What are your plans for next year? Are you thinking about new ways to delight your customers?

Last week we offered 3 tips for planning ahead for a more successful holiday selling season.

Today we want you to take a little longer view … what else can we do to ensure next year’s retail success? 

In our experience, planning,  preparation — and a little risk taking — is key to reaching new heights.

So here are 4 suggestions to kick off your thinking.


4 Glove Company Tips for Next Year’s Success

1.  Carefully Watch Trends

Most buyers we know watch weekly trends very carefully. What are the trends in your retail selling?

You want to apply those trends to next year’s development. Hot colors, new materials … notice it now, and it’s not too soon to respond. Adjust what you have in development to reflect what you see trending … or start a new project up.

2.  Stay Nimble for January Market

Think about the 80/20 rule. You may have 80% of your line nailed down and in production, but chase the last 20% to keep things fresh.

Consumers always want to see the newest things. Can you chase the trend you are seeing now, and get it in sooner? 80% of your line can be on a vessel, but stay nimble with some or all of that last 20%.  Goods might be worth flying in to move up sales.

3. Plan Ahead for New Products

What should your development pipeline look like?

A CEO we respect says that his goal is to refresh 1/3 of his product line each year. It takes time to develop raw materials and get to see samples and tweak them ’til they’re perfect. This is especially true if you are developing a new line or brand.

We are currently working with brands on finalizing designs for Fall’15. If you start early, you’ll have more time for the design process.

“I wish we had less time” … said no buyer, product or sourcing executive, ever.  Start new glove development NOW.

4. Think “Innovation

Constantly look outside the box for innovation. Besides attending the shows in your industry, keep your eyes open.

Look for new raw materials that you can consider for future development — that’s what we do. Watch automotive, sporting goods, or other innovative categories.  Even if they have never been used in your industry before, perhaps they can be adapted for development.

Here are a few shows you might want to attend:

2015 Winter Outdoor Show: Innovative outdoor gear from leading industry manufacturers. January 21-24, 2014 Salt Lake City

outdoor gear trade show
outdoor gear trade show
The Shot Show: A large trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. Jan. 20-23, 2015 in Las Vegas.


The Dealer Expo: Powersports Industry-wide event focused on new products and the buying cycles of powersports retailers: December 5-7, 2014 Chicago


The PGA Golf Show: New and innovative golf equipment, apparel, accessories and services. January 20-23, 2014 Orlando

Where are you in your glove planning process?

Are things on track for January market?  Are you planning anything new for 2015 glove lines, that you have to jump-start now?

Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment a bit with your marketing and product development choices … this just might be the key to increasing sales and brand loyalty.

Plus: Here’s a resource to help you plan ahead, and get your team on the same page.  A free product planning success kit, with a design brief, glove checklist, lead-time tips, and more.  Happy Planning!