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SGB NEWS & NOTES: MIXED REVIEWS FROM LICENSED RETAILERS
Published October 1, 1997
A survey of leading licensed product retailers revealed a "mixed bag" for the '97 back-to-school season, according to SGB's Andy Bernstein. Some retailers reported "modest gains, led by NFL and MLB jerseys," while others said the overall business "was off." But retailers who "jumped on the jersey market reported strong results," as NFL jersey sales have "gotten a boost from the new" Broncos design, which is outselling the Packers at Footaction. Meanwhile, the previous top seller, the Cowboys, "continue to trend down," although several retailers reported that Cowboy sales were "better than anticipated." Bernstein adds that the "trend toward local teams and local markets for all leagues remains as strong as ever," but that "the emergence of the Packers as a true national team has clearly helped the business, as has broader distribution from Nike, which took over the Packers sideline rights this year" (SGB, 9/22). MLS: Bernstein also adds that MLS "did not experience the sales explosion it was hoping for" in its second season, but that most retailers said "they're still optimistic ... especially in team markets." Sportmart Licensed Buyer Donald Goldblatt said the L.A. area "had the strongest MLS sales for the chain." Footaction "also experienced its best" return in Southern CA, compared to "weak results throughout most of the chain." JCPenney's Danny Williams called MLS "regular business, nothing extraordinary," but Bernstein notes that the chain has made "the largest commitments of any retailer for next season" (SGB, 9/22).