Green trends, skinny jeans, and bagelheads (say what?)
I'll take Fads and Trends for $400.
Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) is expanding its inventory to include electric vehicles. But it's not competing with the hybrid likes of Toyota (NYSE: TM), Ford (NYSE: F), and Honda (NYSE: HMC). Instead, it's offering scooters, Segways, and electric bikes. It's latest addition -- Brammo's Enertia electric motorcycle -- will retail for a touch under $12,000. The outlet-charged motorcycle sounds more like a competitor to the iPhone with its "built-in Web server, to run open-platform software applications with the potential for add-ons like onboard cameras that could download images to travel blogs." Pretty soon we'll have to ticket drivers that blog and tweet pictures while driving. (Check out my bike's traffic cam, dude.) This latest offering shows that Best Buy is trying to stay in step with its carbon-friendly consumers. No mainstream retailer (that I'm aware of) has been able to capitalize on green products on a large scale. Sure, lots of companies are both developing and selling such products, but that doesn't scare Best Buy from tossing its hat in the ring. Best Buy is also looking to expand into "home energy management systems" like AC, lights, and appliances. Read more here and if you can think of a large-scale retailer that's made a dent in the green market, leave a comment below.
If you're looking for the next big retailer, maybe you should follow the tapered legs. Skinny jeans for males are gaining in popularity. Retailers like True Religion (Nasdaq: TRLG) and Gap (NYSE: GPS) are starting to notice and have are designing with this demographic in mind by making tweaks for added comfort. According to WSJ, 15% of True Religion's sales were from "slim leg" jeans during the first quarter of 2009. Okay, skinny jeans might not really affect your portfolio, but doesn't hurt to keep up with consumer trends, right? Plus, I can't pass up this line from the WSJ about why these jeans have risen in popularity. Fashion observers believe that "skinny jeans' tight hold on certain men stems in part from the wearers' desire to show off their gym-sculpted bodies." ....Really?
Lastly, here's another story for the "news of the weird" file that Brian started earlier today with his heroin bears. Bagelheads are a new trend sweeping Japan. I hope this one doesn't reach the states because I don't think I could stomach seeing it on the streets. If you dare, [disclaimer, it's gross] click here.
Regardless of your environmental stance, jean preference, or bagel type, leave a comment below. Fool on!
-- Katrina Chan, owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned