DwellStudio, which will move into children's apparel with full force in Spring '12, has been acquired by Brand Sense Partners (BSP). BSP prides itself on partnering with the "most forward thinking consumer product, media, entertainment and fashion brands to help them grow their businesses and unlock hidden value," according to the company's website. BSP's investment will assist DwellStudio in concentrating on growth through wholesale and direct-to-shopper channels, as well as the possibility of opening a flagship store.
Following decades of continuous expansion, stores are backing off the big-box model, as the enormity of some stores has proven overwhelming and confusing to shoppers. Experts say the movement toward smaller spaces is most influenced by the competition from the web, an increase in consumers favoring city centers and a more frugal, controlled consumer who needs to be wooed into buying in a friendly environment.
Tight on the heels of the new Winnie the Pooh movie that was released July 15, Disney Consumer Products unveiled an assortment of toys and apparel for children. Cuddly Bodysuits are made in gender-neutral colors and have extra snaps that enlarge the garment for longer wear.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission set a new federal safety rule on July 1, stating that drawstrings on certain children's upper outerwear are now considered substantial product hazards. By a 5-0 vote, the organization ruled that jackets and coats with certain neck or hood drawstrings and those with certain waist or bottom drawstrings, from sizes 2T through 12, would be specified as substantial product hazards.
Sales of apparel, jewelry and luxury goods rose again in June, according to Mastercard Advisors' SpendingPulse report, which tracks retail spending across all payment forms. Fueled by Father's Day, as well as graduation and wedding season, apparel sales rose 5.9 percent, while sales of children's clothing rose 10 percent. Retail sales increased despite the rising cost of cotton, which has helped push apparel prices up about 2.7 percent.
Marvel Entertainment and the NFL's Dallas Cowboys have joined to develop co-branded merchandise splashed with Marvel's most popular characters. Captain American, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Thor will appear on apparel with Cowboy team colors, logos and jerseys for infants, kids and adults. Clothing will include T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps and snaptees, and will debut this summer at retail.
Olive Juice announced a new partnership with Clothes4Souls, the apparel division of global charity Soles4Souls. In a "buy one, give one" initiative, the European-inspired childrenswear company will donate one item of clothing for every item purchased through a special microsite www.olivejuicegives.com. Clothes4Souls will distribute the apparel for girls and boys ages 12 months to 16 years to children in need. To jumpstart the effort, the company will offer free shipping on domestic orders.
New York-based Kushies Baby USA names sales veteran David Lefelstein the manufacturer's New York, New Jersey and Long Island rep. Lefelstein will represent Kushies' three labels: Kushies Baby, It's My Planet 2 and Blue Banana.