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Apparel Prices Rebound in March

Apparel and footwear prices rose in March, according to data just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, finally resisting the downward pressure that had been plaguing the category during the prior two months. Overall inflation increased by a more-than-expected 1.5% in March, much of it due to housing and food price increases. Energy prices were tamed a bit, resulting in a core inflation … [Read more...]

Gap Reveals Plans For Heavy Expansion into China

Gap Inc. has set its sights on heavy expansion in China among other global growth initiatives, and on building up its current omnichannel offerings in order to create a “world-class shopping experience” for consumers. At the retailer’s annual investor meeting Wednesday, Gap executives discussed driving the brand’s long-term growth with technology and innovation and by expanding into both the … [Read more...]

New Retail Centers Aim to Turn Workouts into Shopping

Imagine customers visiting a shopping center 100 times or more per year.  If that sounds crazy, consider this: 44 percent of health club members use their gym 100 times annually, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Of course, some go even more. So it makes sense that clubs like Equinox and LA Fitness are eyeing prime real estate amidst retail shops. The … [Read more...]

McKinsey Report: Digital is Changing the Luxury Shopping Landscape

Digital technology is steadily reshaping retail, and for luxury shoppers, online experiences will drive real-world decision making. Consulting firm McKinsey & Company’s latest report, “Digital luxury experience 2013: Keeping up with changing customers,” produced in partnership with Italian luxury goods association Altagamma, said that digital is now influencing nearly 20 percent of luxury … [Read more...]

Sycamore Splits Jones Group into Four Retailers; Big Internal Reorganization

On Tuesday, Sycamore Partners announced that it will undergo a seismic internal reorganization, splitting The Jones Group into four autonomous retailers: the Nine West Group, a jeanswear company (which will be named later), Jones New York, and the Kasper Group. Sycamore Partners previously announced that both Stuart Weitzman and Kurt Geiger would also operate as independent business units. … [Read more...]

Chinese Defaults Stir Anxiety about Banking System; Big Impact on Apparel Industry

Chinese markets were roiled by the country’s first-ever domestic bond default and a litany of minor bankruptcies that has put into focus China’s troubled, but little understood, banking system. Typically tight-lipped about its financial stumbles, the Chinese state-controlled media has been unusually forthcoming about the defaults, publishing the details candidly, almost as if the coverage was … [Read more...]

California Bill: Retailers Should be Responsible for Data Security Breaches

Target’s now notorious breach of its consumers’ personal data might inspire new legislation that shifts the responsibility for cyber-security from banks to retailers. Two legislators from the California Assembly are promoting a bill designed to fortify consumer safeguards by limiting the kind of data retailers can legally collect, making them ultimately responsible for its protection. The bill, … [Read more...]

NRF: Consumers Will Spend $15.9 Billion This Easter

With spring finally making an appearance and Easter right around the corner, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has said spending for the coming holiday will reach $15.9 billion. Though the average American is expected to spend slightly less than last year ($137.46 compared to $145.13), according to an NRF report released last week, the outlook is bright for retail sales following a … [Read more...]

Cotton Inc.’s Podcasts Explain Chinese Cotton Policy

Continuing its educational mission to widely disseminate the best available data about an increasingly complex cotton market, Cotton Incorporated is making available a series of podcasts on Chinese cotton policy and its global effects. The informational podcasts were developed by Jon Devine, Senior Economist at Cotton Incorporated, a research and marketing company devoted to cotton. The … [Read more...]

Textile Brands Enter a New Era of Consumer Marketing

In the dark ages before the dawn of the Internet, it was not uncommon for textile companies to brand fibers and fabrics, marketing them directly to the consumer.  Newspapers, fashion magazines, and television broadcasts were peppered with taglines such as “Klopman—Fabrics You Can Lean On,” “Fabric by Springmaid,” “Elasticized with LYCRA,” along with DuPont’s ads for Dacron, Orlon, and Antron … [Read more...]