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Page 14 OCTOBER 2017 | RETAILERS FORUM MAGAZINE

For Late-Breaking Industry News Visit: www.retailersforum.com

If It Affects Retailing We Report On It!

Target Unveils Clothing for Special Needs Kids

TARGET is rolling out a collection of sensory-friendly apparel for children and says that adaptive clothing

for those with disabilities is also on the way. These new offerings are party of their house brand Cat & Jack

and will be sold on the stores website.

THEY recently released a selection of tee shirts and leggings with flat seams that are free from tags and

embellishment to minimize discomfort with the skin. The retailers sensory-friendly leggings include extra

room in the hips and higher rise to accommodate older kids who have to wear diapers. According to the

chain, these new lines were encouraged by shoppers who explained the need for sensory-friendly clothing

that is both fashionable and affordable.

IN the lineup will also be adaptive styles including apparel with zip off sleeves, side openings to make

dressing easier or back openings for those who are sitting or lying down. The store said that they would

review how the childrens line works before considering an adult variation.

Businesses Held Back By Lack of Loans

THE new head of the SBA, Linda McMahon sees a split among business owners who are increasingly

optimistic but many are held back because of inability to get loans or find the right workers for jobs that are

staying open.

SHE said that entrepreneurs are willing again to take bigger risks then they had been over the last eight

years, but there are lingering effects of the recession which causes them great caution.

ALTHOUGH small businesses are hiring more now than during the recession, many are conservative, not

wanting to add staffers unless they have enough new business to justify the expanding payroll. And there

are also many employers who just cannot find workers with the skills needed to match the jobs they have

to fill. Jobs for skilled carpenters, electricians and welders are going unfilled, as are technology positions like

computer code writers.

THERE is both a lack of interest in filling these jobs in addition to an untrained workforce to come in. While

unemployment is at an all time low, there are fewer people out looking for work. Additionally if legislation

restricts immigration workers could also be harder to come by.

MANY large corporations are providing solutions ranging from donating money, equipment and expertise

to community colleges and high school students to train for such jobs. This is a great start and will lead to

new opportunities for the working class.

LENDING at banks is also a major issue and while regulations have been relaxed the banks appear to not

be lending to businesses on the scale that they should be. While it has improved a little, a recent study shows

that only around one third of loan applicants were successful in getting funded since the start of this year.

There is still a great deal of work to be done.

Retailing Tidbits

THE retail numbers for the majors were disappointing recently and many blame Amazon, Walmart,

Trump, but the reality is that traditional retail is under great pressure from online stores. Dick's Sporting

Goods stores think the way to combat online competition is by marking down prices on their merchandise.

My thought is that this is a risky gamble they are taking. Sporting goods buyers are often loyal to their stores

and there are not that many lefr (remember Sports Authority?) that they need deep discounts to visit the

stores. It will be interesting to see how the discounting helps or hurts Dicks and all eyes are on them.

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