• Bob’s Archives
  • October 4, 2018
    Blogging at 30,000 feet

    It's been so long since my last blog that I can't even remember. Severe writers block -maybe. Haven't had enough to blog about - maybe, but that can't be true. Or, I haven't made it a priority – bingo. I had a great business coach once tell me never to say, "I didn't have time to get that done". His coaching was for me to admit that I didn't put enough priority on it to get it done. AHAH, who can argue that?

    Working for a living

    So, I'm coming home from one of many presentations of our new Spring/Summer 2019 line. I laid out all our new hats in the showroom of a large retailer and a good customer. The pre-tone to the meeting was that I heard many other brands are pitching for my business – suggesting the retailer should be carrying their brand instead of the Broner Brand. The clothing industry, as you know, is a bit of a mess. Every brand and every retailer are trying to reinvent themselves. For us, (a brand that doesn't have a direct to consumer focus) it is all about getting shelf space in desired retail stores and then outperforming the other brands on the shelf. That means our hats have to sell better than our competition.

    What makes my job so much fun is what happened at this meeting. The buyer comes in with our "report card". In high school I hated report cards. In business we live by them. What we saw on the report card was that the Broner Brand did outperform the other brands. So we kept the best sellers in the program and picked out new items that would complement last year's success. And I told the buyer what he should tell these other brands coming for our business! Hey, what did Kid Rock say – It Ain't Bragging If You Back It Up.

    When Politics Affect Your Business

    As you can tell from the previous scenario, our team is out selling our Spring 2019 line. We have been since the middle of August. And then BAM – on September 18th the Trump Administration released a list of approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be subject to additional tariffs. What that means to us (and all hat wearers) is that all hats made in China will now be subject to an additional 25% tariff. I'm not going to get political. I just have to deal in facts. We cannot just absorb the new cost increase. We have to adjust prices accordingly. Which means retailers will be paying more for their hats next year. So retailers will raise prices because they cannot absorb the higher cost either. Which ultimately means the consumer will pay more. I see the point of protecting the American worker and American manufacturing. But here, there is very little hat manufacturing left. That's about as political as I will get…

    The Game Goes On

    I'll close this little blog the way I began it. I haven't updated the blog in a while. But it certainly isn't for a shortage of content. Yes we are busy. Change is constant. Welcome Jacob! Thank you to the consumers who call here every day looking for a Broner Hat. We are doing our best to connect the wearers of Broner Hats to the retailers of Broner Hats. The business climate is a little crazy, but we keep on smiling!

    Cheers! BB

    Having Fun Selling Hats!