Even if you haven’t heard of Rothco, you’ve probably seen their products. The military fashion trend always seems to make a come-back, and every time it does, Rothco is ready.
Currently a dominant force in the men’s market, Rothco is an unlikely contender in the fashion world. Founded in 1953 by Milton Somberg in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Rothco started as a company selling used clothing and World War II army surplus. When surplus army goods became less available, Rothco started manufacturing. Now one of the largest suppliers of military gear and apparel to the commercial market, Rothco has introduced numerous products that can be traced back to Rothco’s military surplus roots.
Darin Kaye, Rothco’s National Sales Manager, has been with the company for 10 years and handles sales from Independent‘s to big box fashion retailers like Tilly’s, Zumiez and Urban Outfitters. Rothco boasts an enormous product offering, stocking more than four thousand styles at a time – making their printed catalog more than 300 pages long.
Rothco Catalog 2017
Bringing innovation to the industry with Brandboom
So how does an established business, one that has no problem putting their goods on the shelves, benefit from using Brandboom? For Darin Kaye, Brandboom has been an amazing sales tool for his team in dealing with apparel buyers and more. It allows his sales reps to present presentations focused for the market they’re servicing, and with thousands of styles available from Rothco, it’s easy to see how using Brandboom is beneficial.
In the past a paper catalog might just sit on their desk, collecting dust, or an email sent with multiple attachments might be ignored. Brandboom’s easy-to-use interface allows DK to easily upload his styles and send them to buyers as share links. But with the clickable share link that he sends through email, buyers look at it almost immediately. “People are so trained when they get a link, they know exactly what they’re doing” says DK.
“Buyers frequently comment it’s great to see Rothco on Brandboom.”
Amazed to see responses in just hours, instead of days or weeks, DK says it’s as easy as a push of a button to have your products in from front of your buyers’ eyes. Even if the orders don’t flood in instantly, knowing that you’ve caught your buyers attention is very rewarding. Big box buyers usually have their own system for ordering and sending PO’s, but they’re looking at Brandboom presentations and writing their orders against it.
Fashion trade shows, just a small piece of the puzzle for Rothco’s business
Success with Brandboom doesn’t just stop with fashion retailers. Even though most brands in the fashion industry, live for trade show season, for Rothco it’s not a make or break.
Rothco covers a wide range of products and markets (aside from fashion), from Military & Tactical, Outdoor & Camping, Uniform & Workwear, Survival & Preparedness, to Police & Public Safety and more – so no matter what the season someone, somewhere is buying Rothco products. “You know when military is out of the trend? We still make the same thing. I could have something in stock for 40 years. Like a camo t-shirt I’ve been stocking, since the beginning of time.” says DK.
“Brandboom is successful in every one of those markets.”
Just at Magic, earlier this year Rothco was busy exhibiting for men’s apparel at The Collective show. In the men’s market, Rothco dominates a big piece of the space with a good following. They see business from a range of different markets, “We work with everything from high end boutiques to online accounts.” says DK. Rothco’s military tops, pants, outerwear, shoes and accessories can be found in Urban Outfitters stores and on their e-commerce site. Rothco has also taken to collaborations and exclusives. In 2016, Rothco released a limited edition Rothco x UO Military Jungle Boot with Urban Outfitters. Other collaborations include Supra X Rothco, Rothco X Pony Collection and Rothco X Lucid FC.
Rothco x UO Military Jungle Boot with Urban Outfitters
Speaking of culture and fashion, Rothco’s following in the fashion world is also heavily influenced by celebrities. Celebrities like Kanye West, 50 Cent, and even Justin Timberlake just to name a few have been seen wearing Rothco.
What makes a good seller – as told by a veteran in sales
Building buyer relationships is the key to long term success, in any business. “It’s [about building] relationships over the years. That’s how this business is, it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be in the market.” says dk. In a huge way a lot of business is built on referrals and being introduced to buyers by other buyers. It’s a way to expand into new markets. For example says DK, doing business with Zumiez’s young men’s buyers have opened the doors to boy’s apparel buyers by referral.
Have a solid and consistent business model
So why do buyers keep coming back to Rothco?
“Anyone can buy a lot of what I sell, somewhere else, but they end up buying from us because of the consistency and the amazing service we offer.”
Buyers are attracted to a solid and consistent business model. Over the years Rothco has perfected maintaining a 99% in stock rate. Buyers have come to expect accurate shipping in 24 hours of thousands of available products.
For large buyers, they could have hundreds of brick and mortar stores stocked in a week. For small independent retailers, Rothco offers them the opportunity to have items available without having to stock everything. Offering that kind of flexibility helps big and small retailers to be profitable.
Provide a great buyer experience
For Darin Kaye, the best thing about Brandboom is the ability to quickly put together a custom presentation and have it in someone’s inbox in minutes.
“[Buyers] are looking at it, and they’re looking at it quick.”
Leaving the links active means that buyers can view the presentations anytime they want, Getting their eyes on product quickly is the Brandboom advantage.