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3 Keys To Making A Leather Glove That Fits And Feels Right

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

We all know the expression “fits like a glove”. There’s an art to making leather gloves that fit, and a science to it as well. A well-cut glove will have a nice snug fit, feel comfortable as you open and close your hand, and will perform well during normal use. To achieve this, The glove must be crafted from a glove leather, well-suited to the end use. It must be manufactured according to time-tested glove-making practices. Unfortunately, lots of gloves don’t live up to that expression. In fact, the most common complaint about gloves is poor fit! On a poorly cut...

Glove Company Tips: Spotting The Next Big Design Trend For Your Brand

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Fashions evolve, and your glove designs should evolve, too. Features and styling should reflect what’s happening in the market place.  Customers are influenced by what they see in other categories, and smart use of those trends can make a line feel more modern. For instance, we first started seeing fingerless gloves as a fashion trend maybe 10-15 years ago. Today, it’s pretty mainstream.  Now that plaid is hip again, why not make it a design detail  — if only for the lining of your sports gloves!? The key is to notice trends early enough to get the customer’s attention, but...

3 Glove Company Strategies For Skyrocketing Leather Prices

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Leather prices have skyrocketed in recent years.  The price of leather is up 90% in the past 5 years, and up 17% this year alone. This is a particular challenge for our industry.  The cost of leather can represent up to 60% of the cost of a leather glove.  In leather glove manufacturing, raw material prices — especially the cost of leather — are critical. Today, we want to share a 3-pronged strategy to deal with higher hide prices.  (Image Source: Bloomberg News)more   Why Eating Less Meat Makes Leather Gloves Cost More High leather prices can be explained this way: Fewer people...

Gore-Tex Gloves With A “Plus”: W.L. Gore Innovations Ahead!

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Graphics: W.L. Gore & Associates Component suppliers play a huge role in the development of high performance gloves. Technical materials are crucial to how gloves wear and hold up under a wide range of conditions. So we reached out to our friends at W. L. Gore, to find out what’s new at the Gore-Tex® mother ship down there in Newark, Delaware. Their flagship brand has long been the category leader. But in 2015-16, W.L. Gore & Associates is taking on a much bigger challenge: to improve the consumer’s experience, while shopping for gloves. We’re excited to share this innovation … Retailers; get...

Apparel And Accessories Marketing: How OmniChannel Helps Glove Sales

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Did you enjoy your turkey?  Has the food coma worn off? What about Black Friday or Cyber Monday … Did you hit the stores? Gas prices will soon dip below $2, but the consumer hasn’t opened her wallet … yet. But here are a few reflections on the retail climate this holiday season … … and how online shopping trends might be very, very good for glove sales.more Is 30% Off Is The New Full Price?  What is your retail sales forecast for this gift-giving season?  With store windows screaming 50% – 80% off, it seems like 30% off is the...

Glove Manufacturer Tips: 4 Ways To Deal With High Leather Costs

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

n my last trip to China, I had dinner with a leather supplier who represents many tanneries. Our discussion turned to leather prices, which continue to rise. While ultra premium brands can absorb higher material prices, that’s not the case for most brands we work with. Here are some thoughts about how to maintain glove quality and margins, as we plan for another year of continued high leather prices in 2015.more 2015 Outlook: High Leather Costs, and other Challenges There’s an expression: “Costs rise like a rocket, and drop like a feather”. You would think that lower oil prices would...

Glove Company Merchandising Tips: 4 Ways To Win At OmniChannel Retail

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Lately I’ve been thinking about how to help our retail and brand partners succeed in an omnichannel world. What’s omnichannel? It’s how the consumer shops — and expects to shop — in today’s always connected world. For example … Yesterday, I saw a nice scarf in a store window. I was in a rush, so I bought it — online — from my phone, on a train I ran to catch — — but not before adding a $12 pair of socks to my order, to qualify for free shipping.  (And if I don’t like it, I’ll return it to the...

Help A Glove Supplier Out: Take Our Apparel Buyers Survey

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Each week, we open the kimono and share what’s happening “behind the scenes” here at Olympia Gloves. Today, we need your help.  Would you share your expertise with us? We’d like to hear from apparel and accessories buyers, and product executives.  If you are responsible for sourcing or buying decisions for a retail organization or a manufacturing company — we’d like to hear about your priorities and buying processes. Our goal is to learn how suppliers succeed (or miss the mark), from your vantage point. more Have you looked for a new apparel or accessories manufacturer recently? If so … What...

How Glove Companies Bring Ideas To Life: From Design To Sample

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

Here’s a subject we’re always asked about:  How does a new glove get made? Creating a one-of-a-kind glove prototype, and producing a first sample, isn’t like getting a sample in your local ice cream scoop shop. No offense to Ben and Jerry’s, but there’s a lot more involved. Let’s look at the process, from concept to first sample. Glove Design: From Idea, to Reality To kickoff a new glove project, we start by learning about your goals. Most buyers have some idea of the features they want, but glove design options are numerous. Once we understand your vision, expressed in a design...

Warning, Innovation Ahead! A Glove Maker's Conversation With PrimaLoft®

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

There’s lots of innovation happening at PrimaLoft®, one of the outdoor industry’s leading suppliers.  Their team is working hard to make consumers a lot more comfortable, across a wide range of activities. We recently had the opportunity to ask what’s new for 2014-5, and beyond. Get ready to learn what’s ahead — we think you’ll be inspired by their consumer-centric innovations. (Image credit: Albany Business Review)     What’s Ahead? Warmth, Comfort and Style Last week, we wrote about the importance of product differentiation.  PrimaLoft® is such a great example of this. From their new down blends, to new naming architecture on hangtags, to smart new...

3 Merchandising Lessons For Private Label Buyers, From Trader Joe's

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

This week, a story from the food retailing world got our attention. While reading about why Trader Joe’s thrives compared to competitors, a statistic jumped of the page for us. Eighty percent (80% !!!) of Trader Joe’s products are private label!!! Their store brand acts like a magnet, pulling people into their stores. It must be a pretty special brand. Are there lessons for your apparel, accessories, or glove business?  Hmmm … Keep reading. Actually, there’s an important lesson for all of us, regardless of apparel category. moreGreat Merchandising Makes the Difference Trader Joe’s has a smart strategy for beating the...

5 Elements Of Great Glove Design: Lessons From 5-Star Reviews

Posted by ROGER HEUMANN

The introduction of the new Apple iphone 6 got us thinking about great design. Great design … creates demand days or weeks in advance commands a premium price creates waiting lists once the item sells out, even when substitutes are available. Here’s a quote that sums it up for us: “Consumer loyalty always follows great design”. Well, gloves aren’t phones or computers, and they aren’t software … But customers aren’t shy about telling you what they like … and don’t like. So, we turned to 5-star glove reviews, to hear what design elements lead to the happiest customers. The qualities...

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