Cecilia del Monte
International Lingerie Shows
Shirley of Hollywood
Renko Bra Accessories
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For THIS iSSUE
Articles Of Interest
Bryant Park's Bazaar
Too much fantasy?
Clintons get the Tabby
Walmart & Federated, Bow
Online Retailers Soar
Woman's Wear Shows
Foreign Exchange Rates
January 1, 2003
Women's Wear Journal
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by Pete McKeown
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New data out showed this year's U.S. holiday sales fell 11 percent from
last year. Sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas totaled $113.1
billion, down from $127.3 billion last year, according to ShopperTrak RCT,
which tracks retail sales.
Retailers depend on the key weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas for a
large portion of their sales and profits.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, cut its December sales
outlook as a last-minute surge in holiday demand came too late to salvage
results for the month.
Bryant Park Tents with a New Twist
For the first time, entrepreneurial business consulting firm IDA transformed Bryant Park into an open-air bazaar merging shopping, dining and holiday entertaining for the whole family. Inspired by the French tradition of outdoor holiday markets, "Fêtes de Noël: The Holiday Shops in Bryant Park" offers New Yorkers a chance to purchase unique gifts and creations from artisans around the city.
"With the opening of [the bazaar], thousands of patrons can now continue to enjoy Bryant Park as a winter destination and experience over 70 participating New York artisans, designers and cultural institutions - all within a festively decorated and holiday themed environment," said IDA founder and Fêtes de Noël producer Itai Shoffman.
In addition to vendors selling such wares as Luxe jewelry and scarves, Mouranas international velvet throws, and Zaruda Moroccan furniture, there is also a pavilion set up by Ellis Island and the American Museum of Natural History, a mini Madame Tussaud's waxworks, and a 60-foot Christmas tree.
No Longer on the Block
And a Merry Christmas shout-out to Calvin Klein who finally managed to
sell his label after three years on the market. The company was bought
last week by luxury shirt maker Phillips-Van Heusen Corp for $400 million
in cash, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal is likely to bring
a lot of changes to Calvin Klein Inc, although not necessarily of the kind
you might expect from a luxury label after a huge cash injection. PVH has
that they intend to lower Calvin Klein's price points by 2004, as well as
expand the brand's licenses, a definite no-no in terms of industry trends
right now. Look out for Calvin Klein mouse pads, air fresheners and toilet
Playboy Provides Fodder for
It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. The British Medical Journal has carefully analyzed every Playboy centerfold since the title's December 1953 debut - that's 577 consecutive monthly issues -- and the results are flat. Or at least, flatter.
Models' breasts have become gradually smaller, as have their hips, while waists have filled out. The overall result is a more androgynous look, say the researchers.
Over the years, Playboy centerfolds' body mass index has also decreased further below corresponding population levels. Their waist-hip ratio, however, is closer to the norm today than it was 50 years ago.
But boyish as these babes might be, the magazine certainly still has its finger on the pulse of what appeals to the men of today. Earlier this month, Playboy announced that it expects to report significantly improved 2003 results, almost doubling operating income over last year.
Way Too Much Fantasy ?
Still seeking that perfect gift for a special young girl in your life? Well, look no further than page 50 of the FAO Schwarz 2002 holiday catalogue. For a mere $45, you can surprise and delight her with a Lingerie Barbie.
And what a Barbie Babe she is, decked out in her sexy black (or, if you prefer, pink) garters, stockings and obligatory stiletto heels. Even her PR is PG, giving the phrase "sex toy" a whole new level of meaning: "Barbie exudes a flirtatious attitude in her heavenly merry widow bustier ensemble accented with intricate lace and matching peekaboo peignoir."
Oh darn, reading this too late for holiday gift giving? Not to worry. Mattel plans a February launch for its sixth "limited edition" Lingerie Barbie, promising she'll be "simply sassy in a short pearl-grey satin slip trimmed in black lace" and "thigh-high stockings" that "add a hint of flair."
A middle school principal in New Hampshire first alerted me to Bimbo, uh, Lingerie Barbie (nickname courtesy of a seventh-grade boy who wanted to know, "What's next? 'Playboy Barbie'?"). I've been actively assessing the Lingerie Barbie gasp factor for several weeks now. It's huge. Teachers and parents (even among Barbie fans) can't believe their ears when they hear about this one:
From Discount to Upscale, Sales Falter
From discounter Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to upscale retailer Federated Department Stores Inc., top U.S. chain stores gave a gloomy view of post-Christmas sales on Monday, raising questions about profit prospects in the critical fourth quarter.
Target Corp., the No. 3 U.S. discount retailer, said sales at stores open at least a year came in well above its expectations last week, but were not enough to offset a sluggish results earlier in the month.
However, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. was a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster sector, reporting better-than-expected holiday sales as its aggressive advertising and discounts resonated with frugal shoppers.
"We believe most broadline retailers missed their Christmas sales plans, and we expect sales and profit warnings over the coming weeks," said Merrill Lynch retail analyst Dan Barry.
"Despite the aggressive promotional activity and the increased volume of sales generated from gift certificates following Christmas, it was not enough to save Christmas sales this year," he said.
Wal-Mart stuck to the December sales growth forecast it lowered last week, while Federated, parent of Macy's and Bloomingdale's,
said its monthly sales would fall even further than it had originally expected.
Target said despite a strong week, its same-store sales are still lagging its December forecast for an increase of between 3 percent to 5 percent, sapped by sluggish sales of men's and women's apparel and sporting goods.
J.C. Penney stood out with its forecast that December sales at its department stores open at least one year would be up about 4.5 percent, above its original expectations, as it drew more shoppers in the days before Christmas.
"Penney was the only one of the national retailers who was giving consumers what they wanted -- a discount," said Britt Beemer, head of America's Research Group, which tracks U.S. consumer trends.
"Penney had been aggressively advertising 20 to 40 percent off before Thanksgiving. They ran 50 percent off midweek sales and 50 percent off on weekends when everyone else was still screaming 20 to 40 percent off,"
A model displays a creation from the 'Emoi designer line,'
by Indian fashion designer Babbu Shah, during a show in Bombay December
26, 2002. Shah's Emoi designer line is a fusion of Indian culture and
It is with deepest sorrow to inform you all of the Passing of Nancy
Steinman, Beloved wife of Gil Steinman. (XTC Leather) On
December 27th, 2002. Services were held on Sunday Dec. 29th.
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