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In some categories — like the active wear that Americans increasingly wear all day, whether or not they hit the gym — private labels combined account for 20 percent of the market, according to researcher NPD. That makes store brands in aggregate larger than any single brand, which should strike fear in the executive suites of Lululemon Athletica, Nike and Under Armour. "Active wear is going like wildfire," Wilson said, for the simple reason that "you don't have to try on spandex pants. If I was in those categories, I would be worried. "Millennials don't care as much about logos." Store-brand apparel is nothing new. The Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog first offered clothing in 1894, and Wal-Mart's Faded Glory house brand began life in 1972 as a department-store label. But for years, private-label apparel was dull and dowdy, no match for branded threads. That started to change in 1990, when British supermarket chain Asda Stores asked fashion designer George Davies to create an exclusive clothing line. The result, George, was a hit in the U.K.
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