You’ve spotted them around town, on campus, in the carpool line and in your area’s top boutiques. How can you capitalize on the boutique t-shirt trend? Jazmine Farmer of Calamity Jane’s Apparel, Coreen King of Lost Petal Linens and Kristen Ostow of Southerndoe give us tips on incorporating t-shirts into your product mix.
START SMALL: Not sure if your customers will prefer funny sayings, inspirational quotes or local pride – or if they will even buy a t-shirt at all? Many lines let you start out with just a few styles to try with your customers. Calamity Jane’s Apparel allows buyers to order one of a style to see how it does in store. Lost Petal Linens encourages stores to host trunk shows allowing them to showcase more of the line and see what the customers really want.
USE THE MANUFACTURER AS RESOURCE: Lost Petal Linen’s history in art shows and festivals has given it an expansive knowledge of what consumers want. “We only offer our best sellers to stores meaning you get what the customers want the most” says King. As with any line you’re considering, be prepared with questions and heed the line’s advice.
CONSIDER THE MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES: “T-shirts are great marketing for retailers because customers wear them out and about locally,” says Ostow. “When someone says, ‘I love your t-shirt! Where did you get it?’ the customer will fondly share all about the store they got it from and the location nearby.” While they browse your t-shirt collection, they will also check out your other merchandise. She also notes that sayings and designs on shirts are great material for social media shares.
LEARN WHAT MAKES THEM UNIQUE: Every t-shirt tells a story. Southern Doe is a lifestyle brand inspired by a love for the outdoors and the belief that strength is true beauty. Calamity Jane’s Apparel was formed as a celebration of home in the midst of a terrible natural disaster. Each piece of fabric incorporated into Lost Petal Linen’s pieces is hand-selected by its owners/ designers. Find stories that inspire you and complement your brand.
INSPIRE ENSEMBLES:T-shirts are double-duty trend pieces. Show them with yoga pants for the athleisure trend or create a unique casual outfit with a cardigan and a great pair of pants. “It’s definitely on-trend to build an outfit around a statement piece” says King. “People who don’t want to fully ‘get dressed’ will put on a cute t-shirt and feel instantly pulled together” adds Farmer.
ENCOURAGE IMPULSE BUYS: “Having a couple t-shirts available each season gives every customer the ability to purchase something affordable before leaving your store,” says Ostow. Cute sayings, fun styles, and comfort make t-shirts great gifts for your customers to pick up for friends and family while they are shopping for themselves.
What kind of t-shirts can you expect at the January Atlanta Apparel Market? Check out our blog post “It’s T-Shirt Time” for highlights from the October Atlanta Apparel Market. See Atlanta Apparel’s t-shirt collections in the Temporaries on Floor 3 and in the Permanent collection on Floors 9 and 11 at the Market.
Calamity Jane’s Apparel is located on Floor 3 Booth 434. Show special is $250 opening order; free shipping at $750; 5 percent savings on next order and free shipping at $1000; 5 percent savings on current order and free shipping at $1500; and free custom order, 5 percent savings on current order and free shipping at $2500.
Lost Petal Linens is located on Floor 3 Booth 322. Show special is free freight with an order of the whole collection.
Southerndoe is located on Floor 3 Booth 450. Show special is free Shipping on orders of $500 or more.