Hike of the season: St. Paul, Minnesota
The season has officially begun, and there’s one thing you won’t see this fall: a bunch of men’s apparel.
For one thing, most of the men’s fashion, apparel and shoes on sale are for men.
“We’re seeing a little bit more of a trend with men’s clothing,” says St. Louis-based marketing specialist and fashion director Nick Lomax.
“A lot of men are wearing what they want, but they want to look cool and stylish.
And that’s not something I’ve seen anywhere else.”
St. Louis is not alone in its fashion-centric stance.
The Chicago Cubs have been buying men’s suits for years, and their new gear line will likely follow suit.
“When you get a brand like Adidas or Nike, you’re basically putting a premium on their products and their style,” Lomacks says.
But even the most casual of fashion-forward men’s stores aren’t going to make any money from the clothing they sell.
Instead, they’re selling their wares to fashion retailers and other retailers who want to get the most bang for their buck.
That’s not always a bad thing.
In St. James, for example, the men who work at a boutique that sells men’s shoes are all about fashion, and they’re proud to wear them.
That said, the store does have a problem.
“The sales are pretty bad,” said store manager and manager of fashion and apparel Chris Schulman.
“It’s not just about the guys, it’s also about the staff, the staff are the ones that get it done.”
In other words, the business plan doesn’t seem to be working.
While Schulmann says his staff is good, they have to do their best, and that means going out of their way to keep the store’s business afloat.
“We try to be a little more aggressive with the sales, but we don’t really want to do too much more,” he said.
For St. Mary’s, the problem is not the merchandise.
The problem is that the store is in a tough spot.
A new store opened in St. Joseph this year, and St. John’s is hoping to be able to fill that space with new merchandise, but it’s not making enough money to make up the difference.
St. Johns management says the only way to make sure they’re getting enough revenue is to increase their rent and have the store keep paying for the space it already has.
“I’m going to be doing everything I can to keep it open and make sure it’s financially viable,” said St. Johns owner and director of operations Mike Miller.
Miller is one of many men’s brands who have tried to open their own retail stores, but that has been a struggle, too.
As much as many of the businesses are trying to keep up with the changing retail landscape, some are struggling.
Budweiser, for one, is having trouble finding a space to sell its beer.
It’s unclear whether that will change, but Budweiser is not making any money in the long term.
Another new business is running into a similar problem.
Walgreens has been struggling for a few years to stay afloat, and now it’s looking to expand.
Its store in St Louis is empty.
So far, the only sign of growth has been the sale of its clothing and accessories to retailers, including Gap, Nordstrom and Forever 21.
In other cities, the growth is slow.
The new store in New York City opened in August, but only started selling clothing and shoes in March.
Its manager says the store will need to open for business in mid-April.
If the store can’t find a space, the manager says, they will have to close the store.
What can you do about it?
If you can’t afford to rent out your space to a retail store, you can hire someone to do it for you.
This can be difficult, but in some cities, that’s a common solution.
In St. Charles, the local clothing store owner said she’s been able to hire an experienced tailor who does custom-tailored garments for the store, and the store has been able continue to sell merchandise.
“They’re very good at what they do, and I think it’s really important for a store to have a tailor that knows their product and their craft,” said the store owner, Lachlan Trowbridge.
Trowbridge said the manager is trying to figure out how to find a way to stay open, even if it means the loss of their clothing and the loss on their sales.
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