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Senate Considers Copyright Bill
Page 1

Gap's Job Cuts
Page 1

UK's July Retail Sales Hurt
Page 1

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Page 2

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The American Red Cross

     August 15, 2007                                        Issue #199


2/24

             McPete -Sez, 
    
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Senate Considers Copyright 
                 Bill
The US Senate is considering the possibility of putting cheap fashion imitations under the same copyright umbrella as other protected arts.
Currently, fashion items are not normally protected by the same copyright level as sculpture, pictures or images.
However, the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, introduced in the House of Representatives in April, was passed to Congress to better protect apparel and footwear designs in the US for a three year term.
"Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but it's bad for our fashion industry here in New York," Senator Charles E Schumer reportedly said, speaking at a news conference at the Fashion Institute of Technology.


15/24  

                 Gap's Job Cuts
International retailer Gap Inc has cut 1,500 jobs so far this year as it seeks to streamline operations amid disappointing same-sales figures.
In an update on cost reductions, it said that 1,100 jobs went last quarter and that 550 positions at Forth & Towne were eliminated year-to-date too.
"As part of the company's efforts to streamline operations, about 1,100 positions were eliminated in the second quarter of fiscal year 2007, excluding Forth & Towne. In the second quarter of fiscal year 2007, the company recognized approximately $20m of expenses on a pre-tax basis as a result of the cost reduction initiatives, primarily related to severance payments. For the year-to-date, about 1,500 positions were eliminated, excluding Forth & Towne, and approximately $25m of expenses on a pre-tax basis have been recognized as a result of the cost reduction initiatives," the company said.
It also reported same-store sales for July down 7%, compared with a 4% decrease in the same month last year.
Comparable store sales by division were Gap North America, up 2%, Banana Republic North America, up 1%, Old Navy North America,
down 18% and International up 11% for the month.
"During July, we cleared through summer product at all three brands and total company merchandise margins were significantly above last year," said Sabrina Simmons, senior vice president, corporate finance at Gap.
Total Q2 net sales were $3.69bn, a decrease of 1% as compared to last year.

                
A model wears a swimsuit during the Miami    
 Swimshow.  Photo by Russell VanBrocklen 



22/24   
Barneys New York To Be
      Sold for $942.3M
Jones Apparel Group has signed an amended definitive stock purchase agreement to sell its Barneys New York subsidiary to Dubai-based Istithmar for US$942.3m.
The Dubai based private equity firm looks to have outbid Japan's Fast Retailing for the moment, in the latest round of an ensuing bidding war.
Under the terms of the agreement with affiliates of Istithmar, Jones is still permitted to accept an offer from Fast Retailing if a "Superior Transaction" emerges.
Fast has previously submitted two offers to purchase Barneys, the latest for $950m. 
The Istithmar Agreement allows Fast to make one more offer. In the event that Jones were to terminate the amended Istithmar Agreement it would be required to pay an affiliate of Istithmar a termination fee of $34.7m, the company said.


19/24              Photographed by Lawrence O. Brown

UK's July Retail Sales Hurt
            By Weather
      and Interest Rates
The poor weather across Western Europe and rising interest rates are being blamed for weak growth in UK retail sales in July.
UK retail sales rose 1.2% on a like-for-like basis, compared with July 2006, when sales were up 3.4%. July's growth was the weakest since November 2006 and half the monthly average for the second quarter.
The three-month trend rate of growth fell to 2.1% from 2.5% in June, for like-for-like sales, and to 4.1% from 4.6% for total sales, reflecting the continuing growth of retail space. 
"As in June, sales patterns were distorted by exceptional weather both this July and last July, as well as last year's World Cup. Food sales fell against last year's heat wave and World Cup. The torrential rain this year continued to hit clothing and footwear, DIY and gardening, but benefited department stores and out-of-town centers. 
Growth in home wares and furniture slowed and was still largely discount-driven," a statement said. 
It continued: "Consumer spending is being squeezed by interest rates. Plans to buy big-ticket items have been scaled down and heavy discounts are often needed to attract customers."
     
              
11/12
  Pakistan Calls For Duty
         Free US Exports
Pakistan's Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan is calling upon the US government to enable duty free exports from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The official was reported as saying that he believed such a move would be cohesive with counter terrorism, by creating more job opportunities in the country. 
The news agency also reported that past efforts to provide duty-free treatment had been opposed by the US textile industry over fears for domestic jobs. 
      

17/24
 
Hanesbrands To Build 
    Plant in Vietnam
US underwear and sportswear maker Hanesbrands has scoped out plans to build a US$20m garment plant in Vietnam's old capital of Hue City, 
Thua Thien Hue province.
During a working trip to the country, the US-based company's delegation received promises from top leaders of the province to pave favorable conditions for investment and operation of the group in Vietnam.
"We warmly welcome HBI (Hanesbrands) to invest into building the garment unit in Phong Dien Industrial Park. We will direct local authorities to cooperate with the group as well as pave all good conditions for the group to complete all investment procedures regulated by Vietnam's current laws in order for bringing the project into operation as soon as possible," Nguyen Xuan Ly, chairman of People's Committee of Thua Thien Hue province, said.
The project is expected to employ from 2,000 to 4,000 local people once coming into official operation at the Phong Dien Industrial Park. 


12/12

Bangladesh Textile Fire
A fire has broken out in a textile factory in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka, trapping at least 50 workers on July 30.
According to local sources, the fire broke out at night and hospitalized at least 20 people. The fire started in the storeroom of the Taiwan-owned textile factory building.
The factory is located at the Dhaka Export Processing Zone in Savar.
Some 200 knitting and 100 weaving machines of the Jung Sign Textiles have been destroyed in the blaze, the reports claimed.

           
8/12
TJX Still Suffering From
    Computer Intrusion
Off-price retailer The TJX Companies has seen its second quarter profit more than halved after it was hit by a massive charge for a breach of consumer data earlier this year. 
Income from continuing operations at the company was $59m compared with $138.2m during the same period last year.
Net sales from continuing operations increased 9% to $4.3bn, and consolidated same-store sales increased 5% over last year.
The company recorded an after-tax charge of $118m for the computer intrusion. Excluding this charge, adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for the second quarter were $.38 versus $.29 for the prior year, a 31% increase and well above the company's plan, it said.
For the first half of fiscal 2008, net sales from continuing operations were $8.4bn, a 7% increase over last year, and year-to-date same-store sales increased 4% over the prior year. Income from continuing operations was $221m including after-tax charges of $130m related to the unauthorized computer intrusion.
Carol Meyrowitz, president and CEO of The TJX Companies, said: "Our operating results mark the strongest second quarter performance in the company's history and were achieved on top of very strong performance last year. 
"Importantly, virtually all of our businesses delivered significant top- and bottom-line improvement that was in line with or above our plan. Quarterly pre-tax profit margins continue to benefit from strong comp sales as well as our focus on cost reduction, trends that began in late 2005."
Meyrowitz added that the company has now strengthened the security of its computer systems. 
TJ Maxx operates stores under the Marshalls, Winners, HomeSense, HomeGoods, TK Maxx, AJ Wright and Bob's Stores nameplates.
          

 
                             
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