Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2013 04:43 PM
Sometimes it seems like almost no one likes Abercrombie & Fitch anymore, and the chain's sliding sales and brand equity reflect that. Now there's an important someone who doesn't like Abercrombie CEO Michael Jeffries either.
Activist investor Engaged Capital has just asked the Abercrombie board to start looking for a replacement for the embattled Jeffries, whose employment contract expires Feb. 1, according to the Wall Street Journal. The fund also suggested that maybe the Abercrombie board might want to go ahead and sell the company to a private-equity buyer as "the best option for shareholders."
The new pressure comes at a difficult time for Abercrombie & Fitch, which may finally be jumping the shark. It posted nearly $12 million in losses for the nine months of 2013, with sales down more than 7 percent. And it's facing a hostile environment this holiday shopping season with such a heavily promotional edge to most apparel retailing.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2013 03:47 PM
Jose Manuel Martinez Gutierrez jumped from the steady deck of Zara a year ago onto the struggling (some say sinking) deck of a competitor, Esprit, to try and lead the company back to a more stable place as it does battle against his former employer as well as H&M, Gap, and Uniqlo.
Part of his plan, apparently, was to bring former employees of Inditex, which owns Zara, to the company to help inspire change at Esprit. Accrording to Reuters, the 44-year-old Martinez has a 12- to 18-month plan to get the business back to where it needs to be to compete with fast fashion brands like Zara, with “upgrades to technology and distribution to help … new hires get clothes designed, manufactured and on the racks in three to four months from the current seven to eight month time frame.”
"Competition is very intense," said Aaron Fischer, head of consumer research at brokerage CLSA, according to Reuters. "Esprit has high brand awareness but it needs to convert foot traffic into sales—and that requires good products. Right now, their products are quite poor compared with their peer group."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 15, 2013 03:42 PM
Swedish retail giant Hennes & Mauritz is gunning for its “coolly-minimal younger sibling,” COS, to make big a splash in the US market after building up quite a fanbase in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The brand will make its debut in the spring, joining fast-fashion phenom H&M.
But the higher-priced, more artsy brand has no intention of settling for second place. According to H&M's head of business, Marie Honda, the high-fashion brand has the potential to be huge. After testing the waters earlier this month with a NYC pop-up shop at Opening Ceremony, the upscale, minimalist and cosmopolitan COS brand will target US ities "that have an international feel," Honda told Women's Wear Daily.
Come spring 2014, the brand plans to launch US e-commerce and open its first store in April in NYC's Soho neighborhood.
It’s a strategic shift for H&M, which launched in the US market as a trendy and cheaper alternative to Gap, Zara and Forever 21, and for whom American stores deliver the most revenue after Germany.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 12, 2013 06:43 PM
Nearly nine months have past since the Tazreen factory fire killed 112 people in Bangladesh, and just five months since the collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka took the lives of over 1,100 people, but the parties involved are still at odds as new battles over victim compensation and factory improvements arise.
Twelve companies, partners in the global IndustriALL union are meeting in Geneva to discuss long-term compensation to the victims of the two disasters in Bangladesh, overseen by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which is acting as a neutral chair. The participants include Zara-owner Inditex, the Primark discount chain owned by Associated British Foods, Canada's Loblaw Cos Ltd, European retailer C&A and Spanish department store chain El Corte Ingles.
"The families and the injured have already waited far too long," said Monika Kemperle, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL in a statement, according to Reuters. "Companies who are serious about conditions in their Bangladeshi production chain can send a clear sign of their sincerity at these meetings."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2013 09:25 AM
Apple plans to ship two new iPhone versions next month as it hires Nike FuelBand consultant.
JCPenney slows sales decline.
Walmart, Gap and other retailers meet to implement Bangladesh safety plan.
BMW studies placing assembly plant in Mexico.
Barnes & Noble declares truce with Simon & Schuster.
Best Buy registers profit growth from cost-cutting.
Coors Light rewards drinkers' "day-to-night" transitions in promo.
Cummins supplies Nissan with diesel engine for Titan pickups.
Flowers Foods sees Hostess business as incremental.
Furniture Brands gets survival advice.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 12, 2013 01:47 PM
At top: Ok, it's not China but it is great. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's political party woos support by launching "a smartphone app called Abe Pyon, which roughly translates as Jumping Abe."
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: An interview with "China's Foursquare" Jiepang about "Jiepang 5.0"… Lacing auto sales add-ons… banned lingerie ads… Bruce Lee for scotch… Foxconn for "iPhone 6"… McDonald's gives away Kleenex… Asiana post-crash PR… Australia's "Chinese theme park"… Xiaomi leaks… China spoofs Jay-Z again... and more.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 19, 2013 10:02 AM
Almost two months after a building collapse in Bangladesh killed 1,127 garment workers, reports have surfaced that claim Walmart has continued to accept shipments from garment factories supposedly on its blacklist over safety and quality concerns, according to ProPublica.
The largest retailer in the world, which was one of several major Western brands that refused to sign on to the Accord on Bangladesh Safety, released a list of rejected garment factories in May that the company says it refuses to do business with due to repeated safety and labor violations. However, according to import and export data, Walmart has been receiving product shipments from two of the factories on the list, Mars Apparels and Simco Dresses.
Mars was supposedly dropped in 2011, although it was still shipping garments to Walmart as recently as last month, while Simco was placed on the list in January, even though it continued to ship to Walmart Canada into March of this year.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 13, 2013 06:39 PM
The rescue efforts in Savar, Bangladesh have officially been turned over to recovery as the death toll surpasses 1,100 in what has become the worst accident in the history of the garment industry. But 20 days later, it seems that progress and change is beginning to emerge from the rubble of a decrepit industry.
The Bangladeshi government has agreed to let garment workers form trade unions without the permission of factory owners—a breakthrough in workers' rights in a de-regulated country, where garment factories were shut down this week following worker unrest over wages and conditions.
The proposed safety plan, backed by a coalition of labor groups, calls for independent inspections of factories and a legally binding fire and building safety plan requiring retailers to help pay for improvements to factory safety and is an amendment to the 2006 Labor Act lifting restrictions on forming trade unions in most industries.
The pact also calls for changes regarding severance payments, welfare fund payments, management practices and payment and banking standards. In what could be a game-changing announcement, Swedish retailer H&M announced Monday that it will sign the binding agreement.Continue reading...