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Articles Of Interest

Vietnam's Ex-Minister
Sentenced
Page 1

TJX's Card Theft
Page 1

2006 French Counterfeits
Page 1

Haiti Granted Critical US Trade Benefits
Page 1

CURVENV
Page 2

Buyers' Best Sellers
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Ask Andy
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McPete Sez
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CURVENV Continued
Page 3


The Hustler Party
Page 3

Ask Kevin
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 CURVENV Continued
Page 4

Victoria's Secret Hit for $15,000 in Lingerie
Page 4

Underwear Tree Page 4

2007 Moonwalk Filled
Page 5

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The American Red Cross

 April 1, 2007                                        Issue #190


17/24

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        TJX's Card Theft 
   Estimated at 45.7M
The TJX Companies has disclosed that at least 45.7m of its customer records were stolen from databases in 2005 and 2006, but said that nearly three-quarters of them couldn't be used by the hackers.
In its annual report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 28, the company provided the first specific numbers about the investigation into the card fraud discovered in mid-December and first disclosed in mid-January.
Emphasizing that it had not yet uncovered the total extent of the theft, and possibly might not ever be able to, Framingham, Massachusetts-based TJX said that a total of 45.7m credit and debit card numbers were stolen and that another 455,000 customer records were obtained based on data entered into its system about merchandise returned to it without receipts.
However, the overwhelming majority of these records were either for expired cards or for accounts that were entered into its system in encrypted form, meaning that asterisks substituted for numbers.
But based on its research so far, conducted in tandem with law enforcement officials as well as General Dynamics Corp and International Business Machines Corp, at least 11.6m records, or about 24.4% of the total uncovered so far, were obtained illegally from valid accounts with no encryption of customer information.
The "computer intrusions" took place beginning in July 2005 and on subsequent dates that year as well as from mid-May 2006 until the mid-January of this year, but TJX doesn't believe that customer data were compromised after December 18, 2006, the date on which it discovered unauthorized software on its computers.
TJX reiterated its belief that no transactions involving Bob's Stores were accessed, but indicated that customer data involving its TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and AJ Wright divisions in the US and Puerto Rico, from its Winners and HomeSense chains in Canada and from its TK Maxx operation in the UK and Ireland may be at risk.
six people in Florida were arrested and charged with using payment card information stolen from TJX to buy approximately US$1m of merchandise with gift cards.
In response to lawsuits brought against the company in the wake of the credit scam, and an investigation into it and what some deemed to be a delayed disclosure of the problem, TJX stated in its annual report, "We are vigorously defending the litigation and claims asserted against us with respect to the computer intrusion."


6/24  
       France Accounted for 
$370M+ Counterfeits in 2006
2006 was a record year for the number of fake goods seized by French Customs - with garments, garment accessories and household fabrics accounting for 15% of the total, up from 12% in 2005.
Children's wear had a prominent place in the garments seized, the customs report noted. It added that seizures of fake brand shoes, in particular sports shoes, were stable, representing 2% of the total. 
As with garments, the counterfeiters had focused their attention on copying the most recent models.
The French authorities put their hands on just over 6m counterfeit - mostly brand - items last year, up 6.4% on 2005, with an estimated value on the domestic market of more than EUR278m (US$370.3m).
Around 30% of the counterfeit goods seized came from China and Hong Kong, the most common point of origin for production and export.


Models pose for a photo at the Hustler Party at Home
        Nightclub, New York City, February 28.  
               Photo by Russell Van Brocklen
See more photos from the Hustler Party on Page 3


13/24   

Vietnam's Ex-minister
          Sentenced 
Vietnam's former deputy trade minister has been sentenced to 14 years in jail after being found guilty of taking thousands of dollars in bribes from apparel companies exporting to the United States.
Mai Van Dau was found guilty by the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court of accepting bribes worth US$6,000 in 2003 and 2004.
The heavy sentence is part of a crack down on corruption by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Twelve other defendants in the case also received jail terms, including the deputy minister's son, Mai Thanh Hai, who received a five-year sentence, and Le Van Thang, the former deputy head of the trade ministry's import-export department, who received 17 years in jail.
The officials took bribes from Vietnamese textile and garment producers in return for increased quotas to ship their products to the US.



10/24              Photographed by Michael Brouwer


  South Africa Eases 
        Restrictions
 on Chinese Imports
South Africa's trade and industry minister Mandisi Mpahlwa has been forced to ease quota restrictions that protect apparel makers from cheaper Chinese imports.
The relaxed limits result from some manufacturers reportedly being prevented from importing fabric not available locally, affecting business.
The country's International Trade Administration Commission said today: "The Minister of Trade and Industry amended the import restrictions and regulations on textiles and clothing originating from the People's Republic of China to provide for special strategic circumstances considerations."


              
2/12

French Mail Order Retailer
            to Cut Jobs
The Groupe Camif, France's third biggest mail order retailer, is planning to shed between 350 and 450 jobs, a third of its total workforce, amid a steady fall in sales.
News of the job cuts brought one day of industrial action involving around 200 staff.
The firm is rumored to be mulling a drastic reduction in its catalogue offering with a tighter focus on household appliances, furniture and furnishings at the expense of a number of other lines including an extensive range of multi-brand garments and sportswear.
In 2006, its turnover fell by 2.5% to EUR636m (US847.2m) - a third consecutive annual decline. Operating loss last year was limited to EUR7.4m compared to red figures of EUR17.3m in 2005 and EUR14.2m in 2004. 
La Camif's shareholders are ready to inject EUR25m into the company on condition that an outside investor can be found to contribute EUR15m to the recapitalization operation.


8/24

Van de Velde to Acquire 
     Shares in Intimacy
Lingerie firm Van de Velde has reached an agreement to acquire shares of the US firm Intimacy Management.
The company will acquire minority position in Intimacy and has the possibility to increase its shareholding in the long term.
Intimacy, which runs three stores in Atlanta, New York and Chicago, will remain a multibrand store managed by Nethero Management Company and its existing leadership team, with independent operations and decision rights.
Van de Velde, whose brands include PrimaDonna and Marie Jo, can realize the transaction with proper funds, it said, and no external financing will be necessary.


18/24

Haiti Granted Critical US 
        Trade Benefits
President Bush granted critical trade benefits to Haiti, including duty-free treatment to US exports of qualifying textiles and apparel on March 21.
The measure is part of the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE) Act, which was passed by Congress in December 2006 as part of a larger package of trade legislation.
Under the legislation, Haitian apparel can be sewn from some non- American-made fabric and still enter the US duty-free. 
The rules of origin are more flexible and last for a longer duration than under the current Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act.
Ways and Means Committee chairman Charles B Rangel, an author and long-time supporter of the HOPE Act, said in a statement: "By welcoming Haiti into our trading circle, we are making an investment in their future that will only strengthen our opportunity and security in the Western Hemisphere."
The legislation was passed late last year despite objections from the US textile industry which feared the new rules would benefit China and other foreign producers at the expense of US jobs.
US textile and apparel exports to Haiti totaled $220m in 2005, while Haiti's apparel exports to the US grew by 11% last year to $432m.



 3/12
Hanesbrands to Close North
         Carolina Plant

Underwear and hosiery maker Hanesbrands Inc. said it will close a plant in North Carolina, cutting 610 jobs.
Hanesbrands, whose brands include Hanes, Champion and Playtex, said it will move production to existing lower-cost plants in the Caribbean basin and Central America.
The plant in Winston Salem makes underwear and panty fabric and is expected to cease operations by June 30. Workers may seek open positions at the company's other manufacturing and distribution operation in the Winston-Salem area.
Hanes expects to record charges of about $16 million for closing the plant.

 
                             
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