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December 2008
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More Private Label Clothing Lines Predicted For 2009

Apparel retailers would seem to be taking a lesson from grocery stores.  The days of the black and white generic label on a can of vegetables is over and sales of private label goods are on their increase.  Retailers believe they know what their customers want and they are taking it upon themselves to give it to them by creating their own inside clothing lines.

Many of the upscale stores that have traditionally been destinations for name brands, such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, are developing their own in-house labels.  The private label business already accounts for 12-14 percent of total sales at Nordstrom. 

Analysts predict that this trend continue to increase through 2009.  The key to success for these in-house brands is to remain focused on quality and attention to design.  As long as house brands live up to consumer expectations, they will continue to thrive, especially in these times of economic uncertainty. 

When developing private labels, care should be taken to not compete with your current vendors or waste resources replicating their wares.  There is no harm in a retailer leveraging their good name and reputation to give their customers something they want that’s not already being provided to them.  Even upscale stores should carry products in a range of prices, therefore private labels will benefit both retailers and shoppers.

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