Spring and summer are fast approaching which means shoppers are ready to hit the markets looking for great deals on apparel. Not only is summer one of the busiest seasons for flea markets, but also a top season for apparel purchases. According to statistics by The Balance, spring and summer months have been peak times for apparel sales growth for the past several years. Total year-over-year retail sales are up 5.6 percent, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to grow your profits this season.
In the summer months, shoppers will head to markets, pop-ups, gift, and kiosk sellers in search of great prices on ready-wear apparel. As a seller in the value-priced market, you want to supply them with family and wallet-friendly items that can resonate with wide audiences. Think staples like t-shirts, colorful kids’ clothing, dresses, and fun accessories.
According to Loyalty 360, price sensitive consumers can be loyal, high-spending shoppers and brand advocates over time. It is often assumed that price-conscious shoppers are not loyal to specific brands, but rather constantly search out the lowest price, regardless of the seller. This is a misconception. “Price-conscious” consumers are actually “value-seeking” consumers. Getting a quality product for a lesser price is really the end game of bargain hunters. Jumping from vendor to vendor can give shoppers the lowest price, however, that doesn’t mean they are getting the same value or quality with each purchase. Once these value shoppers come to recognize your booth as having reliably low prices and admirable quality, they will return again and again saving themselves time and energy bargain hunting, and provide you with a loyal customer.
Though the warm-weather months have not arrived yet, buying season is in full effect. To help you stock up for the season ahead, Merchandiser Group has gathered our top apparel suppliers.
Do you remember the color-changing t-shirts from the ‘90s? Dyemurex’s Shadow Shifter takes that family-favorite product to the next level. This fun and technologically advanced t-shirt changes color in response to temperature instead of just light. Shadow Shifters react to body heat, touch, water, and the environment. In addition to being extra-responsive, Shadow Shifters have long-lasting dye that can withstand machine washings and can be screen-printed without risking any damage to the product.
Karl Clayton, president of Dyemurex tells Merchandiser that he started developing these advanced thermochromic technologies in 2005. “There were two major pitfalls with thermochromic technology: durability in laundry machines and the damaging effect of high heat on the color changing effect from such processes as screen printing or heat presses. We solved both issues so that our products are machine washable and dryable at high temperatures and are fully safe for screen-printing and heat pressing. Copycat companies have tried many times to replicate our product. Only Dyemurex has this exclusive working dye and technology because we have dedicated 11 years of research and development into providing a damage resistant product.”
Shadow Shifter t-shirts are an ideal apparel option for vendors in the summer because they are not only family-friendly and beach-friendly but they also perform very well in gift and indoor retail environments. “The versatility of this product is what makes it so successful,” explains Clayton. “They are similar to sun activation t-shirts in that they can be used at the beach, but out product can also be used indoors, during the day, and at night because it is heat activated instead of sun-activated.”
Shadow Shifters are available in four different colors altogether. Women and girls’ sizes are available in pink to blue and purple to pink options. Men’s and boys fits are available in blue to white and green to yellow options. Clayton stresses that these t-shirts are really a family product. “We see our retail customers’ sales increase when they stock adult and children’s sizes because Shadow Shifters are often a fun family purchase, as opposed to a one-off gift. Since our products are all-season, all-climate, and all-ages they cater to a very wide customer base in almost any setting.”
All Shadow Shifter products are manufactured in Pennsylvania, which allows for quick turnaround times and local production monitoring assuring high quality. Vendors can receive Shadow Shifters in two forms of packaging; either polybags or a specially designed box version. “Our packaging really helps communicate what the product is, and helps it stand out from standard apparel items,” continues Clayton. “They can easily integrate into any retail environment including gift and souvenir markets.” The minimum order for Shadow Shifters is 24 shirts and can be of mixed sizes and colors. To learn more about Shadow Shifters and thermochromic technology, visit www.shadowshifter.us or www.dyemurex.com.
Shadow Shifter by Dyemurex
Style In Fashion is a wholesale distributor of women’s apparel. Andy Jethwani of Style In Fashion, explains that their company is dedicated to helping retailers and vendors carry fashionable and ethnic clothing lines. “We import our merchandise from our factories in India and Thailand and will UPS our merchandise directly to your doorstep. We have our headquarters and warehouse in the famous Los Angeles Fashion District. We are committed to helping retailers and distributors carry the finest in missy fashions and African American apparel. We carry all sizes, and specialize in plus sizes.”
Style in Fashion products are great summertime options for vendors because they also specialize in dresses, skirts, and tunic tops. Products are available in bright colors, multi-colors, Hawaiian prints and more. The colorful garments are a great attention-grabbing item for any vendor. The flattering designs and flowing fabric appeal to customers of all ages.
For more information, visit www.StyleinFashion.com.
Style in Fashion
JJ Sourcing has over 15 years of experience in the accessory business. Victor Shin of JJ Sourcing says their company was built on the idea of supplying the highest quality materials with the best customer service. JJ Sourcing, also known as JJ Accessories, offers a variety of fun and unique accessory items including novelty shoelaces, high and low cut socks, sweatbands, lanyards, finger cuffs, and more. Shin says, “Our hottest selling items are the imprinted shoelaces. These fashion laces are known to have been a hit all over the world.” Imprinted patterns include checkers, argyle, camouflage, stripes, zebra, polka dots, and more. Other available novelty laces include metallic, glitter, and glow in the dark options.
Similar to Shadow Shifters, accessories from JJ Sourcing are family-friendly options that will sell well in any gift, novelty, souvenir, or summer retail environment. Colorful patterns and vibrant colors create eye-catching displays for any vendor.
Shin explains that at JJ Sourcing, “We can tailor to any of our customers’ needs. We can personalize hangtags with custom designs and universal UPC barcodes for your inventory control. Any packaging you need, we can deliver.” Shin continues that JJ sourcing is “constantly creating new and exciting items to help our customers grow with us. All ideas and suggestions are welcome.”
There are no minimum requirements for orders, which can be placed directly over the phone. Representatives speaking English, Korean, and Spanish are available Monday – Friday. For more information visit www.JJShoeLace.com.
Mountain Graphics is a family owned and operated business with over 25 years experience in the screen-printing industry. Since 1986 Mountain Graphics has been providing printed apparel to outdoor enthusiasts. Inspired by completing a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, founder Mark Newruck (trail name Pizza Man), combined his interest in graphic design with his passion for outdoor adventure. These two stepping-stones were the foundation of what is now Mountain Graphics.
At Mountain Graphics, you’ll find designs for t-shirts, stickers, sweatshirts, bandanas, magnets, hats and more that all reflect a love for the outdoors. Wholesale products can all be customized for your organization, tourist destination, location, state park, and for general outdoor enthusiasts. Though a large variety of quality apparel options are available, Mountain Graphics also offers a popular made in the U.S.A. laser engraved wooden magnet made from Red Alder wood. The magnets measure 2” x 3,” and, like the apparel, can be customized with different name and locations.
Summer months means plenty of outdoor activities like hiking and camping. Though these activities are popular all over the country, outdoor-themed apparel sells especially well near a state or national park, popular hiking trails, lakes, and campgrounds. Take advantage of local tourism at your market by catering to these outdoor adventurers.
For more information on t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, magnets, and other outdoor-themed items visit www.mtgraphics.com or call 888-764-6450.
Cotton Connection is a leading wholesaler of activewear, sportswear, and underwear products. They specialize in first quality closeouts and irregulars from the leading mills such as Gildan®, Anvil®, Fruit of the Loom®, Jerzees®, & Hanes®. Additionally, Cotton Connection manufactures their own home brand: Cotton Plus. Their Cotton Plus product line includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, sports shirts, hooded pullovers, boxer shorts, socks, briefs and many more products. In men’s, ladies, boys, toddlers and juniors sizing.
Activewear and athleisure products are an extremely popular category for all ages and demographics, especially during the summer. In warm-weather, you can’t beat lightweight, moveable, breathable cotton in comfortable basic fits. That is just what Cotton Connection provides, and at a low, value-priced rate. They have over thirty years of experience in supplying cotton apparel to screen printers, embroiderers, wholesalers, promotional product companies, non-profit organizations, flea market vendors, dollar stores, and independent and mass market retail stores. Their mission is to provide the best quality and the best selection of name brand products at wholesale prices while providing outstanding service and value to customers. Cotton Connection fulfills this mission by putting customers first, keeping our operating costs low, and maintaining very competitive prices in the industry.
According to Ibrahim Kothawala, VP of operations and purchasing manager for Cotton Connection, “nothing is more important than each of our individual customers.” To show appreciation, Cotton Connection frequently runs sales and promotions. Closeouts, weekly deals, and more are regularly posted on their website. They also send out opt-in email blasts alerting customers of different specials. “We seek to develop long-term relationships with our clients and do so through communication and transparency.”
Free shipping and price matching are available for qualifying orders. Custom screen-printing and embroidery options are also available. Cotton Connection guarantees quick turnaround times for regular and drop ship orders. For more information, visit www.CottonConnection.com.
Brook Textiles was founded in 1987 as a family business and proudly continues that tradition to this day. Brook Textiles offers a wide line of products including t-shirts, sweatshirts, golf shirts, junior and ladies’ apparel, denim shirts, and more in graded irregular, second, closeout, and overrun qualities. Quality name-brand apparel basics are consistent sellers, especially when the price is right.
Bob Brook, of Brook Textiles, explains, “Our buying power and strong relationships with industry leading mills such as Gildan®, Anvil®, MJ®, Soffe®, Fruit of the Loom®, Badger® and Life Apparel® let us offer consistent quality products and competitive pricing to the reseller.” He continues, “Box distributors treat you like a number with high minimums and strict pre-packs. Whether you need one dozen or a truckload, your business is important to us.” Brook Textiles offers same day shipping. The family business also takes great pride in providing friendly customer service. For more information, visit www.BrookTextiles.com or call 800-251–6049.
Kid Tees is a wholesale manufacturer and distributor that specializes in children’s t-shirts and accessories. Kid Tees is a Stephen Joseph company, which has supplied fun and unique gift items since 1981. Kid Tees was founded in 1994 as a natural extension of their gift and souvenir market. Amy Hasbrouck says that since its inception, Kid Tees has “really taken off within the souvenir industry.” Today, they offer a 155-page catalog filled with animal and nature-themed products. Everything from artwork and design to production is done right in-house at their headquarters in Texas. “We have a really talented art team that can create anything, and we have great control over the process and quality of our products,” continues Hasbrouck.
With Kid Tees, you can purchase apparel from their existing catalog, customize their catalog items with namedrop, or collaborate with their art team to create completely original designs at no additional cost. “We strive to provide many different options within a particular category so every vendor can pick something that’s a great reflection for their area. We also have flexibility with custom name-drop. We have a wide variety so you can always keep the presentation fresh,” says Hasbrouck.
Though they have a wide variety and custom artwork, Kid Tees keeps their prices competitive within the value-price market. “Our pricing is extremely competitive,” says Hasbrouck. “Many of our garments are manufactured in mass quantities for Kid Tees specifically, so those savings are passed on to vendors. The high-quality eight – ten color print on all designs allows sellers to make great margins. We really do offer an impressive level of quality for the price.”
Hasbrouck recommends first-time customers have an image or idea of what kind of look or scene will sell well with their demographic. “Whatever that vision it, we have something to match it. We can tell a whole story with the products.” She also recommends that once vendors find an apparel design that they love, to add in coordinating accessories such as backpacks and hats “so it’s really eye-catching.”
Kid Tees is dedicated to building lasting partnerships and helping sellers grow their business. “We really are all about the customer,” says Hasbrouck. “You’ll talk to a live person every time you call in. Our turnaround time is two weeks with artwork, but we’re always available if someone needs something right away. Once we get to know someone we can even put together a sample order or presentation order for a client and send it out to them to really make the buying process easy.” Their basic tees start as low as $4.95. Kid Tees’ extensive digital catalog is very user-friendly and includes all prices, minimums, fabrics, colors, sizes, treatments on the shirt, and more. For more information and to view their catalog, visit www.kidtee.com/fleamarketzone.html
Kid Tees by Stephen Joseph