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Case Studies

BACKFLIPS SWIMSUITS

 

About Backflips

Backflips, a division of A & H Sportswear, is a giant in the swimwear industry. It design, manufactures and distributes its products in the U.S. and internationally. The company sells its swimwear through all retail tiers from upscale (Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue) to mid-tier (J.C. Penney’s and Sears) to discount stores such as Wal-Mart. It also retails through outdoors and sporting goods retailers, both in-store and online. 

 

Highlights

  • Ten years ago two executives from Backflips and Wal-Mart pursue an idea to put REALTREE camo patterns on swimwear… and it’s a hit.

  • Sales of REALTREE swimwear are comparable to Backflips’ “Mega-Brand” Reebok

  • Backflips intends to expand the REALTREE lines to underwear, sleepwear, and lingerie.

     

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Approximately 10 years ago, two executives, one from Wal-Mart and one from Backflips got together to brainstorm new opportunities and came up with the idea of hunting camo swimwear. They approached Realtree with their idea and REALTREE swimwear became the next new thing.



REALTREE GIRL swimwear for women, juniors and girls has been enormously popular at outdoor retailers while REALTREE men’s and women’s bathing suits have been a top seller at Wal-Mart, as well as at mid-tier stores such as Sears and Kohl’s. From a volume standpoint, REALTREE swimwear is performing at an extremely high level. So far its sales are on par with Backflips’ “Mega Brand” Reebok.

 

"REALTREE Camo helped Backflips obtain placement in retailers it wouldn’t have ordinarily gone after since we are a fashion house.””  Derold also indicated"

— Derold Zimmermann, President of Backflips, Inc

 

The success of REALTREE camo in swimwear demonstrated that the fashion industry was ready for camo. So Backflips introduced REALTREE to various connections in fashion, paving the way for new licensing agreements for apparel and accessories such as handbags and portable chargers.
 


REALTREE has thrown its marketing muscle behind the swimwear. REALTREE provides swimwear to women celebrities to help showcase the brand. The mother-daughter music duo, 2 Steel Girls, has signed on to be REALTREE GIRL ambassadors, modeling REALTREE GIRL swimwear. Tiffany Lakosky, co-host of The Crush TV show, has also been featured in REALTREE GIRL swimwear. The swimwear is also featured in #RealtreeLife catalogs and promoted on REALTREE’s website.



REALTREE has taken the marketing of the swimwear a step further. Because of the breadth of products offered in REALTREE patterns at retail, REALTREE camo swimsuits are offered along with a wide assortment of other REALTREE products, creating a REALTREE camo section within outdoor retailers. It’s been very effective in drawing consumers to the section and boosts sales across all camo products, including swimwear. This has been very beneficial to Backflips because of the seasonal nature of its product.

 

"Everything else tends to come and go but the REALTREE brand seems to stick around.  The full camo products have really survived.”  Derold also indicated"

— Derold Zimmermann, President of Backflips, Inc

 

"We have had the license for 10 years which is very rare in the fashion industry. REALTREE is a power brand that seems to transcend all of the retail categories; it has gone beyond one retailer’s refusal to carry a product because another retailer carries it. All of the retailers are carrying REALTREE because it resonates with their customers."

— Derold Zimmermann, President of Backflips, Inc

 

In the fashion industry especially, niche products such as camo swimwear tend to come and go. However, the consistency of the REALTREE brand is unique in the industry. According to Derold Zimmermann, President of Backflips, “Everything else tends to come and go but the REALTREE brand seems to stick around. The full camo products have really survived.



“We have had the license for 10 years, which is very rare in the fashion industry,” Zimmermann added. “REALTREE is a power brand that seems to transcend all of the retail categories; it has gone beyond one retailer’s refusal to carry a product because another retailer carries it. All of the retailers are carrying REALTREE because it resonates with their customers.”

 

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