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August 15, 2003
Women's Wear Journal
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Chico's To Buy The White House For $90m
Women's fashion chain Chico's FAS Inc on Thursday announced it has agreed to acquire women's apparel retailer The White House Inc for $90 million.
The Florida-based operator of 413 stores will pay $85.6m in cash plus $4.4m in its own stock for the retailer which owns and operates 103 women's specialty stores under the White House and Black Market names.
Trendy apparel chain Pacific Sunwear of California Inc
on Monday posted an 83 per cent surge in second quarter
earnings as it was boosted by better operating margins
and strong same-store sales.
Spray-on 'AirStocking,' a micro-fine silk base and
foundation formula which gives women shades and coloring without the need
for panty hose, is shown in Tokyo, August 6, 2003. The Nissin Medico Co's
product, retailing for 1,600 yen ($13), comes in bronze, terracotta and
natural tones. The company is eyeing expansion into the U.S. and European
Playtex Launches Bras With Cups In Half Sizes
Leading lingerie designer and producer Playtex Apparel Inc on Monday launched a new line of bras featuring cups in half sizes.
The North Carolina-based firm said its patented sizing system innovation for its Thank Goodness It Fits line offers half sizes ranging from Nearly A to Nearly C in addition to traditional cup sizes.
"Seven out of 10 women wear bras that don't fit properly," said Tolli Love, marketing director for Playtex. "Women will now have more options for the proper size and style that will complement their figures."
Pacific Brands Buys Kolotex Hosiery, 130 Jobs Lost
Up to 130 textile workers are to lose their jobs after consumer goods firm Pacific Brands acquired the Kolotex hosiery business from Kolotex Australia.
Online Retailer Bluefly Enjoys Q2 Sales Lift
Online fashion retailer Bluefly Inc on Friday posted a wider second quarter net loss as margins fell despite a nine per cent rise in sales from the year-ago period.
The New York-based firm posted net loss of $2.1 million, or 27 cents a share, versus a loss of $1.5m, or $1.27 a share, in 2002, with sales up to $7.4m from $6.8m in the same period of last year.
"I am pleased that we achieved nine per cent growth in what was an extremely difficult retail period," said CEO Ken Seiff in a statement.
A government soldier wears woman's panties on his cap as
good luck "gri-gri" near Barnesville
Apparel Line's Nazi Symbols Spark Outrage
A fashion retailer in Hong Kong has sparked outrage by launching an apparel line featuring swastikas and other Nazi party symbols.
The firm, known as izzue.com, found itself in hot water with shoppers and officials after using similar distasteful images such as red banners with white swastikas on top of iron crosses at some of its 14 stores.
The casual line features includes T-shirts with Nazi symbols and pictures of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Israeli Consul-General Eli Avidar told the South China Morning: "People were furious, hurt and shocked that such a thing could happen. It is unbearable to think that anyone can design a marketing campaign that desecrates the deaths of millions of people."
The company said today the designer wanted to give the collection a military theme and did not realise the symbols would cause upset.
It added it is now considering ditching the line and admitted some shoppers had complained about the collection and associated store decorations.
VF Intimates, Candor Hosiery Mills Sign Deal
Lingerie company VF Intimates LP on Wednesday signed a licensing deal with Candor Hosiery Mills Inc to produce a complete collection of Vanity Fair and Lily of France legwear products.
The hosiery and sock deal between the two North Carolina-based firms is for a full range of products including fashion socks, fashion tights and sexy sheer hosiery. Financial details were not disclosed.
The unit of apparel giant VF Corp said in a news release the new collection was previewed by retailers during August Market week in New York City with the assortment hitting stores in Spring 2004.
Fruit Of The Loom Axes Plant, 800 Jobs
Apparel maker Fruit of the Loom on Tuesday announced plans to axe its plant in Texas with the loss of almost 800 jobs.
The Kentucky-based company said the Harlingen factory, in the south of the state, was no longer viable, and will close with its 791 employees laid-off.
Fruit of the Loom, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, makes a range of clothing including men's, boys', women's and girls' underwear and intimate apparel along with childrenswear.
Lingerie America's Cat-walk finale, during their Aug. 3-5th
in New York City. See more on pages 3-4&5.
corset business expands
Corsets have been shaping up segments of the fashion industry for years -- and not always under cover, as entertainers such as Madonna can attest.
Now designers are creating dresses with built-in stays, or shaping bodices with corsetlike seams to achieve a close fit and emphasize the waist.
The Mae corset (Photo) ($200) revives the S-shape made popular circa 1905 and exemplified by "Gibson Girl" actress Camille Clifford.
And the growing interest has given a local company a boost.
Period Corsets, a Seattle company founded by Susan Davis and Rebecca Kaufman, got a mention in the August issue of Elle, along with a report on all the corset-inspired looks designers have shown for fall 2003.
Keith Wagner, Northwest fashion manager for Nordstrom, said he's been seeing corset looks for the past couple of seasons. Gucci used them. So did Roberto Cavalli. They've also been seen in Yves Saint-Laurent collections.
"This year it's part of our femininity trend. It's a return to emphasis on the waist. It's not necessarily as literal as a corset, but the corset details -- lace-up blouses, hook-and-eye closures, ribbon details, lace. Along with that trend you're seeing high-waisted pants that give that effect -- obi sashes, cummerbunds, wider belts, dresses with boning on top. I definitely think you'll see a lot of that in evening wear," Wagner said.
Period Corsets' basic cotton creations in black, white or peach are $175 to $275. They do special corsets for a bridal shop in Santa Fe, N.M., and their corsets have embraced cast members from "All My Children."
Although corsets -- the laced-up garments reinforced with bone, metal or plastic stays depending on the era -- faded from everyday fashion early in the 20th century, they remain in demand for theater and opera.
A sudden change of mind
My Dearest Susan,Sweetie of my heart. I've been so desolate ever since I broke off our engagement. Simply devastated. Won't you please consider coming back to me? You hold a place in my heart no other woman can fill. I can never marry another woman quite like you. I need you so much. Won't you forgive me and let us make a new beginning? I love you so.
Yours always and truly,
P.S. Congratulations on you winning the state lottery.
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Strong Retail Sales Jump-Start Economy
The upbeat sales reports issued Thursday halted a sluggish trend seen since last summer and raised hopes that consumers will be in the mood to spend for the critical back-to-school season.
Sales picked up for most retailing sectors. Business was strong enough at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that the industry leader boosted its profit outlook for the second quarter. Sears, Roebuck and Co., Target Corp., J.C. Penney Co. Inc., and Gap Inc. were among the retailers reporting sales that beat analyst forecasts.
Even May Department Stores Co. eked out an increase in sales at stores open at least a year, surpassing analysts' forecasts. Sales at stores open at least a year, known as same-store sales, are considered the best indicator of a retailer's health.
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Department store chains on both sides of the Atlantic were in the news this week as they geared up for a bidding war between potential suitors.
Leading UK department store chain Debenhams on Tuesday accepted a £1.5 billion ($2.5bn) offer from investment group Permira for its 102-store network, but faced criticism from some shareholders who claimed the bid is too low.
But they may get their wish for a higher price as private equity firms CVC Capital Partners Ltd and Texas Pacific Group are still in talks over a possible joint takeover bid which could push the price up even further.
Several UK department store chains have been taken over in recent months and that trend now seems to be spreading to the other side of the "pond" with retail giant Bon-Ton Stores offering $80 million for rival Elder-Beerman.
That $7 a share offer trumps an earlier bid from Wright Holdings Inc of $6 a share and with Bon-Ton aiming to complete the deal in the next couple of months, Wright will have to respond sooner rather than later if it wants to emerge the winner.
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