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February 1, 2010
The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's
Holiday Retail Sales Beat
Buoyant clothing sales helped US retail revenues to beat
expectations of a holiday decline, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Preliminary figures suggest that holiday sales - covering the months of November and December - were up 1.1% on last
year to US$446.8bn, overturning the NRF's expectations of a 1% decline, and a great improvement on last year's 3.4%
The organization said retail industry sales for December were up 2.3% unadjusted year-on-year, and down 0.5%
seasonally adjusted on November.
Apparel was a key driver of sales, with revenues from clothing and clothing accessories stores rising 7%
year-on-year in December, and falling 0.6% on November's figures.
"With an eye on managing inventory and maintaining lower price-points, retailers did a tremendous job of planning
for the holiday season," said NRF chief economist Rosalind Wells.
"While the consumer appears to be spending again, double-digit unemployment numbers will remain an impediment
to maintaining this momentum."
Industry Threatens Strike
The Cambodian garment industry is threatening the worst strike in its history after two of its biggest workers'
unions vowed to take action over low pay and an unsolved murder case.
The unions, named Free Trade Union (FTU) and Cambodian Labor Federation (CLF), called for a week-long nationwide
strike within the industry.
They want to pressurize the country's Government to solve the murder case of the country's most respected union
leader, Chea Vichea.
"We send this message to the Government that it's time to find the killers, for the family, to make us calm," said
Chea Mony, brother of Chea Vichea and president of the FTA.
The two unions also are also pushing the boundaries of Prime Minister Hun Sen's government, which is reportedly
trying to push through tough laws to stifle dissent.
Cambodia's garment industry has been its economic backbone for some time, and is the country's third-biggest foreign
currency earner behind agriculture and tourism.
However, its more than 330,000 industry workers report issues over working hours, trade union rights and low pay
in comparison with the other industries.
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UK's December Retail Sales Up
UK retail sales in December inched up by just 0.3% on November, disappointing hopes of a strong revival in
The seasonally adjusted volume increase was accompanied by a 0.9% value rise, equating to a retail sales increase of
3.6% by value on December 2008.
Sales by volume increased 2.1% year-on-year, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.
Textile, clothing and footwear stores put in a relatively strong performance, increasing 2% by value and 4.7% by
volume on a year ago.
However, the broader category of non-food stores lagged behind the growth of food retailers, posting annual growth
of 1.6% by value and 0.7% by volume.
Pakistan's Textile & Apparel
Exports Up 15.4%
Pakistan's textile and apparel exports saw an unexpected surge in December, according to the latest trade figures,
boosted by soaring yarn shipments.
The Federal Bureau of Statistics reported January 20, that exports rose 15.4% to US$831m in December, up from $720m a
The value of shipments of raw cotton, cotton yarn and carded or combed cotton climbed 217%, 71% and 341%
respectively, the data showed. Artificial silk and synthetic textile exports also soared 479%.
Readymade garment exports were down 15.3% in volume and fell 1.4% in value to $106m, while knitwear exports dropped
4.7% in volume while value remained flat at $123.5m.
For the six months from July to December 2009, textile and apparel exports were almost flat with the same period the
year before, slipping 0.57% to $5.035bn from $5.063bn.
During the first half, the value of raw cotton exports jumped 127.6%, cotton yarn was up 25.7%, readymade garments
rose 1.66%, and artificial silk and synthetic textiles rose 110.40%. Knitwear exports, however, fell 6.51%.
Earlier this month the government stepped in to quell worries over rising exports of cotton yarns from the
country by imposing a shipment ceiling of 50,000 tons per month.
The move came after ready-made garment makers held widespread protest rallies against ongoing price hikes and
the shortage of cotton yarns in the domestic market - and threatened a mass closure of all factories unless an export
ban was imposed.
The industry has also been hit by widespread interruptions to its electricity and gas supplies.
December Retailers' Sales
For Abercrombie & Fitch, net sales tumbled 11% to $482.5m from $539.2m. December
comparable store sales dropped 19%. Total company direct-to-consumer net merchandise sales decreased 4% to
$44.0m. By chain, same-store sales fell 13% at Abercrombie & Fitch, fell 15% at Abercrombie, tumbled 25% at Hollister
Co, and dropped 1% at Ruehl.
At Aeropostale Inc total net sales for fiscal December increased 17% to $460.8m, from $392.7m a year
earlier. The specialty retailer, which targets young women and men, said sales at stores open at least a year rose 10%
for the month.
American Apparel Inc, the manufacturer and retailer of branded fashion basics, sales for stores open for more than
12 months fell 5% in December 2009 over the year-ago period. There were 235 stores in the comparison.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc said its total sales increased 9% to $538.9m, up from $493.5m a
year earlier. Same-store sales increased 7% for the month, helped by a "compelling merchandise assortment infused with
fashion and value."
Snowstorms on key selling days hit December sales at The Bon-Ton Stores Inc, which fell 3.0% to $511.1m from $527.2m
a year earlier. Comparable store sales fell 2.6%. Best performing businesses were shoes, children's and moderate
missy sportswear, while better missy sportswear was among the weakest.
The Cato Corporation posted better than expected sales helped by colder weather.
For the five weeks to January 2, sales rose 8% to $104.1m from $96.1, and same-store sales were up 7%.
For Destination Maternity Corporation, December sales increased 2.4% to $46.7m from
$45.6m a year ago, helped by the re-launch of the Two Hearts Maternity collection in Sears and Kmart stores. But
same-store sales fell 1.2%, which the company blamed on a calendar shift.
December sales at Gap Inc climbed 5%, helped by a buoyant performance at its lower-priced Old Navy chain and an
improved showing from its namesake stores. The San Francisco firm noted that net sales for the five weeks to
January 2, were $2.02bn, up from $1.93bn in the same period last year. Same-store sales rose 2%, compared with a 14%
decrease in December 2008. By division, sales in stores open at least one year rose 1% at Gap stores, were down 3%
at Banana Republic and rose 7% at Old Navy. International same store sales dropped 1%.
At Hot Topic Inc, sales were down 9.8% across the company as a whole in fiscal December, to $119.0m. Same-store sales
dropped 10.9%, with an 11.9% decline at the music-influenced Hot Topic chain and a 3.7% fall at Torrid,
which sells plus-size apparel.
The "right combination of stylish merchandise and affordable prices" helped December sales at
JC Penney Company Inc fall in line with the company's guidance. Total
company sales fell 2.4% to $2,889m from $2,961m, while same-store sales dropped 8.1%. Women's and men's apparel,
accessories and shoes were the top performing divisions.
For Kohl's Corporation total sales for the five weeks to January
2, increased 8.8% to $3,014bn, from $2,770 a year ago. Comparable store sales
were up by 4.7%. Footwear and accessories saw the strongest
Limited Brands Inc, operator of the Victoria’s Secret, Pink, La Senza and Henri Bendel stores, posted a 1.0% rise
in December net sales to $1.660bn, up from $1.644bn last year. Same-store sales were down 2%, but the company said
it was "very pleased" with its holiday performance.
Macy's Inc achieved its December sales goals, posting sales of $4.426bn for the five week
period, an increase of 0.7% compared with last year's
$4.397bn. On a same-store basis, sales were up 1.0%, with gains at both Macy's and Bloomingdale's, the company said.
Nordstrom Inc, the specialty fashion retailer with 184 stores, said its total retail sales rose 10.8% to $1.25bn,
up from $1.13bn last year. Same-store sales for fiscal December rose by 7.4%.
Holiday sales at Ross Stores Inc were helped by "terrific bargains" throughout its stores which lifted total sales by
16% to $934m in the five weeks to January 2, up from $802m a year earlier. Same store sales for the month were ahead
of forecast and up 12% over the prior year. Shoes, home and dresses were the strongest merchandise categories.
For Saks Incorporated, operator of 53 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 55 Saks Off 5th stores, owned sales rose
11.1% in December to $393.6m, compared to $354.4m last time. Same-store sales rose 9.9% for the month. The
strongest categories at Saks Fifth Avenue stores were women's designer and "gold range" apparel, men's
sportswear, women's shoes, and handbags.
Sears Holdings Corporation said same-store sales for its Kmart and Sears stores in fiscal
December rose 0.4%. Kmart's sales rose 5.3%, helped by apparel sales and gains from taking back its shoe
operations from Footstar. At Sears' domestic stores, however, sales dropped 4.3% on lower sales of higher ticket
Stage Stores Inc posted a 1.0% drop in total sales to $255m, down from $257m last December. Comparable store
sales fell 2.2% despite increases in its footwear, intimates, juniors and outerwear categories. The company
operates Bealls, Goody's, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage stores.
At Stein Mart Inc, which operates 267 stores, total sales dropped 4.4% to $170.2m from $178.0m last
December. Same-store sales were down 2.0%. Ladies' casual sportswear and accessories performed best, it said, while
the most difficult business was ladies' career fashion. Sales were also hit by adverse weather in certain markets.
Stronger than expected customer traffic helped Target Corporation to a 5.0% rise in its net retail sales for the
five weeks to January 2, rising to $9.74bn from $9.28bn a year ago. December comparable-store sales increased 1.8%.
The TJX Companies Inc total sales soared 21% to $2.9bn, up from $2.4bn in December 2008.
Sales at stores open at least a year jumped 14%. The company said sales were "extremely strong across all
divisions and geographic regions."
For The Wet Seal Inc, December bought a 1.8% drop in net sales to $75.8m. Same-store sales fell
4.6%, with a 14.1% jump at its Arden B stores unable to offset a 7.3% decline at Wet Seal. The company said
comparable store sales improved in the last two weeks of the month as customers delayed holiday shopping until the
Zumiez Inc reported a 7.7% jump in total sales for the five-weeks to January
2, 2010, rising to $77.6m from $72.0m a year ago. Same-store sales were up
0.3%, reversing a 12.3% drop in the prior year.
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