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PCGA's Rally Against 
Textile Mills 
Page 1

Garments Without Guilt
Page 1

Acquires Agent Provocateur
Page 1

Aqua di Lara Swimwear Fashion Show
Page 2


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The American Red Cross

  December 1, 2007                                        Issue #206


9/24

             McPete -Sez, 
    
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       Lingerie Diffusion 
Abandons Takeover Plans
France's Lingerie Diffusion has abandoned plans to take over local retailer Body One, although the companies are poised to strengthen their commercial ties. 
Body One's listing on Paris' Marché Libre was suspended in September after lingerie manufacturer Lingerie Diffusion entered into exclusive talks to take a majority 68.73% stake in the retailer. 
But the takeover was halted when Lingerie Diffusion decided not to pursue the deal, a Body One spokeswoman said on November 22. 
"The takeover is off - we decided not to go further," the spokeswoman said. "I think the main reason is that Lingerie Diffusion discovered that having a retail chain of 100 stores is not the same as having a small company of five people." 
However, the two companies are poised to work more closely together, with Lingerie Diffusion increasing its supply of products to Body One, aiming to generate greater turnover and to improve Body One's margins. 
They will also jointly establish an online shop under the Body One banner, selling Body One-branded items, some of which will be supplied by Lingerie Diffusion. The website, in which each company will have a 50% stake, is due to be launched at the end of December.


22/24  

     PCGA's Rally Against 
         Textile Millers
The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) organized a rally in Multan to protest against textile millers in the country importing 1.25m bales of cotton from India.
The rally began from the PCGA House and ended at Kalma Chowk on November 25. Hundreds of participants rallied, chanting for fewer imports and displaying slogans in favor of their demands.
Campaigners said that mills were not implementing the Cotton Control Act.
PCGA chairman Suhail Mehmood Haral said that the strike would continue, and ginners would stop buying and selling activities till December 1 in Punjab and Sindh. He also urged the government to impose cotton import quotas to stabilize cotton prices in the domestic market.

                
       A model wears a swimsuit by Aqua Di Lara during 
Toronto Fashion Week Photograph by Russell VanBrocklen


5/24   
Garments Without Guilt
International auditing company SGS has been engaged by Sri Lanka's Joint Apparel Association Forum to provide independent assurance to retail buyers that clothing sourced from the Indian Ocean island has been made under ethical conditions.
SGS is auditing companies for the 'Sri Lanka: Garments without Guilt' certification, an industry-wide label and image building scheme which JAAF launched last year.
Textile and clothing factories are being monitored and accredited to say they're free of child and forced labor, free from discrimination of any kind, and free from sweatshop conditions.
So far, around 30 factories have been certified, and the aim is to extend this to 50 companies by the end of the year, and a total of 150 by March 2008.
A list of certified factories will be hosted by SGS on its website, and reviews will be conducted on an annual basis. 
The industry says its strategy is based on growing international consumer awareness of the conditions under which their clothes are made, a need to differentiate itself from its low-cost neighbors, and Sri Lanka's long-standing commitment to worker welfare.
"Garments without Guilt is not simply something we've tailored to suit the occasion," Kumar Mirchandani, chairman of JAAF's marketing committee said.
"We've always had a platform of decent working conditions, and to us this was always a given, like quality. We never promoted what we were doing, but because we're now more ethical than anyone else we decided to raise the bar even further."
JAAF hopes Garments without Guilt will will help it stand out in a crowded international market. The US and EU accounted for 51% and 44% respectively of the country's total apparel exports in the first nine months of this year. 


2/24              Photographed by Lawrence O. Brown

                        Larry Rollins
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of a very dear friend & one of Fantasy Lingerie's most prestigious representatives, Mr. Larry Rollins. 
He passed away on November 19th, 2007. Larry worked with Fantasy for over 25 years covering Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North & South Carolina, Tennessee & WV. 
Sean Monahan, Fantasy Lingerie's sales manager said "He was one of our first & consistently remained one of our best. 
Although I always admired his salesmanship, it was his warmth, humor & his kindness towards everyone that really impressed me. I’ve been in sales all my life & I have never met a more genuine, unselfish, & caring salesman as Larry Rollins. His customer’s wellbeing meant more to him than any order ever could. He was the epitome of a refined gentleman and always treated everyone with the utmost respect. Truly, he was one of a kind." 
He will be greatly missed by all that knew him. 

    

24/24  
        3i Acquires Agent 
          Provocateur
Private equity company 3i has signed an agreement to acquire luxury brand lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur.
3i said that its funding will allow Agent Provocateur to pursue further growth opportunities. Although financial figures were not disclosed as of yet, local press report that 3i will take up an 80% stake for around GBP60m (US$122.4m).
The investment firm has introduced Stuart Rose, who shares the same name as M&S' boss, as chairman. Rose has gained extensive experience of international retailing, franchising and brand development from his time at The Body Shop, where he held the positions of deputy chairman and managing director. He is also currently chairman of The Hamleys Group.
Agent Provocateur, founded in 1994 by Joseph Corré and Serena Rees, sells underwear products across 14 countries including the US, Europe and Middle East. In addition to lingerie, it has launched fragrances and added shoes to its existing product ranges. Both founders will continue to be shareholders in the business, but Rees has decided she wishes to pursue new opportunities. Corré will be staying with the business as creative director, a statement said.
Corré, the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, said: "This new phase in the development of Agent Provocateur will give us the operational and financial platform to realize the company's potential so that it takes its rightful position as the world's most dynamic luxury lingerie brand!"
Jennifer Dunstan, 3i Partner Buyouts, commented: "We are delighted to be investing in such a unique and exciting brand as Agent Provocateur. The company has a fantastic reputation and is already well established throughout Europe. We believe there is enormous potential for the business to continue to grow and look forward to using both our retail experience and our global network to help Agent Provocateur achieve this 
ambition."
3i specializes in mid-market buyouts in Europe, targeting companies valued at up to around EUR1bn.


7/12
Charming Shoppes Q3 Loss
US retailer Charming Shoppes, which specializes in women's plus-size apparel, reported a third quarter net loss of US$3.6m, compared to net income of $19.4m in the prior year period.
The year-over-year decline in operating results was primarily attributed to lower than planned sales, the company said. 
Net sales for the three months ended November 3, decreased 4% to $669.4m, compared to net sales of $695.3m for the three months ended October 28.
During the quarter, the company said it experienced downward trending store traffic levels at each of its brands and a lower sell-through of autumn merchandise. 
The company added that it was more aggressive in clearing seasonal inventory as a result, leading to deeper than planned markdowns.
Charming Shoppes said that operating results for the three months ended November include a net pre-tax benefit of approximately $4.7m related to the company's purchase of the Lane Bryant credit card portfolio on November 1, 2007.
Dorrit Bern, chairman, CEO and president, said: "Our disappointing performance during our third quarter was reflective of downward traffic trends, which both we and our industry experienced. 
"Our fall selling season had a very slow start, particularly at our Lane Bryant brand, and we expect the holiday season to be highly promotional throughout our industry."
For the nine months ended November 3, the company reported net income of $41.0m, with net sales for the nine months increasing 1% to $2.23bn.
For the fiscal year, the company has updated projections for diluted earnings per share in the range of $0.24 - $0.26, compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.81 for last year.
   
 
                             
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