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Havaianas flip flops are highly popular sellers for The Persimmon Tree store in Balboa Island, Calif. The shop offers swimwear and casual apparel for both adults and children.
esorts and shops in seaside communities carry merchandise that appeals to both tourists and local residents. Apparel has to reflect the latest fashion trends while practical enough to handle the beach weather and conditions.

At The Persimmon Tree in Balboa Island, California, the beach and ocean theme flows throughout the 2,000-square-foot store. Founded in 1965, The Persimmon Tree offers swim wear and casual apparel for both adults and children.

“We like to say that we can outfit the whole family for the beach,” said Gail Hammerschmidt, who has worked with store owner Pamela Hubbard for many years.

In addition to swimwear, The Persimmon Tree carries T-shirts, canvas and wide-brim straw hats, baseball caps and visors. With such a variety of merchandise, Hubbard and Hammerschmidt design cross-merchandising displays to show customers the selection of merchandise carried in the store.

“We carry both quality and trendy apparel. Women come to us specifically to buy our swimwear. Then when they see our other merchandise, they shop for themselves and bring their family. We are known to carry hard-to-fit sizes, so we are not just a beach shop but a destination shop too.”

Located on a corner, the store has four large windows, which are used for display. One window groups family merchandise while the other windows might separate apparel out by gender and age. Color and theme is important in each window display.

“We make our windows tell a story. We create a sense of fun and adventure for the entire family.”

A display of colorful women's swimwear at The Persimmon Tree. Women visit the store specifically for swimwear, and it is known to carry hard-to-fit sizes.

The Persimmon Tree has an edge over other stores in Balboa Island, in that it has been in existence for more than 40 years, making it a must-see for both tourists and residents. However, Hubbard has adopted social media, especially Facebook, to advertise sales and to inform customers about new arrivals to the store.

“My daughter is our technical person, and she handles our social media campaigns,” Hammerschmidt noted. “It really does work well. We do a great deal of shipping all over the country, and having an Internet presence makes us connect with our customers no matter where they live.”

As Director of Gift shops at the Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., Fran Snead oversees two stores at the resort, which include 453 Pueblo-style casitas.

“We have a store in our resort and one in the spa as well,” Snead noted. “Apparel is very popular with guests as it gives them a comfortable reminder of their stay here.”

The resort store carries a wide variety of logo merchandise, from socks and children’s T-shirts to dress shirts, jackets, cover-ups and scarves. All have the camelback name and a camel on the logo. The spa store offers casual and fitness apparel, which are not name-dropped.

A group photographed in front of The Persimmon Tree store during the annual Balboa Island parade, which is held the first Sunday in June. “We like to say that we can outfit the whole family for the beach,” said the shop’s Gail Hammerschmidt.

“We try to meet the needs of all our guests when it comes to apparel,” explained Snead. “We change displays a great deal. We keep separate sections in the gift shops for apparel, but we change the merchandise within that section. We need the stores to always look new and inviting because we have many return guests who visit our stores, and if they see the same merchandise, they will lose interest. We attract a wide demographic. We have corporate guests, families and even pets, because we are pet friendly. The families mostly visit during major league spring training when they come to see their teams and also during the summer months.”

Snead looks for merchandise at shows, but she is satisfied with the vendors she deals with at present.

“The shows allow me to see if there is a new item that is trendy or something I think will be a big hit in our shops, but I rely on my vendors to bring me merchandise that will appeal to all our guests.”

The Inn at Spanish Head is a condominium resort hotel where each of the Inn’s 120 guest rooms is individually owned. While the inn doesn’t have a set gift shop, it does offer guests casual apparel including name dropped T-shirts and pullover and zipper sweatshirts ranging in price from $15 to $38.

“We don’t really have a space for our merchandise, but our guests know it is here, and it is in demand,” said Nadine Arras who handles purchasing for the Inn. “We carry casual apparel, which displays a Spanish helmet with the words Spanish Head beneath the image. We keep the apparel in a glass cabinet that sits adjacent to the hostess station and next to the restaurant. The cabinet does have great visibility and guests make a point of coming to see what we carry.”

The majority of guests at the Inn at Spanish Head are adults, but Arras does carry children’s apparel as well.

“In the spring and summer, we do get some families, and everyone seems to forget how cold the Oregon Coast can be, so the sweatshirts tend to fly out of the cabinet very quickly.”

Arras works with only a local engraver for the name-dropped apparel.

“I like using a local merchant. I like that we can give back to the community and support each other. I think that is very important, especially in these tricky financial times.”

The newly restored Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., features 2,881 guest rooms as well as nine acres of indoor gardens, an indoor river and cascading waterfalls. Also included within this resort is a 20,000-square-foot spa and fitness center and 15 gift specialty shops.

“The stores inside the hotel carry a variety of merchandise, but casual apparel is always in demand,” explained Martita Payne, retail buyer for Logo Merchandise and Gourmet Food. “The most popular apparel items are our logo T-shirts and those name-dropped with Nashville as well. Our demographic is across the board from business travelers, to families, to couples, so the T-shirts appeal to everyone.”

Payne displays the T-shirts, which come in a variety of designs and colors, throughout the retail shops.

“I work with a few vendors, and I also attend shows. I like to bring in different designs often. I like for our stores to always look as if new merchandise is always available.”

In 2010, Edwards, an iconic Ocean City, Md., landmark, which was founded in 1937, merged with Quiet Storm Surf Shops to form a new enterprise at the boardwalk. The 32,000-square-foot store is divided: One half includes Edwards' traditional gift merchandise plus the Misses apparel, and the other half is Quiet Storm merchandise, which includes juniors and casual apparel and beachwear.

“This was a great blend for us in that Edwards is an institution in Ocean City. Now, along with our traditional ocean-themed and nautical merchandise, we have name brand apparel for adults and children.”

The store has a large following and the Quiet Storm merchandise has brought in new customers as well.

“We carry such a variety of clothing now that we cross merchandise in most of our displays,” said Billie Jo Holland, manager of Edwards. “We have hats, capris, jewelry, beachwear, accessories, shoes, flip flops, sunglasses and scarves plus other items too. We show off as much as we can in our displays, and we coordinate the merchandise so customers can see how well they work together. We maintained our nautical theme as much as possible. Maintaining tradition keeps those who have known us through the decades coming back, and when they do, they are amazed at the new merchandise they find.”








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