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Patagonia Invests in Sustainable Textile Processing Through $20 Million & Change Fund

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has invested in a new platform for textile processing that uses zero water, less energy and generates very little waste. Patagonia announced the strategic investment in startup CO2Nexus, Inc. Monday and said it would incorporate the company’s sustainable processing method for cleaning, disinfecting and coating textiles and garments using liquid carbon … [Read more...]

Primark Invades U.S. Market

Dublin-based Primark intends to invade U.S. shores, taking over a massive retail space formerly occupied by Filene’s Department Store. Primark’s courtship of American consumers begins in Boston with a palatial 70,000 square feet retail space, slated to open sometime in the second half of 2015. In 2016, its strategy is to follow with more store openings, beginning in the middle of 2016. So far, … [Read more...]

Is H&M the Most Ethical Retailer in the World?

Mega-retailer H&M, increasingly known for its commitment to social compliance, just released its annual report on sustainability, an encyclopedic reckoning of the company’s initiatives over the last year. The ninety-two page report, “H&M Conscious Actions: Sustainability Report 2013,” details the company’s public march toward global compliance on a broad swath of issues including … [Read more...]

DKNY Backs New Fashion Finding Wearable Technology

Finding fashion is no longer relegated to brick or click; now new technology offers consumers a chance to track down coveted clothing they see on the streets by using an app to scan the article. DKNY will be the first brand to test the tool developed by Israeli startup Awear Solutions that can tell users what a product is, everything about it, and where and how to buy it. Here’s how it … [Read more...]

What if Amazon Bought Sears?

Should online retailer Amazon acquire ailing mega-chain Sears? According to Forbes contributor Robin Lewis, such a merger would result in a boon for both. In a column for Forbes magazine entitled “Why Amazon Should Acquire Sears?” (Forbes, 4/17/14) Lewis argues that Amazon’s primary business need is to increase the overall scope of its omnichannel operations. While the company has become a … [Read more...]

Net-a-Porter Looks to Play in Activewear Market

As the activewear trend continues to pervade the apparel market, luxury retailers are getting in on the action, the latest of which is fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter. The luxe retailer plans to unveil a new activewear department on its website later this year that will feature a group of brands with clothing for yoga, spin classes, running or those just after the athleisure look, WWD … [Read more...]

Express Launches First Factory Outlet Store; 30 More to Follow

In step with the retail trend toward heavy discounting as a sales strategy, Express just launched its first factory outlet store ever. The retailer debuted a factory outlet store at the Tanger Outlet mall on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. Express intends to open approximately thirty more such discount stores over the next year. The locations will offer both men’s and women’s apparel and … [Read more...]

Helped by Apparel Specialty Stores, Retail Sales Rally in March

Retail sales rebounded in March as consumers began to emerge from the frigid winter with pent-up demand and income tax refunds to spend. Although much of the jump occurred at automobile and parts dealers, better-than-expected sales at apparel specialty stores and nice gains at furniture and home furnishings merchants, e-commerce retailers and general merchandise stores (dollar stores and warehouse … [Read more...]

Lululemon Looks Beyond Yoga Wear to Revitalize Sales

Still saddled with troubles, retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. is looking to expand its product offerings beyond its signature yoga wear to stimulate sales. Speaking to a room packed with retail analysts in Vancouver on April 17, freshly minted Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin said that he planned to offer more casual wear, manufactured using some of the same fabrics that have made the company a … [Read more...]

Footwear Prices Stumble in March

Though overall inflation rose in March, according to data just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, footwear prices continued their move downward. Overall inflation increased by a more-than-expected 1.5% in March, much of it due to housing and food price increases. Though energy prices were tamed a bit, the core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy, rose by 1.7 percent. The … [Read more...]