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April 15, 2003
Women's Wear Journal
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This says it all
Now Iraq back to the People!
Retail sales for March UP 2.1%
Retail Sales Jump Hits 17-Month High
WASHINGTON - Consumers snapped out of a funk in March and splurged on cars, garden supplies and furniture. The biggest increase in retail sales in 17 months occurred even as energy prices soared.
After a string of mostly dismal economic reports, analysts were encouraged by Friday's sales figures and another report showing that consumers' confidence improved in April. Still, they weren't ready to declare the economy's trouble days over.
Profit-pressed businesses and battered manufacturers remain reluctant to make big investments in capital projects or in hiring, major forces holding back the economic recovery. Turning that situation around may take time, even with a swift military victory in Iraq, some economists said.
Businesses and investors have a lot of concerns and worries that the end of a war is not just going to magically wipe away,'' said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo. ``Happy days are not here again.'' YET!!
JC Penney Sees Flat April Same-Store Sales
Department store giant JC Penney Co Inc on Monday said it sees flat same-store sales for April after
slower-than-expected sales in the first week of the month.
The retailer said sales for the past few days were soft despite strong demand for children's clothing. It added it expects catalogue sales for the month to be down in the low double digits.
UK: Hosiery Giant Adria Posts Solid Profit, Sales Growth
The UK's largest private label hosiery manufacturer and producer of the luxury Charnos brand hosiery, Adria Ltd, has posted a sharp rise in full year operating profit on the back of higher sales.
The Belfast-based supplier of women's tights and stockings and children's socks to many leading high street stores reported a sharp climb in operating profit to £2.6 million from £1.8m in 2001.
Adria, which was bought by private equity group Amicus Partners for an undisclosed sum last June, added in its annual report turnover rose 10 per cent to £45.2m from £41.1m.
Warnaco FY Loss Widens To $965m, Cuts Debt
Leading clothing manufacturer Warnaco Group Inc on Friday reported a wider net loss for 2002 but revealed it had slashed its debt since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early February.
The New York-based maker of brand-name apparel such as Calvin Klein jeans, Speedo underwear and Chaps by Ralph Lauren, posted a net loss of $964.9 million, or $18.21 a share, for 2002, versus a net loss of $861.2m, $16.28 a share, in 2001.
The latest loss included the impact of an accounting change; before the accounting change, its per-share loss was $3.08. It added its operating loss plunged to $87.3m from $580.9m in the year prior.
Warnaco said net revenues fell to $1.49 billion from $1.67bn while its debt was cut to $246.4m as of February 4 from $2.2bn on January 4.
Debs Shops Posts March Sales Slide
Clothing and footwear retailer Deb Shops Inc posted a 15.2 per cent slide in March same-store sales.
The Philadelphia-based operator of 330 stores said total net sales for the month ended March 31 fell 10.8 per cent to $24.8 million from $27.8m in the year-ago period.
Retail Sales Growth To Slow Says Trade Group
US retailers' sales growth will slow in 2003 amid weak consumer spending triggered by the war in Iraq, a leading trade group warned.
The National Retail Federation, which represents 1.4 million merchants, said sales will rise just 3.8 per cent this year compared to an earlier forecast of 5.6 per cent and last year's increase of 5.6 per cent.
The forecast includes sales at general merchandise, apparel, footwear, electronics and sporting goods stores.
Warnaco To Produce Nautica Women's
Leading clothing manufacturer Warnaco Group Inc on Tuesday agreed a multi-year licensing deal to produce and sell women's and children's swimwear for apparel giant Nautica Enterprises Inc.
New York-based Nautica said the agreement covers Nautica Beachwear, Nautica Signature, Nautica Girl and Nautica Swimwear Accessories, with the first line of merchandise expected to be released in July.
"In California, 50 women protested the war
with Iraq by lying on the ground naked and spelling out the word
Right idea, wrong president." óJay Leno
UK: Retailers Suffer Worst Sales For 11 Years
UK retailers suffered their worst sales performance in 11 years last month amid economic uncertainty and weak consumer confidence.
Figures from the Confederation of British Industry showed only 28 per cent of retailers reported better sales in March than in the year-ago period, with 41 per cent saying their performance was weaker despite widespread price cuts and markdowns.
CBI spokesman Ian McCafferty said: "Sales growth has stalled in almost every retail sector. These results confirm our fears that consumer confidence has been affected by uncertainties surrounding the war in Iraq, the impending tax rises and worries about the housing market."
Hollywood "bra art" up for grabs at auction
NEW YORK Rocker Sheryl Crow covered hers with hot-pink guitar picks, Pamela Anderson went for a fluffy white Playboy look, and Dustin Hoffman used his to send the political message "War Sucks."
All three were among 49 celebrities who agreed to design one-off bras that are currently being auctioned by Sotheby's to benefit breast cancerresearch.
Leila Dunbar, director of Sotheby's Collectibles Department, said Monday that the online auction was expected to raise between 50,000 and 100,000 dollars.
"These are pretty unique items, and there's an attractive mix of whimsy, sexiness and seriousness," Dunbar said.
Among the celebrity designers were actress Fran Drescher and singer-actress Olivia Newton-John -- both breast cancer survivors.
Other contributors included Bette Midler, Cindy Crawford, Rod Stewart, Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon and Melanie Griffith.
Photo: Sheryl Crow
Glamour couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston had reproductions of their own hands plastered onto each cup of their offering, while comedian Gary Shandling incorporated two Jewish skullcaps, or yarmulkes, into what he called his "bramulke."
The auction was the brainchild of actress Tea Leoni, who cajoled her Hollywood friends and acquaintances into taking part.
The celebrities were given several weeks to submit their designs, which were then worked into actual models by the up-market lingerie company Frederick's of Hollywood.
In a limited live auction held last week, a bra designed by Julianne Moore went for 9,000 dollars.
"I think the stars felt quite competitive about the whole thing," Dunbar said. "Nobody wants their bra to be the one left without any bids at the end of the day."
Dunbar rejected any suggestion that the auction subject was overly frivolous given that the United States is currently at war.
"The bras might be frivolous, but breast cancer is anything but," she said. "At a time when things may seem out of our control, this is something people can directly contribute to."
South Korean models wearing gas masks perform during an anti-war street
fashion show held by a store selling jeans in Seoul, South Korea
, April 4, 2003. The anti-war street fashion show performed amid
increasing anti-war protest in Seoul.
"For that Perfect Fit"
La Senza Annual Results Expected in May
MONTREAL, - La Senza Corporation announced today that the Board of Directors has decided to pursue strategic alternatives with respect to the future of its Suzy Shier young women's apparel division which could include the sale of the division or its assets. "We have said on numerous occasions that the future of the La Senza Corporation and the focus of the organization is in the expansion and development of the La Senza brand in Canada and around the world" said Mr. Irving Teitelbaum, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "The change of name of the Company two years ago was evidence of this commitment to the brand strategy and this is but the next logical step in our evolution into a world-wide branded apparel retailer".
The fixed assets of the Suzy Shier division had a net book value of approximately $20 million as at February 1, 2003, prior to any write-down. The Company anticipates that, as a result of the foregoing, these fixed assets will be written-down in part to an amount to be determined. The Company expects that the consolidated financial results of La Senza Corporation for the year ended February 1, 2003, will be available at the beginning of May.
La Senza Corporation, headquartered in Montreal, is a specialty retailer with 482 stores as at February 1, 2003, offering fashionable lingerie and sleepwear sold in its 202 "La Senza" and "Silk & Satin" stores, fashionable apparel for girls sold in its 67 "La Senza Girl" stores, and fashionable apparel for women sold in its 33 "anne.x" stores and 180 "Suzy Shier" and "L.A. Express" stores. Stores are located in every province in Canada. In addition, independently owned "La Senza" and "La Senza Girl" stores are operating in 12 other countries under license.
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