FASHION CHANGES, LABOR WOES HAVE APPAREL SALES DOWN
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-
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