The MERA Blog

News, opinion and perspective on the retail industry

Adidas x Kanye = Success

Long suffering Adidas has seen its position as the second biggest athletic brand slip to #3 as a surging Under Armor continues to marry smart marketing with a desirable range of products. This despite what we consider some great product innovation around the Boost... read more

Eddie Borgo for Target: Customization Goes Mass

Our recent store checks at Target have shown renewed emphasis on style with better merchandising setups and product selection. The refreshed emphasis on apparel and accessories is creating a more unique and special shopping experience. Spied in stores was the Eddie... read more

Levi’s Catching Up To Athleisure Trend

What happens when the U.S.’s largest apparel manufacturer misses a major trend and then realizes that it is a new norm? You are left in a state that Levi’s now faces. The now well-documented athleisure category—which we’ve been very bullish on for over 2 years—is no... read more

Retailers Say “I do” to Same-Sex Marriage

With the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage across the entire country, we are noting a distinct opportunity for retailers. Some early adopters are already advertising in the market, such as Tiffany & Co. above. We believe that... read more

BTS Report: Men’s Twill at Abercrombie

As we move into the peak weeks of back-to-school season, we start to cull the hot sellers across teen retailers and departments stores. First up: The twill pant at Abercrombie (ANF) takes the flex fabric trend to non-denim implementations. Based on our store checks,... read more

BTS: Flex Fabrics Driving Demand

One of the bright spots in the back-to-school selling season is newness driven by fabric innovation and appearing in staples such as denim and chinos. One of the best implementations is the new flex Denim X collection at American Eagle (AEO). The women’s flex... read more

Hot Trend: Mansur Gavriel Handbags

Virtually unbranded, unadorned and simply designed, Mansur Gavriel handbags are selling out. Our spot-checks have shown high demand and limited store availability. What is clear is that these well constructed and classic styles are resonating with customers as they... read more

Plus-Size Fashions Going Mainstream

Fast-fashion clothing retailer Torrid announced in May that they were launching their first co-branded line, partnering with Rebel Wilson the comic actress best known for her roles in the Pitch Perfect films and Bridesmaids. The capsule line will launch for holiday... read more

Athleisure Refreshes Speed Up

We’ve been bullish on the athleisure trend for the past 2 years as we watched street fashion influence sales, merchandising and how retailers are moving to capitalize on the trend. We contend that this is no longer simply a trend but more of a lasting change in the... read more

Target Goes Plaid for Fall

Coming off the disappointing customer experience with the Lilly Pulitzer event this Spring, Target (TGT) announced that they will be committing to a plaid trend to launch the fall season in lieu of a designer partnership. Available from late August through October,... read more

Celebrity Lifestyle Brands Continue To Grow

Reese Witherspoon’s recent launch of Draper James in May— a lifestyle brand spanning apparel, accessories and select home products — joins Gwyneth Paltrow’s in the growing trend of celebrity lifestyle brands. Unlike Goop, which ranges from health to apparel... read more

Legal Issues Dragging Retail Brands

Over the last few months, there have been a flurry of legal issues among retailers. We thought we’d take a moment and reflect on the fallout from them. First, we witnessed the Supreme Court ruling that Abercrombie (ANF) discriminated in their hiring practices over... read more


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