Here’s a story I’m catching up on from Agenda.
I spoke with Podium Distribution co-owner Brian Dunlap at the show about Matix’s new Capital Collection and got a quick update on the company’s other brands.
Podium’s brands include DVS and Lakai shoes and Matix Clothing.
Tying into the economic downturn and as a way to support American jobs, everything in the Capital Collection is sourced in the U.S. Brian said in the early days of Matix most of the clothing was made in Los Angeles because the brand couldn’t meet production minimums.
He said it was surprising to see how much domestic manufacturers have disappeared since those early days.
The most challenging garment pieces to find in the U.S. were the buttons, rivets and zippers, he said.
Matix built a campaign around the Capital Collection that pokes fun at the economy with T-s that say “Prime Cuts” on a piggy bank and “Save your two cents.”
Brian said retailers have liked the humor behind the line at that the goods are made in the U.S.
The collection also allows Matix to offer a higher quality, U.S. made denim that will retail for $84-$85 vs. the average price of $60-$65.
Overall, Podium has been working on the quality of its offering and has been making sure it has the right product mixes for different distribution channels.
“The product has to be right,” Brian said. “It’s easier for a buyer to say ‘no’ than ‘yes’ these days.”
DVS has introduced a pro model for Torey Pudwill, a young up-and-coming skater. Brian said it’s been great to launch a pro model for someone new and the shoe has gotten a lot of press.
Lakai, which is a purely skateboard brand, is one of the top three brands in the majority of its accounts, Brian said.
Matix has expanded in categories the company feels confident in – like denim and fleece - and reduced SKUs in the areas that aren’t the brand’s strength.
It also added some price point products that allow retailers to get extra margin. For example, a denim style wholesales for $24 and the retailer can sell it for $60. While it’s not something Podium can do forever, Brian said, it is a way to help retailers right now.
Another category Matix is expanding in is fleece, one of Matix’s strongest categories. It has added performance fleece that can be worn in cold and wet weather, which is being well received in cold weather territories.
(Right: A new Matix performance fleece style.)
Last spring, Matix had great sell through with walk shorts, Brian said, and is trying to build on that momentum this spring.
Matix Girls has shrunk its line and is focusing on making more of the right pieces. Spring prebooks were strong, and retailers have said the sell through at holiday was good, Brian said. The brand is focusing on specialty retailers rather than department stores and the team has spent a lot of time building out the line and asking questions from, “Who is the line for” to “What kind of volume do they need?”
The goal is stand apart from other juniors’ lines, most of which have a beachy DNA, and give the line “a full Matix vibe,” Brian said.