While John Deere is perhaps best known for tractors, the Quad Cities-based company is also becoming a big name in apparel. Dave Anderson, manager of the John Deere Store in Moline, Illinois, says he’s seen a 20-percent increase in the sale of baseball hats and clothing in recent months as the green-and-yellow logo has popped up routinely on M-T-V and elsewhere.While the store was usually frequented by grandmas and grandpas, Anderson says the teenage market is changing the market quickly thanks to new trends in Hollywood and what’s “in,” adding, “John Deere is definitely ‘in’ with that group right now.” Nationwide, Anderson says John Deere merchandise is seeing a “significant” boost. He attributes much of the success to Ashton Kutcher, a Cedar Rapids native who’s starred in several TV shows and films — often while wearing a John Deere baseball cap.While Anderson says he’s uncertain about Kutcher’s motives, the young actor has inspired a big trend in ball caps. Kutcher, who’s frequently featured on tabloid covers with girlfriend Demi Moore, has a Candid Camera-style show called “Punk’d” on M-T-V and is on Fox’s “That 70s Show,” in addition to starring in several recent movies. Anderson says the first jump in Deere cap sales came a few years ago when actor George Clooney donned one in the film “The Perfect Storm.”Other celebs seen sporting John Deere hats of late include: tennis ace Andy Roddick and rock-rapper Kid Rock, pictured wearing a Deere cap on the cover of “Men’s Journal.” The hats range from 10 to 16 dollars. Anderson says Deere paraphernalia is wide-ranging, from toys for pre-schoolers and detailed metal tractors to coffee mugs, videos and t-shirts. Find them at “www.johndeeregifts.com”.
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