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Chinese Exporters To Bid on 2006 Quotas
Page 1

UK Retailers' Sales Continue to Disappoint
Page 1

Brand Protection Council 
Page 1

Underwear Recall
Page 1

Boy Shorts Vs The Thong 
Page 2

Buyers' Best Sellers
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Ask Andy
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McPete Sez
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La Senza Posts Improved Q3 Income
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Fashion & Textile History Museum Opens In NYC
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Casual Corner to Sell or 
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Kmart Employees Rewarded $11.75M 
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  December 1, 2005                                           Issue #158


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Chinese Exporters To Bid 
        On 2006 Quotas
China’s textile exporters will start bidding for next year’s textile export quotas for the US early next month.
An online auction for quotas for exports, which follows a bilateral trade deal between China and the US in November, will begin on December 6, and will last until December 8.
The latest agreement, which followed months of discussions between the two sides, reintroduces quotas on 21 categories of China’s textile exports to the US market. The deal sets an annual growth limit of 10%-17% for the next three years.
US producers have expressed fears that their business will be hit by surging Chinese exports after global trade quotas expired at the start of the year.
All businesses that have shipped products covered by the quotas between January and September this year can take part in the auction.
The auction will consist of about 30% of the agreed quotas for the year, while the remainder will be allocated to companies based on performance over the last year.
Quotas for each category of goods will be given to the highest bidders.                  


UK Retailers' Sales Continue
                  to Disappoint
Retailers are being forced to cut prices to bring in custom as sales continue to disappoint, according to figures published by the UK Office for National Statistics.
Figures showed a modest recovery in retail sales during the three months to October over last year, with sales volume up 1.1% from last year and up 0.7% from the previous three-month period.
The value of sales, however, rose by just 0.2% from a year ago – the lowest increase since comparable records started back in 1946.
The results will sound a sour note with retailers, who are already expecting to start sales periods early if the upcoming Christmas period offers no respite.
On a monthly basis, total sales rose 0.2% between September October, following growth of 0.6% in September and 0.2% in August.
There was positive growth in all sectors except for clothing stores, which suffered a drop of 0.3%, and non-store retailing, which recorded flat sales.
Unusually warm weather has combined with difficult market conditions to prevent retailers from bringing in revenue, with rails of coats and scarves left largely untouched in many stores.

Chinese models present creations at the International 
Lingerie Fashion Trend Collection 2006 during China
                           Fashion Week in Beijing

Brand Protection Council
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has launched a new Brand Protection Council to help protect US branded products against cheap imitations that are flooding the marketplace.
The Council is composed of legal, brand enforcement and marketing representatives of US based companies, and is described as “a new weapon in the war against counterfeit apparel and footwear products.”
The International Chamber of Commerce estimates that counterfeit products cost the global economy some $600 billion annually, and the US Chamber of Commerce estimates that US companies lose upwards of $250 billion each year due to counterfeiting. 
Apparel, footwear and related accessories represent nearly 40% of all seizures made by the Department of Homeland Security during FY 2005.
AAFA was one of the earliest industry supporters of the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act (S 1699 and HR 32), which has been approved by both houses of Congress. 
Minor differences need to be resolved before the measure can be sent to President Bush for his signature. The bill would require the mandatory destruction of equipment used to manufacture and package counterfeit goods. It also addresses methods that counterfeiters have used to evade prosecution, such as the selling of patch sets or medallions that can later be attached to generic merchandise to give it the appearance of a genuine product.

Delta Galil To Close More
    Plants - More Layoffs
Underwear and intimate apparel company Delta Galil has announced it will lay off 2,000 workers as it closes plants in Central and North America and Israel, and has also reported a $22.8 million third-quarter loss.
Delta, which has already lain off workers because of closures this year, said the latest job cuts were part of a reorganization plan aimed at cutting costs, increasing efficiency, and returning the business to profitability.
The reorganization strategy was announced in the second quarter, following changes in the business environment and a decrease in selling prices.
The reorganization process is set to last 12 months, due to end in the third quarter of 2006. The changes are expected to cost a total of $20.6m.
Delta said third-quarter net loss totaled $22.8m compared to a net income of $5.0m in the same period last year, while sales fell 3% to $172.0m from $176.5m a year ago.
Net loss for the first nine months of 2005 was $28.7m compared to income of $12.9m last year, while nine-month sales rose 6% to $514.3m from $487.1m a year ago.
Delta markets its products primarily in the US, Israel, Canada, and Europe.

Thailand's Fashion Exports
       Up In 2005
According to the Thailand government's Bangkok Fashion City project, Thai fashion industry exports are anticipated to grow by 13.5% in 2005.
The initiative said that promotional activity was helping to raise the visibility of Thailand’s fashion brands and designs within fashion capitals New York, Paris and Milan. 
Bangkok Fashion City director, Pramote Witayasuk, who is also director general of the Ministry of Industry's Department of Industrial Promotion, said the project aimed to move Thailand's fashion market up the value chain away from bulk production.
The Ministry is strongly behind developing the country’s fashion sector and wants to help position its capital Bangkok as an Asian fashion hub.
Initiatives include database collection and a fashion library, which includes in-depth details on catwalk shows and industry and trend data.

       Allure Leather     
Oprah Helps Nordstrom's
          Bra Sales
Oprah Winfrey gave women and Nordstrom stores everywhere a lift.
The media mogul Tuesday aired “Oprah’s Bra and Jean Intervention,’’ a show that declared women everywhere were likely wearing the wrong bra and the wrong jeans. 
Seattle-based Nordstrom helped transform her television studio into the Oprah Bra Boutique for the show, flying in 35 professional bra fitters from its stores and a selection of some 8,000 bras.
After Nordstrom’s “bra brigade’’ helped fit the 240 audience members, 94 percent of whom Oprah said were wearing the wrong size, she intoned to her viewers:
“If you’re watching around the country and you want to know where to go, go to a Nordstrom’s nearest you. They’re trained to do the fittings.’’
Since the show aired nationally, the number of bras sold at the upscale retailer has increased 189% compared with the same period a year ago.
The “Oprah effect’’ is nothing new. Oprah’s Book Club, launched in September 1996, was credited with reviving the book industry.
Brigham Young University economists released a study last December that measured the staying power of Oprah Book Club titles on USA Today’s list of the top 150 best-sellers.
BYU economist and lead author Richard Butler, whose findings appeared in the journal Publishing Research Quarterly, found Oprah’s selections sharply increased sales of individual books.

               Underwear Recall
Gunze Ltd. will recall 310,000 of its garment products, including a new lineup of underwear designed for Japan's "Warm Biz" energy-conservation campaign, as they could irritate skin, company officials said. 
Subject to the recall is "Warm Biz" underwear for both men and women,
which went on sale for this winter season, and some pajamas, the officials said. 
They said the Osaka-based company has received 38 complaints from customers in connection with the defect. 
Gunze said too many medical agents meant to enhance the garments' temperature-control functions were attached on the products in the manufacturing process. 
The leading underwear maker, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's First Section, notified its corporate clients about the recall Thursday. 
Gunze will also place advertisements of the recall in major newspapers adding it will incur necessary medical treatment costs if skin irritation has been caused by the products

Wacoal's Online Customer
       Data Leaked
Wacoal Holdings Corp., a Japanese lingerie maker, said information on 4,757 customers, including address and phone data and some credit card numbers, was stolen from its online shopping server. 
Credit card numbers of 1,988 clients were accessed, and 10 customers have reported their cards may have been illegally used, the company said in a statement on its Web site yesterday. Wacoal will investigate details of the unlawful access to the server, which is operated by NEC Corp. subsidiary NEC Nexsolutions Ltd. 
Identity theft cost consumers, finance and credit-card companies about $11.7 billion in the 12 months ended in April 2004. 
The breach in Wacoal's customer security follows earlier cases including leakage of as many as 40 million Visa and MasterCard accounts and data on subscribers to Yahoo BB, Japan's second-largest provider of high-speed Internet access. 
Softbank Corp.'s Yahoo BB unit in February 2004 said names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of 4.517 million subscribers was filched, though no personal financial data was accessed, in Japan's largest case. 
Security of customer data has been compromised at banks including Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and UBS AG in the past year as computer disks, microfilm and other media were lost, misplaced or mistakenly discarded. 

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