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January 27, 2010


  • According to a survey from the Retail Advertising and Marketing association, consumer spending surrounding the SuperBowl is expected to reach $10.1 billion.  The marks the highest amount ever spent (or eaten) in the survey’s 8 year history.  The average person will spend $71.51 on SuperBowl related items, up from $64 a year ago but in line with 2007 spending levels.
  • Welcome to the collaboration party Nine West!  The JNY owned shoe brand is launching an effort called Shoelaborations, aimed at innovating the stale brand with in infusion of young design, musician, and artist talent. The first announced collaboration arrives for fall/winter ’11 with a collection designed by Giles Deacon.
  • According to a survey from Alterian, seven in ten marketing professionals either have very little to no understanding about relevant social media conversations surrounding their brands and/or few are using ad-hoc tools to monitor social media activity.  Clearly a huge opportunity with quite a bit of learning to go before social media becomes the holy grail of marketing.  With that said, the pace of change in this space is clearly something to monitor.


Kmart Shows Its Sexy Side On a photo shoot at Milk Studios, Sofia Vergara is cupping the front of a tight leopard bustier dress and tugging a little where her assets are emphasized, provocatively adjusting for the camera. She’s certainly a bombshell with a playful, flirty side to her as well — and she’s bringing it all to Kmart with her first signature fashion collection. “We’re getting so goooood,” she announces to the crowd of handlers and publicists surrounding her as they pick photos from the shoot for her publicity shots. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Clearly a win in scoring one of TV’s most popular actresses of the day, but we still remain skeptical of Kmart’s efforts to use celebrities to drive incremental apparel growth.  Yes, they did it with Kathy Ireland but that was in 1993.


Macy's Plots Push in Contemporary With Exclusives - Macy’s is aiming to get hipper — and muscle deeper into the contemporary market. The all-American department store, which has built its fashion business primarily on traditional and better brands for the misses customer, is about to unleash a strategy to escalate its underdeveloped contemporary business and spice up its mainstream image.Contemporary departments, called Impulse, will mushroom from the current 200 Macy’s doors to 220 this year, and up to 400 over time, giving the retailer a bigger market reach than any competitor. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Nothing new here as Macy’s has been forging partnerships with the likes of Madonna, Karl Lagerfeld, and Project Runway winners for the past couple of years.  Interestingly, the growth in Impulse doors is a clear sign that the retailer is regaining lost share with the younger demographic.


Brooks Brothers to Wholesale to Nordstrom Brooks Brothers is about to become a wholesaler.

The venerable retailer will reveal today that it has created a partnership with Nordstrom to sell its men’s and children’s wear collections beginning this fall. The Seattle-based Nordstrom will carry the Brooks Bros. merchandise in about 30 stores and online.“We know many of our customers admire and appreciate the Brooks Brothers brand for its heritage and quality,” said David Witman, Nordstrom’s general merchandise manager of men’s. “We think our customers will respond well to it.” <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  With the majority of brands looking to own their own distribution, this move clearly shows that privately-held Brooks Brother’s is looking to generate growth.  We suspect the JWN doors carrying the brand will be in non-overlapping markets, which bodes well for both parties.


Feds Seize Fake Goods in Detroit Operation Counterfeit sunglasses, Coach handbags and professional sports jerseys were among the items seized by U.S. Customs & Border Protection during a 10-week investigation in Detroit that netted $2 million in fake merchandise. Customs said Tuesday that the seizures were made at the Detroit Metro Airport from Nov. 1 through Jan. 17. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:   This story is becoming more commonplace as the feds and the brands seem to have found a way to more efficiently combat the illegal import of counterfeit goods.


Jordan Brand Launches the Air Jordan 2011 The Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, unveiled the 26th shoe in its Air Jordan line — the Air Jordan 2011 — Wednesday. It will hit shelves on Feb. 19. Co-designed by Nike’s vice president of special projects and design, Tinker Hatfield, and Jordan Brand’s senior footwear designer, Tom Luedecke, the sneaker features an interchangeable midsole technology and handcrafted patina leather, both firsts for the brand. “It’s a pretty radical departure from how basketball shoes have been built,” Luedecke said. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  With over 25 designs (1 per year since 1985) the Jordan brand has become a signature product within athletic footwear. Two things to note with this year’s Jordan launch.  First, pricing remains unchanged with last year at $170 per pair.  Second, the shoe drops a week later this year on 2/19 vs. 2/13 LY. 

Chines Labor cost rise as inflation soars: Thirty provinces in China had raised their minimum wages by the end of 2010, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, reported Global Times. In 2011, more minimum wage hikes are expected as inflation builds. Tianjin is considering raising the minimum wage by 16 percent. Jiangsu, Guangdong, the municipality of Beijing, and the municipality of Chongqing also indicated they will raise minimum wages. For Guangdong, they are considering increasing it by as much as 18.6 percent. Global Times said the debate among Chinese officials is this: improving the purchasing power of the poor or keep wage costs down for businesses. <IBtimes>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Surprising? No, however the magnitude of the wage increases is certainly noteworthy.  Interestingly this article hints that the margins could be somewhat protected for manufacturers if further increases are not put in place near-term.