picked up in college items." Powell noted that "a more important change than the work stoppages has been a change in the fashion": "Two years ago, everybody wanted to wear nothing but licensed apparel. But people are moving away from it." In-line skates "continue to sell well. Hiking boots have become big and the market for sneakers never dies." Also a new market has emerged for old products. Puma has reissued "Clydes," a basketball shoe connected with former Knicks star Walt "Clyde" Frazier. Chuck Taylor All-Stars by Converse "are enjoying a resurgence, as well as the Stan Smith tennis shoe" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/10). BASEBALL: Licensing revenue for players is down 14% this year, "possibly another indication of fans' anger over the baseball strike." The MLBPA has earned $51.95M in licensing money so far this year, down from $60.34M during the first 11 months of '93 (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/10). A ST. LOUIS NOTE: Among the "hot" NFL items in St. Louis is a Jerome Bettis Rams jersey. Also, the labor problems in hockey "couldn't be worse for stores that anticipated big sales on Blues merchandise this shopping season" (Dan O'Neill, ST. LOUIS POST- DISPATCH, 12/10). SUPERSTORES: In New York, Douglas Martin examines the advent of "superstores" in NYC: the "category killers, who sell basically one type of merchandise, be it books, apparel, linen or electronic goods" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/11). CREDIT CARDS: MasterCard Int'l reported a record $3.7B in U.S. sales authorizations for the second week of the holiday shopping season, an increase of 27% from a year ago (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/12).