loses 29,000 jobs in 2002
The U.S. Labor market remained week as the
nation's unemployment rate ended the year at a nine year high of 6%.
The Labor market lost 101,000 jobs in December, the largest drop since
February, while payrolls shed a total of 181,000 jobs for all of 2002.
Domestic apparel factories and textile mills, as well as department
stores, were all impacted by the weak economy last year.
The apparel industry reduced its payrolls by 29,000 jobs last year to
employ a seasonally adjusted 508,000 workers while textile mills shed
21,000 jobs to end the year with 425,000 workers.
Last year's job losses in the apparel & textile sector followed
unprecedented losses in the previous 4 years and were the least severe
However New Textile Plants To Create 20,000 Jobs
Up to 20,000 textile jobs could be created in Namibia over the next two years thanks to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), delighted trade chiefs predicted on Tuesday.
Government officials said they expect at least three new textile plants to begin production this year in a huge influx of investment that will create tens of thousands of garment and textile jobs.
Mount Vernon Mills To Axe Plant, 215 Jobs
Up to 215 workers are set to lose their jobs with the closure of a textile mill which is being blamed on California's high utility costs.
Bosses of Mount Vernon Mills said they will shut the Fresno plant, which spins cotton into raw fabric, by the end of March.
The company cited rising utility and insurance costs for the closure as well as the continued flood of cheap textile and clothing imports from Asia.
Spending Forecast: $14.8B in Q1
The latest Internet Confidence Index report finds that consumers are
slightly less sanguine than a year ago, thanks to the dismal economy,
but still projects that U.S. consumers will spend $14.8 billion online
in the first quarter of 2003.
56 percent of consumers polled said they intend to shop online in the
first quarter this year.
"The fact that people are consuming more online and are becoming
more sophisticated in their use of the Internet is demonstrating how
intrinsic the Web is becoming to daily life, and how important it is for
online businesses to deliver a quality experience," said P.K. Van
Deloo, brand manager at Yahoo! Shopping.
Spring/Summer 2003 collection show in
January 23, 2003
Belgian band 'Vive La Fete' lead singer Els Pynoo
presents these creations by Belgian designer Libertin Louison during
Spring/Summer 2003 collection show in Paris,
Beleaguered retailers Gap and M&S seem to be putting their
past troubles behind them with positive postings over the
holiday season. Apparel chain Gap Inc reported a five per
cent climb in December same-store sales - its third
consecutive month of same-store sales growth after a
29-month slide. And British high street giant Marks &
Spencer said a 7.5 per cent year-on-year jump in total
festive sales was boosted by a 9.3 per cent surge in
clothing and footwear sales
The news was not so good for jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co
which saw its full-year net profit plunge 84 per cent to
$25 million from $151m in 2001 due to restructuring costs.
Likewise, Kmart Corp plans to axe 326 more stores and
37,000 jobs as it looks to emerge from bankruptcy
protection by the end of April.
The U.S. retail market remains overloaded with selling space, even as discount retailer Kmart Corp. prepares to shut 326 stores, and analysts say retail profits will be under pressure until more stores close.
U.S. retail space hit a record 20.5 square feet per person in 2001, the most recent year for which figures are available, up 40 percent since 1986, as companies opened hundreds of superstores selling everything from hardware to bed linens.
Warnaco Gets Court Approval For $257m Exit Loan
Warnaco Group Inc has been authorised by the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan to sign a commitment letter with Citicorp North America Inc and JPMorgan Chase Bank for a $275 million loan to help it exit from Chapter 11. According to court papers, each of the lenders will provide half the loan amount.
Warnaco, which makes clothing under brand names such as Calvin Klein, Speedo/Authentic and Chaps by Ralph Lauren, intends to use the finance to pay transaction costs, fees and expenses related to its proposed reorganisation plan.
Although still waiting for court and creditor approval, this plan calls for the apparel maker to emerge as a publicly traded company as early as January 2003 with its core businesses intact and its debt reduced to about $265 million, from $2.45 billion.
H&M Sales Soar
With 2002 profits up 50 percent, H&M has announced plans to open 110 new stores this year in Europe and the U.S.
The Swedish retailer revealed Wednesday that its net income was 8.6 billion kronor ($1 billion), up 50 percent from last year's 5.7 billion kronor ($667 million). Sales rose 15 percent, to 53.3 billion kronor
The Stockholm-based company opened 85 new stores in 2002, including 19 in Germany, 15 in the U.S., 11 in France, 10 in the U.K. and eight in Spain. Twelve of the 110 stores to open in 2003 will be in the new markets of Poland, the Czech Republic and Portugal. Leases have also been signed for five stores in Toronto, Canada, which will open in 2004.
CEO Rolf Eriksen singled out the company's stellar performance in the U.S., Spain and France in Wednesday's statement. The U.S. in particular is a key market for the high-fashion, low-price retailer, though it curbed its growth there recently in an effort to boost numbers.
H&M currently has 45 U.S. stores. Their combined fourth quarter sales rose 17 percent, to 2.3 billion kronor ($269 million), in 2002.
International Lingerie Show in Paris
A model strikes a pose on the catwalk at the
Ballerina stand, during the fall-winter 2003 International Lingerie Show
A model for Ritratti presents this creation as part of the autumn-winter
2003-2004 Paris International lingerie show
Watch for more on this show in
our upcoming issues in our
"West Coast Watch column" by Mara Susskind
Three old guys out walking. First one says.
"Windy isn't it? "
Second one says,
"No its Thursday"!!
Third one says.
"So am I. Lets go get a beer".
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