December 13, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Click the image above to view our PRESENTation...but be patient because it is big!

It’s that time again as we wrap up another year and introduce our 5th annual Holiday Bytes! Please click the image above to view our Bytes and remember, if you are interested in what you are seeing, click on the arrows to link to articles, videos, and more! From all of us here at MBF Trend Consulting, have a Happy Holiday and a fabulous New Year! We will see you again in 2012!

December 6, 2011

That's How The Cookie Crumbles

With extended store hours, giant discounts, and clever tactics to draw customers in during the infamous Thanksgiving weekend, shops were without a doubt dressed for success. While a fortunate Black Friday rush may have boosted retail sales for the month of November, will they keep it up for the remaining holiday season?

Overall, the entire industry is struggling to keep up in the marketplace. For retailers to bring in sales they have to constantly evolve to meet the changing needs and demands of potential customers. Even here in New York City which shopping bags are you continually seeing? Uniqlo, Crate & Barrel, J.Crew and of course the obvious Forever 21, H&M, and Zara are flooding shoppers arms from 5th Avenue to SoHo!

photo via Freshness Mag

Uniqlo is a huge innovator in the marketplace from their heattech collection to their global flagship on 5th Avenue, what could be next? With plans to open 200 stores nationwide by 2020, “Uniqlo hopes to ‘revolutionize’ mass retailing in the U.S.” How you ask? Well, by experimenting with cutting edge fabrics nonetheless! The Japanese label aims to sell utilitarian clothing made of milk protein softening fibers as well as further promote their affordably priced basics. Other brands doing it right include Burberry, Rag & Bone, Net-a-Porter, and of course Apple. Not only are these industry leaders seeing an increase in revenue, but for them,“change is the only constant.”

photo via wwd.com

Meanwhile, the fashion label Michael Kors valued at $3.63 billion will be going up for an initial public offering this Friday. From near bankruptcy during the 90’s to one of the first American designers in years to go up for a major IPO, the brand has definitely evolved financially. However, while the label is making business, we have to say it is lacking that “wow” factor. From neutral colored sleek looks to simple leather totes and classic gold watches, Michael Kors is a true American sportswear brand and we are interested to see how it evolves.

video
video via Yahoo Finance

On an entire other note, will Gap ever seem to get it together? With over 200 stores planned to close across the U.S. by 2013 and a strategy to instead expand internationally, is this really the best move as sales continue to plummet company wide from Gap to Old Navy to Banana Republic? According to Harold Davidowitz, “the fundamental problem is that the Gap lacks strong fashion sense.” We’d have to agree. Not only does the retailer need to re-merchandise and determine their realistic target customers, but instill an inventive marketing campaign to re-position themselves in the retail arena. As major companies like Liz Claiborne, Boutiques.com, and Esprit continue to collapse into the fashion unknown, hopefully Gap's step into the global retail realm will save them from this same mistake.

photo via nytix.com

As CEO Ronald Johnson, Apple's former retail chief, takes the reigns at J.C. Penney, the company hopes to gain some fresh flavor to sweeten up their retail mix as well as bring sales back up which have been steadily declining over the past few weeks. The department store is another merchant who desperately needs to revamp their merchandise and marketing strategies before they too fade into the dust. While the chain has definitely gotten a bit savvier by opening a shop on 34th street in New York, taking on a new PR agency as well as collaborating with Sephora, Mango, Charlotte Ronson, and Nicole Miller among others, they still have a ways to go to reach a prominent standing. However, with the investment of a new team the department store chain is likely to revolutionize it's position in the marketplace.

In the meantime, as other brands such as Brooks Brothers, Kenneth Cole, and United Colors of Benetton struggle to reinvent themselves, retailers will continually be put to the test to keep up with fashion trends, the economy, competition, technology, and most importantly, their customers. It will be a test of time to see who will keep their cookies fresh and who will get stale as things just keep on baking.

December 1, 2011

December MBF Favorite Picks

For our December MBF Favorite Picks we are here to nonetheless spread some holiday cheer by posting some of our favorite holiday decorations and displays from around the city. New York City knows how to celebrate the holidays like no other city in the world. Whether you are window shopping down 5th Ave, admiring the 74-foot tall Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center, or ice skating at Bryant Park, there’s no better place to get into the holiday spirit!









So make the most of this time of year, get out there, get inspired, and enjoy some of the merry festivities this city has to offer!

 
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