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US Calls For Burma Import Ban Renewal
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May Retailers' Sales Review
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July 15, 2009
The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's
US Calls for Burma Import
Calls are mounting again for Congress to renew an import ban on
products from Burma which is due to expire on July 26.
Citing further human rights abuses in Burma, the American Apparel & Footwear Association has sent letters to Congress urging the swift
renewal of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003.
AAFA president and CEO Kevin Burke said the renewal "will send a clear and unmistakable message that the United States is not
interested in doing business with regimes like the one that brutally enslaves the people of Burma."
He added: "A unilateral approach, however, will only bring about a limited effect."
"I hope the world community will join the United States in implementing economic sanctions to demonstrate that there is no
room for oppression in the global marketplace."
The current House bill would maintain import restrictions against the ruling military junta in Burma for up to three years.
The US has imposed an import ban on Burma since 2003, but the country continues to be cited by numerous
organizations and governments for widespread human rights violations.
Most recently, there was outrage in the international community by the junta's arrest and persecution of general secretary of the
National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi.
A model presents a corset by Sensual
during International Lingerie Fashion
Show at the Rio Hotel in Las
Vegas April 20.
Photo by Jerome Hamilton
American Apparel's Illegal
Nearly 2,000 American Apparel employees in Los Angeles are working
illegally and face dismissal following an investigation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The investigation in January 2008 found that 1,600 current American Apparel workers had obtained employment by supplying suspect or
invalid documentation, while the records of another 200 had discrepancies and could not be verified.
According to an SEC filing by American Apparel, the workers will lose their jobs unless they can prove their employment eligibility
"within a reasonable timeframe".
The company stressed that ICE had given no indication that American Apparel had knowingly hired
unauthorized aliens, and no criminal charges had been filed.
American Apparel said that, even if it lost all 1,800 employees, this would not have a materially adverse impact on its financial
"The company believes that its current surplus levels of inventory and manufacturing capacity would mitigate the adverse impact of any
disruption to its manufacturing activities that may potentially result from the loss of these employees," said American Apparel
president and CEO Dov Charney in the filing.
He added that the company was co-operating fully with the ICE investigation, and it remained its policy to check potential
workers' employment eligibility at all times.
Tia Lyn's NY Fashion Show with beautiful models of ALL SIZES!
Teijin Expands Eco Circle
Teijin is expanding its Eco Circle system for recycling polyester
fibers from discarded garments by encouraging more overseas companies to use
eco-friendly components and accessories that make garments easier to recycle.
Teijin says the industry's practice of using non-recyclable accessories, such as linings, buttons and interlinings means these
items have to be removed before the remaining materials can be processed.
And this, in turn, is limiting the wider adoption of its Eco Circle system.
One way of overcoming the problem was to set up the Eco Circle Garment Accessories Association in October 2008.
Accessories developed by its members are made from Teijin's Ecopet fiber (made from recycled PET bottles) or Eco Circle
fibers (a chemically recycled fiber produced from used polyester products).
And the association has now been joined by Hong Kong Non-Woven Fabric Industrial Co Ltd (HKNW) - which makes recyclable products
such as fiberfill insulations for the apparel and outdoor markets using Teijin Fibers' Ecopet polyester
fiber - as its first overseas member.
This involvement of HKNW, which sells to both Asian and Western markets, should make it easier for garment manufacturers around the
world to develop products that are easier to recycle.
Teijin also hopes to persuade more foreign companies to join the association.
The Eco Circle system chemically decomposes polyester at the molecular level and converts it into new polyester raw materials.
Companies that participate in Eco Circle activities collaborate with Teijin to develop and manufacture products made from
recyclable materials, as well as collect these products at the end of their useful lives for a new round of recycling.
Since its launch in 2002, Eco Circle has attracted the participation of more than 110 companies, mostly apparel and
Overseas members continue to increase and now include major brands such as Patagonia, Swany America and Quiksilver in France.
NanoHorizons Inc is expanding the distribution of its SmartSilver
antimicrobial performance brand to the Taiwan textile industry under a new deal agreed with textile chemical importer Widetech
SmartSilver ant microbial additives use a patented process to integrate silver nanoparticles at the molecular level, providing
permanent protection against bacteria associated with odors, infection and material degradation in a variety of products,
including natural and synthetic fibers and fabrics.
"SmartSilver is integration-ready," explains Jeffrey Chen, president of Widetech. "It won't inhibit other performance
additives or impact the finished fabric's texture or appearance."
Importantly for Taiwan's export dependent textile market, SmartSilver is economical for a wide range of textile applications.
It is particularly marketable in the sportswear market and other textile industries where
anti-odor fabrics are desirable.
Major British on-line lingerie
website www.lingerie.co.uk for sale. Click
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Triumph Defends Severance
German lingerie company Triumph International has responded to
reports in Thailand that a workers union is demanding better severance packages for displaced workers there.
Triumph was reported as saying that the 1,930 employees losing their jobs at Triumph supplier Body Fashion (Thailand) Limited
(BFT) have been found interviews for other jobs.
Triumph said it had secured interviews for over 3,900 jobs "with a wide variety of prominent companies"
A statement added: "Naturally all BFT employees who are leaving the company will receive their full severance packages regardless of
their future employment. BFT continues to make every possible effort to ensure that all affected employees are being treated
fairly and with respect for their contributions to the company."
The Bangkok Post had reported that the Bangplee factory's workers union wanted a better package for its workers being made redundant
from August 28.
Triumph said its current severance package exceeds the standards and requirements of local law.
Triumph had announced that it was slashing a total of 3,616 manufacturing jobs in Thailand and the Philippines. The job cuts
were blamed on the global recession, and the general downturn in consumer demand and
wholesale orders at Triumph.
"Triumph is therefore reducing over-capacity in order to match business requirements and customer orders," the company said at the
May Retailers' Sales
Abercrombie & Fitch posted a 22% slump in net sales to $182.1m, down from last year's $233.1m. Same-store sales were down 28%, with declines seen in all its formats. Abercrombie & Fitch was down 25%, Abercrombie fell 28%, Hollister Co dropped 32%, and Ruehl tumbled 33%. Total company direct-to-consumer net sales dropped 10% to $15.6m.
A 30% jump in May sales was seen by Aeropostale Inc, with total net sales soaring to to $132.9m from $102.3m last time. Same store sales increased 19% for the month, compared to a 6% rise in the year ago period. The company said it experienced strong customer reaction to its summer collection, with merchandise margins for the month ahead of last year.
American Apparel Inc posted a 10% drop in May same-store sales, compared with a rise of 24% in the same month last year. There were 170 stores in the sales comparison, the company said.
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc saw its total sales in May fall 11.9% to $188.9m from $214.3m a year ago. Comparable store sales were down 12.1%. The company, which operates 280 stores, said reduced clearance merchandise sales accounted for half of the same-store sales decrease. Best performing businesses were ladies' moderate sportswear, dresses, petite sportswear and intimate apparel.
Sales continued to grow at The Buckle Inc, with the teen fashion retailer posting a 19.2% hike in its May sales, to $60.6m from $50.8m. Comparable store sales, for stores open at least one year, climbed 13.4%. Buckle operates 393 stores.
The Cato Corporation, which sells value-priced women's fashion from Cato and It's Fashion stores, posted sales of $78.1m for the four weeks ended
May 31, down 3% on last year's $80.5m. Same-store sales decreased 3% after stimulus
checks boosted spending last year.
Destination Maternity Corporation reported a 5.3% drop in sales for the month to $51.3m from $54.2m. Same-store sales were down 5.4%, which the company blamed on comparisons with last year when it still operated departments in Sears stores, and the warm weather helping to shift some sales into April.
At Dillardís Inc, merchandise sales were down to $430.05m in May, from $499.70m in the prior year. Sales in comparable stores decreased 12% for the four-week period.
May sales at Gap Inc fell 5% to $1.03bn, down from last year's $1.09bn. Comparable store sales were down 6%, with Old Navy North America the only unit to see growth with a 3% rise. In contrast, same-store sales fell 11% at Gap North America, dropped 14% at Banana Republic North America, and were down 7% at its International division. The company said merchandise margins were in-line with last year.
Hot Topic Inc has reported a 2.9% fall in sales for the fiscal month of May, down to $46.0m. Same-store sales slipped 6.4%, with a drop of 6.9% at its Torrid stores and a fall of 6.3% at Hot Topic.
Total sales at JC Penney Company Inc were down 6.7% in May to $1,254m, from $1,344m a year ago. Comparable store sales fell 8.2% - which was slightly better than the company's guidance. Spring apparel offerings meant the women's division was the top performing merchandise division during the month.
May's sales results were stronger than planned at Kohlís Corporation, with a 4.1% rise in total sales to $1,255m from $1,206m in the same month last year. On a comparable store basis, sales fell 0.4%. Accessories was the strongest performing line of business said the company, which operates 1,022 stores.
Limited Brands Inc reported a 6.4% drop in net sales, falling to $618.7m from $661.3m a year earlier. Same-store sales were down 7%, the company said.
Nordstrom Inc said its retail sales fell 8.7% in the month of May to $653m, down from $716m a year earlier. Same-store sales dropped 13.1%. The company operates 111 full-line stores, 61 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, and two clearance stores.
Ross Stores Inc reported 10% rise in sales for the four weeks to
May 30, to $564m from $513m. Same store sales increased 4%. Sales were helped by warm weather in many areas, with dresses and shoes the strongest merchandise categories.
Saks Incorporated has posted a 25.8% slump in May sales, to $166.1m from $223.9m. Same store sales were down by an even steeper 26.6% for the month, which the retailer blamed on the shift of a designer sale event into June. The Saks Fifth Avenue stores saw weakness across all merchandise categories, while Saks Direct and Off 5TH showed "relative strength" the company said.
At Stage Stores, total May sales dropped 4.7% to $116.8m from $122.6m a year ago, and same-store sales fell 7.2%. Accessories, cosmetics, dresses, intimates, men's, misses sportswear, petites and plus sizes were the best performing categories at its Bealls, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage nameplates.
Target Corporation reported a 2.3% drop in its net retail sales for May, coming in below expectations at $4,458m compared with $4,564m last year. Same-store sales dropped 6.1%. The company operates 1,698 Target stores.
At The TJX Companies Inc, sales for the four weeks to May 30, were $1.49bn, up 4% over the $1.43bn achieved in the same month last year. Consolidated comparable store sales exceeded expectations and were 5% higher than last year. Sales were hit by foreign currency exchange rates, but were boosted by customers seeking value-priced fashions.
Sales at The Wet Seal Inc dropped 8% in the four weeks to May 30, to $42m. Same-store sales were down 8.4%, with an 11% rise at its Arden B stores offset by a 12.4% slump at Wet Seal. It said "inventory mix imbalances" were to blame at Wet Seal, while Arden B achieved regular price sell-through of its fashionable merchandise.
Zumiez Inc said its net sales decreased 9.6% to $23.5m in the four weeks to
May 30, down from $26.0m in the same month last year. Comparable store sales decreased 20.7%, versus a rise of 0.2% a year ago. Zumiez operates 363 stores.
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