According to McEvoy, customers are selecting shopping destinations primarily around two criteria: convenience and aspiration. "Shopping formats that deliver on both fronts will continue to win, such as the new open community center shopping clusters that feature a mix of aspirational specialists, restaurants, big-box specialists, maybe a Whole Foods store, and no department stores," says McEvoy, who adds another good example is Target, which offers consumers both what they need and what they want.
"The warming and storming pattern we have experienced over the last few years is something fabric manufacturers, vertically integrated apparelists, and retailers must try to get a better handle on," says McEvoy. Engaging reputable weather prediction services to aid in buying outerwear or stocking new fabrics that self adjust to varying degrees of wet, dry, heat, and cold are just a few of McEvoy's suggestions.
Known primarily as a leading multichannel retailer of quality apparel, outerwear, sporting gear, and home furnishings for outdoor enthusiasts, L.L. Bean, Inc., for example, warms up to the weather trend with an exclusive line of apparel from The Weather Channel. Available via L.L. Bean retail stores, catalogs, and the company's Website, the line—which launched with a waterproof and windproof three-in-one jacket (shown at left)—marks The Weather Channel's first foray into licensed apparel. Additional products in the line will be available in summer and fall 2006.
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