Retailers, consumers and prices
In politics, appearance is everything. And for politicians’ wives, looking great for the cameras is key, whether its the Jackie Kennedy-influenced sheaths favored by Michelle Obama, or the bold, jewel-tone colors Cindy McCain sported at the GOP convention this week.
And for designers, having your outfits worn by a potential First Lady certainly can’t hurt. Witness the press (and extra sales) generated for Chico’s White House Black Market chain after Michelle Obama wore a black and white scoop-neck day dress from the retailer during an appearance on ABC‘s “The View.”
Chico’s could use the lift, given over a year of dwindling sales at its main chain that caters to women over the age of 40. Earlier this week, it announced an endorsement deal with Debbie Phelps, who it said wore its clothes the whole time she was in Beijing cheering her son, Olympic champion Michael Phelps.
Now, Wall Street is wondering who is next to endorse a brand.
“If Michelle Obama is boosting White House Black Market sales and Chico’s is paying Debbie Phelps to pose for its catalogs, doesn’t it make sense that Gymboree or Children’s Place hire Sarah Palin as spokesperson for their brands?” asked JP Morgan retail analyst Brian Tunick in his monthly “Tunick’s Top 10″ list to clients.
Other possibilities for Palin could be Uggs boots (it’s cold in Alaska), or Lenscrafters (a story on the candidate’s rimless, titanium pair that did not come from the lower-cost glasses chain ran in USA Today).