Western & English Today

Spring 2016

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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Page 32 of 35

SPRING 2016 Western & English Today 31 creating a very special limited edition 8X fur felt hat complete with a sidepiece that is a replica of the actual All-Around buckle he won. In addition, we've added a unique sweatband, lining, and commemorative hatbox to go with it. Te perfect hat for any Larry Mahan fan or rodeo enthusiast." Also coming out will be a new collection, Los Tigres Del Norte by Larry Mahan. "We are very fortunate to have developed a partnership with the most important and infuential Hispanic musical group in history," Starnes says. "Los Tigres Del Norte have had a long and successful career of making hit music for more than 40 years, selling millions of records and winning nearly every major award there is. Teir popularity is unmatched. Every concert is a sellout — usually large football stadiums. Tere are streets in major cities in America named for them. And they have over 3 million fans on Facebook. Tey actually approached us about doing a Los Tigres hat collection but insisted that the Larry Ma- han name be tagged to it or no deal. A collaboration of sorts, legends whose names together stand for quality and integrity, a no-brainer for us. Te collection will consist of felt hats in 3X, 5X, and 8X qualities, each with its own unique design and Los Tigres Del Norte components." But most hat companies and retailers are pointing to contin- ued sales for those younger consumers. "Everybody wants something that's unique and stands out," Bailey's Andrus says. "Something a little punchier." "Te young kids, the bull riders, the barrel racers, they still want a taller crown, a wider brim," Dallas Hats' Morales says. Adds Atwood: "Tey still like wild colors." TIPS OF THE TRADE No matter what a retailer's customer is, a few tips remain true. "Always be honest about the prod- ucts you're selling," says Danette Fitch, Shady Brady's vice president/general manager. "Know what the hat is made of and where it's manufactured." And see what your customers are buying, Master Hat- ters' Cook says. "You don't need a lot of inventory in the back room. Order what you sold last week. Let your customer tell you what styles, what sizes are selling, the whole nine yards. You don't have to have a computer program. All you have to do is reorder every week. Turn is the name of the game. Run your business like you're in the 21st century." And don't stack hats on top of each other. "If you don't get a hat rack and put a hat on a hat rack, you're not going to sell it," says Max Glogauer, a national sales representative at Bailey. "Te problem with stacking hats is that they lose shape, they get damaged." Besides, a little bit of ambiance makes customers feel better, and it gives them a good frst impression. Glogauer points to one of his clients, who had a 1,500-square- foot store. "But he had the hats on boxes. I told him he could get his sales up if he'd display them properly, but he always complained that he didn't have enough space. Ten one day, he told me he was expanding his store to twice the size. And I told him, 'If you don't put hats on racks, they'll never sell.' He fnally did. Te next time I saw them he said, 'I'm out of hats.' I told him, 'You should've listened to me from the start.' " Afer all, selling is the name of the game. And despite an uncertain economy, most manufacturers reported good sales at the January market and have high hopes for the 2016 season. "2015 was a historical year for the Milano Hat Company," Starnes says. "We shipped more hats out of our factory in Gar- land than in any other year since the company was founded in 1983. Our brands continue to grow in popularity as we expand our designs and improve our value to the customer. With the additions of the Los Tigres Del Norte Collection, our expanded Larry Mahan Collection anniversary series, and the uniquely de- signed Justin Bent Rail Collection, 2016 looks to be even better." Adds Atwood: "Oil's down $28 a barrel, cattle are of 50 bucks, and the stock market's down 2,000 points. I think, consider- ing all the circumstances, we're in pretty good shape. People are still buying hats." American Hat Co. (940) 872-2404 americanhat.net Atwood Hat Co. (903) 876-1933 atwoodhats.com Bailey Hat Co. (972) 444-0200 baileyhats.com Catalena Hatters (800) 976-7818 catalenahats.com Charlie 1 Horse (800) 347-7434 charlie1horsehats.com Dallas Hats (972) 864-8300 dallashats.com F&M Hat Co. (800) 953-4287 fmhat.com Greeley Hat Works (970) 353-7300 greeleyhatworks.com Milano Hat Co. (214) 342-0071 milanohats.com Red Star Riggings (281) 589-0684 redstarriggings.com Resistol (800) 347-7434 resistolhat.com Shady Brady (707) 462-9441 shadybrady.com Stetson (800) 347-7434 stetsonhat.com SunBody Hats (800) 310-7093 sunbody.com Wrangler Hats (800) 347-7434 hat-co.com Manufacturers ABOVE: WRANGLER HATS

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