Hat retailers looking for some good news? Here it is–hat sales are up! Accessories Magazine does an annual report on retail sales estimates from the preceding year and shows hat sales have enjoyed increases every year with better than a hundred million dollar increase in the US since 2003.
Forecast for Summer Hats
What hats are selling? First, the forecast for this season. The report says big and floppy is the hot look. They highlight wide brims, spectator colors (black and white, etc.), and ribbon hats. These are hats with narrow ribbed satin sewn in spirals to create usually a widebrim or kettle shape as shown in the image. Locate all these styles under wholesale dress hats.
Best Hats in 2007
The summer saw widebrims the leading seller with newsboys doing best in the department stores. For fall it was newsboys, knitted hats, buckets, and berets.
Worst Hat for Department Stores
The worst performers for department stores were cowboy hats and this could be positive news for small retailers. After all, small retailers owned the cowboy hat business before celebrities launched this western look into a new height of popularity. Our Spring Hat Forecast points out that sell through wasn’t good on cowboy hats for the majors and that should bring the business back home to the smaller retailers. Our customer base is mostly small to mid-size businesses and the wholesale hats we ship provide in-house statistics for styles that sell. Cowboy hats actually lead all categories in 2007 with widebrims coming in second. We expect the same results for the summer 2008 season.
One last interesting note in the report was dressy hats or church hats had a strong year even though they received few raves from the fashion press.