May 13, 2021

Independents Upbeat at New York Men’s Trade Shows

NEW YORK — Retailers at the men’s trade shows here this week had one primary category on their minds: sportswear.
Gone are the days when buyers scoured the fairs for new tailored clothing labels. As stores, particularly independents, continue to battle a disinterested consumer, macroeconomic factors and the growing power of Amazon, executives were mainly looking to pick up new casualwear brands to complement their existing offerings.
The good news is that the formula seems to be working: Most independents interviewed said business has picked up slightly and they’re keeping their fingers crossed the trend will continue.
Ken Giddon, president of New York’s Rothmans, noted that thanks to a successful pop-up with Psycho Bunny — “our best pop-up ever” — the store had “a really good June.”
“We’re flexible enough to keep bobbing and weaving,” he added.
For the men’s specialty store, that means de-emphasizing tailored clothing and keeping customers interested by featuring a rotating series of pop-up shops. “It’s part of our model now,” he said. “It works to always have something fresh.”
He said “tailored clothing is becoming a smaller part of the business, but we’re growing other parts,” especially sportswear. He especially liked Stitch Note’s short-sleeve wovens, Benson and Rodd & Gunn’s sportswear,

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