Thursday’s Child: What’s Selling



Thursday’s Child: What’s Selling







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The Personnel Touch

It’s all in the family at Gotskinds Children’s Shoe & Clothing in Naperville, IL, a suburb southwest of Chicago. The store has been in business for 76 years now and is run by David and Gail Gotskinds and their daughter, Andrea.

Wes and Willy

Up until the mid ’80s, the shop was dedicated to shoes. Eventually, they added apparel to the mix. The 2,400-square-foot space is decorated with southwestern accents and a turquoise paint job, but steers clear of looking too kiddy-like. David says most shoppers are of the upper- to middle-class demographic and usually shopping for children from infancy to 10 years old.

What David says sets his store apart from the rest of the pack (and reviews on Yelp agree) is “great help and good return policies.” He also advises that carrying more and more things that make the store more of a one-stop shop is helpful.

The most popular brands for boys’ clothing are Wes and Willy, Dogwood and Mulberribush, and for girls, Lipstik is the frontrunner. As for footwear, Jumping Jack is the store’s baseline, though Ecco, New Balance, Tsukihoski and Umi are also popular.

Hottest-selling brands this season:
Bogs and Uggs.

Best new brand added to the mix in 2010:
Bogs.

Umi

Top-selling accessories:
Hand-knit headwraps.

How has the recession most impacted your customer’s shopping habits?
Especially in an area like ours, where people lost their jobs, basic core business had to suffer in some way. The only way you’re going to hang on is to find other things to take your core products place. We brought in items like headwraps, pillow pets and texting gloves. If you make those things at the right price, things will be good.

What’s your sales outlook for the rest of the year?
I hope it will be like last year. But that depends if the things that were hot remain hot. From what I’m seeing, there also might be a slight up tick as far as people getting new jobs. So, I’m cautiously optimistic. —Meagan Walker

Bogs

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