What Do These Trends Hold for Your T-Shirt Business?

apparel business trend

It’s a new year, but what does that mean for your t-shirt business? We took a look at some of the predicted trends from RetailDIVE for 2017 and also how some of the major retail brands are shifting. These shifts will help you to decide what you may need to do this year as well.

As for what people are buying, it is expected to continue from 2016. So if you are not caught up on what people are wanting, now is the time to catch up. These trends will continue.

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Sport-Tek ® Ladies PosiCharge ® Competitor ™ Racerback Tank. LST356

The biggest of these is the “athleisure” trend. Athleisure is becoming very popular with a lot of big brands. If you haven’t already caught on to this, athleisure is a growing fashion of wearing athletic wear for more than just working out. It is also worn for leisure and when you’re out and about. It’s all about the lifestyle. According to analyst, Emily Bezzant of EDITED, this market is predicted to hit $83 billion dollars in sales by 2020!

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As important as this could be for your t-shirt business, I didn’t want to focus on the apparel trends, however, but instead of the business trends that may affect you as an apparel decorator, as well.

Overall, the smart phone is continually growing as a platform for everything. As it is adopted more and more by an ever growing user-base, people are preferring to use mobile over desktop. Not only is mobile preferred as an online platform, but even specifically for purchasing.

Big box retail stores are seeing less foot traffic due to online purchasing. Big retail apparel brands, such as The Limited, are closing stores to focus on ecommerce only. The cost of large amount of real estate of the stores cannot support the lower prices of online competition.

Some brands are completely closing brick and mortar locations, while others are downsizing into a “showroom” concept. This strategy is to have locations to show off the apparel that is able to be bought online. Besides the fact that more people are buying online, this will also help cut down on store costs along with inventory. Don’t be surprised if you see big brands experiment with this concept.

As we mentioned above with the leisurely lifestyle apparel trend, an increase of mobile shopping supports this concept, as more users shop from the comfort of their couch. If you are not online yet, you may want to before it’s too late. Are you on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram? Do you sell your apparel online?

Brands are counting on social media and other technology improvements to show their products. As RetailDive reported, “It will be mission-critical for brands to converge all their channels and touchpoints into single, seamless, branded shopping experiences”, says Ray Hartjen, marketing director of RetailNext. “Mobile is not going away,” he said. “It’s only going to get bigger and more important in 2017. As a whole, the industry made marked improvements in mobile as related to click-and-collect, but retailers without more comprehensive mobile engagement strategies for 2017 will be left behind.”

As online purchasing grows, it is also predicted for a growth in online subscription services. You can subscribe to companies who ship you your products regularly. Apparel only accounts for a small portion of the subscription model, but is expected to grow. When companies offer this sort of avenue, it is really a focus on the experience for the customer. It goes back to that lifestyle experience that a brand offers.

As millennial shoppers continue to focus on experiences they receive from a brand, t-shirt businesses will need to accommodate for this rise if they want to sell to this generation.

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These trends may not be seen immediately, but definitely are headed in that direction as the mobile phone has become an extension of our own hand and body! We can look at the big box stores to see the shape of the marketplace and how they react to change. Eventually, the effects will trickle down to the small t-shirt businesses. How are you going to plan for these trends?