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Articles Of Interest

US Lawmakers Submit Bill to Offset Export Taxes 
Page 1

New UK Association Launched
Page 1

April Retailers' Sales Review
Page 1

International Lingerie Show 
 Page 2

Intimate Graphics
Page 2

 Buyers' Best Sellers
Page 2

McPete Sez
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Page 2

International Lingerie Show Continued
Page 3


Malaysia Launches MySize Project
Page 3

Ask Kevin
Page 3

Ask Andy
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International Lingerie Show Continued
Page 4

Husband-Hunting Bra 
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International Lingerie Show Continued
Page 5

The Buzz
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Reps Corner
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  June 1, 2009                                           Issue #242
     The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's Wear Journal           

21/24
                   
                              Intimate Apparel

Sleepwear-Daywear-Foundations-Loungewear-Hosiery-
           Lingerie-Swimwear-Dancewear-Clubwear 
                              Ready-to-Wear
 
                            
        
US Lawmakers Submit Bill 
   To Offset Export Taxes
A bill that seeks to offset the foreign border-tax schemes that "disadvantage" US manufacturers when they export overseas was introduced by US lawmakers last week. 
It would require the United States Trade Representative to negotiate fair border tax treatment for US goods and services within the World Trade Organization by January 1, 2010. 
The bill was described as "a crucial attempt to level the uneven playing field confronting American manufacturers as they attempt to compete globally," by Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.
AMTAC notes that foreign countries rebate VAT when their manufacturers export to the United States. 
In addition, these countries also apply a VAT to imports - and all costs associated with those imports - entering their markets. 
For example, it says, on a product shipped from the United States to China, the Chinese government assesses a VAT on all freight, insurance and tariff costs in addition to the actual value of the US-exported item. 
The US, on the other hand, does not have a VAT or border tax system, and US exporters don't receive any tax rebates when they ship products to foreign markets. 
The end result is that the United States has no mechanism to offset foreign border tax subsidies that tilt the playing field. 
The new legislation would require USTR to negotiate an end to these "distortions," AMTAC says.


              
A model presents Celestial Angel by Je'Taime
during International Lingerie Fashion Show at 
        the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas April 20.  
               Photo by Jerome Hamilton

Huvis Corporation Wins
    Anti-dumping Case
A major South Korean polyester staple fiber producer has won a four-year legal battle to reduce anti-dumping duties imposed on exports to the European Union.
Seoul's Huvis Corporation claimed 5.7% duties imposed in 2005 were unfair.
Following its legal challenges, the EU Council of Ministers has ordered a reduction to 3.9%, giving the manufacturer a competitive edge.



17/24  
New UK Association Launched
A new body has been set up to represent the UK's fashion and textile industry and help companies to trade more effectively both in the domestic market and overseas.
The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) succeeds the British Clothing Industry Association (BCIA) and aims to forge a role as "one voice" for the industry.
Top industrialists have been lined up to take seats on the board, including Simon Berwin of Berwin & Berwin, Nigel Lugg of Prominent Apparel (Europe) and Richard Craig of Margaret Howell.
The association, which was launched in London on May 20, is the brainchild of Peter Lucas (Baird Group) who took over as chairman of BCIA last year.
"We have made tremendous progress and have begun working with almost every trade association that covers the sector and the response has been extremely enthusiastic," says Lucas. 
The new board meets for the first time in June to develop UKFT's strategy, so new initiatives can be announced in the autumn.
Simon Berwin of Berwin & Berwin says: "Being able to help shape the future of the UK fashion and textile industry is a privilege. 
"I am looking forward to working closely with both large and small companies to make sure they receive the support they need - whether that be through lobbying Government or providing opportunities to assist in their day-to-day business life through the provision of expert advice and guidance."
The Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry and The Savile Row Bespoke Association, are the first two organizations to have committed to join UKFT. 
In addition, following discussions with the textile sector, UKFT is now running its export promotion, working on participation at major events such as Première Vision.
While John Wilson becomes director general of the new organization, applications to succeed him around the middle of next year are now being sought. 
Elizabeth Fox, BCIA's assistant director, and Paul Alger, executive director of UK Fashion Exports, which became the export division of BCIA last year and will retain its branding under the new organization, were appointed deputy directors of UKFT.
UKFT will be based at 5 Portland Place, London, as was BCIA, and there are plans for the premises to be redeveloped better to serve the industry.


14/24 Watch Tia Lyn's NY Fashion Show with beautiful models of ALL SIZES!

Reports of Forced Child 
    Labor in Uzbekistan
Despite moves by retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer and C&A to ban the use of cotton from Uzbekistan in their clothing and textile lines, the use of forced child labor was still widespread in the country's most recent cotton harvest a new report claims.
Based on investigations carried out in Uzbekistan in October, the Environmental Justice Foundation's 'Still in the Fields' report says children were used to pick cotton in autumn 2008 - even though the Uzbek Government last year signed two ILO Conventions to combat child labor. 
And the EJF is now calling is for more companies, consumers and governments to take a stand and help end the abuse.
"Forced child labor is unacceptable and is illegal under international and Uzbek national laws," says EJF executive director, Steve Trent.
"The Uzbek Government must do much more to ensure that commitments are reality and not just rhetoric."
The findings come despite Uzbekistan having signed and ratified two International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions - No 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, and No 138 on Minimum Age.
The Still in the Fields report reveals that children as young as ten years old are dispatched to the cotton fields for two months each year and are forced to survive on meager rations and in dangerous conditions.
Each child is each given a high daily cotton quota to fulfill, earning just a few US cents per kilo for their efforts. 
EJF's investigators estimate that in the four regions they visited, overall about 60% of the fields had children picking cotton. 
Security personnel or supervisors were seen in around 70-80% of the fields. 
The Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan is the world's third largest cotton exporter. 
However, the Uzbek Government controls every aspect of cotton production, farmers are compelled to sell their cotton crop to the State, and Government-owned companies directly benefit from the estimated US$1bn in export earnings. 


1/4
Cambodia's Q1 Exports Down
                  35%
Cambodia's garment exports dived 35% during the first quarter of 2009 due to declines in trade to US and EU markets, according to the country's Ministry of Commerce.
Export turnover to the US stood at US$279m, down 47%, while exports to the EU fell 22% to US$124m.
However, this was somewhat offset by South East Asia, where the country's garments enjoy zero import tax and favorable conditions. Exports to Japan, for instance, were up 14%.
The Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia is setting out to lure foreign investors to build textile and garment plants in Cambodia, and UK-based New Island Clothing company is setting up a high level product development center in the country.



April Retailers' Sales Review
At Abercrombie & Fitch, net sales slumped 16% to $202.4m from $241.0m, while comparable store sales tumbled 22%. Total company direct-to-consumer sales decreased 24% to $15.2m. By chain, Abercrombie & Fitch same-store sales fell 17%, Abercrombie was down 27%, Hollister Co dropped 26% and Ruehl plunged 30%. 
Aeropostale Inc increased its sales by 31% to $137.7m in the four weeks to May 2, up from $104.9m last year. Same store sales increased 20% for the month, helped by the Easter calendar shift. Merchandise margins for the month increased significantly over last year, the company said.
American Apparel Inc saw a 7% drop in sales at stores open for more than 12 months during the month of April. This compares with a 27% rise in the same month last year. There were 170 stores in the sales comparison.
Total sales at American Eagle Outfitters Inc dropped 2% in the four weeks to May 2, to $193.6m from $197.7m last year. Comparable store sales were down 5%. April sales were in line with the company's expectations and reflect the shift of Easter and related spring breaks into  April from March last year.
Total sales at the Bon-Ton Stores Inc fell 4.7% to $199.4m in the four weeks to May 2, compared with $209.2m in the prior year period. Same store sales were down 5.1%. The results slightly exceeded expectations, and best performing businesses included children's, and ladies' moderate sportswear. 
The Buckle Inc saw its sales soar 25.6% to $59.m in the four weeks to May 2, up from $47.0m last year. Comparable store sales jumped 18.2%. The company operates 393 retail stores.
The Cato Corporation reported a 14% rise in its April sales, climbing to $79.4m from $69.4m last year. Comparable store sales increased 11% for the month. The women's wear retailer operates Cato and It's Fashion stores. 
Destination Maternity Corporation reported a 4.3% fall in April sales to $49.9m from $52.2m. Same-store sales were down 1.2% - or fell 3.2% after adjusting for the later timing of Easter. Lower sales were also blamed on the unseasonably cool weather and the closure of its leased departments within Sears.
Dillard's Inc said its April merchandise sales fell 10% to $429.3m from $476.8m. Sales in comparable stores were down 6%, even though "a considerable amount of Easter shopping activity shifted to the April fiscal month." Sales in juniors' and children's apparel were better than the company average.
April sales at Gap Inc fell 5% to $1.05bn from $1.1bn in the same period last year. The company's comparable store sales were down 4% compared with a 6% fall in April 2008. By brand, same-store sales were down 10% at Gap North America, fell 8% at Banana Republic North America, but rose 1% at Old Navy North America. International sales slipped 2%.
Hot Topic Inc said its total sales were up 5.5% in the four weeks to 2 May, to $47.3m, helped by a 6.5% lift at its Hot Topic chain and a 2.8% rise at Torrid. Same-store sales climbed 3.1%, with a 2.8% drop at Torrid offset by a 5% rise at Hot Topic. The company has 679 Hot Topic stores and 158 Torrid stores.
Better-than-expected April performance at JC Penney was driven by strength in women's and children's apparel, the department store retailer said. Total sales decreased 5.0% to $1.27bn from $1.33bn a year ago, and comparable store sales fell 6.6%.
Kohl’s Corporation said its total sales to May 2, decreased 2.3% year-on-year, while same-store sales dropped 6.2%. The retailer operates 1,022 stores.
Limited Brands Inc, operator of the Victoria’s Secret, Pink, La Senza and Henri Bendel stores, reported an 8% drop in net sales to $531.2m for the four weeks ended May 2, from $577.5m last year. Comparable store sales dropped 6%.
Macy’s Inc reported total sales of $1.69bn, down 9.4% on last year's $1.8bn. On a same-store basis, Macy's sales were down 9.1%, in line with management's expectations. Online sales were up 14.5%. The company operates more than 840 department stores.
Sales fell 6.5% at Nordstrom Inc to $561m from $600m. Same-store sales for April were down 10.8%, which the company blamed on the timing shift of a Nordstrom Rewards event for Nordstrom cardholders. Nordstrom has 175 stores.
Ross Stores Inc reported a sales gain of 11% in April, to $534m from $480m a year earlier. Comparable store sales grew 6%. Dresses, children's and shoes were the best performing merchandise categories for the month.
Sales at Saks Incorporated slumped 31.3% to $238.7m in April, from $347.5m last year. Comparable store sales were down 32.0% for the month. Sales were hit by the shift of a spring season clearance event into May. The company's 53 Saks Fifth Avenue stores were weak across all merchandise categories during the month. 
Stein Mart Inc saw its total sales fall 14.7% in April, dropping to $100.2m from $117.4m in the same month last year. Same-store sales slumped 14.6%. The best performing categories were dresses and ladies' casual sportswear, the company said, while ladies' career sportswear was amongst the worst. The company has 275 stores.
Stage Stores Inc's total sales for the four-week period increased 1.1% to $107.7m from $106.5m a year ago, helped by the later timing of Easter. Comparable store sales were down 1.5%.  The company operates 747 stores under the Bealls, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage names.
Target Corporation reported that its net retail sales for the four weeks to May 2 were up 4.5% to $4.4bn, from $4.25bn a year ago. April comparable-store sales increased 0.3%, in line with guidance.
April sales at The TJX Companies Inc rose 1% to $1.43bn from $1.41bn last time. Same-store sales were up 3% for the four weeks to May 2. The company said "customer traffic has continued to increase significantly across virtually all of our brands."
Wal-Mart Stores Inc saw its net sales for the four weeks to May 1, rise 2.4% to $29.85bn from $29.16bn in the same period last year. Wal-Mart US sales rose 7.7%, offsetting a 7% in its international division and a 4.3% drop at Sam's Club. Sales at US stores open at least a year were up 5%, with Wal-Mart US rising 5.9% and Sam's Club up 0.3%. 
The Wet Seal Inc reported April sales down 2.4% to $41m, with a 2.2% decline in comparable store sales. By concept, same-store sales fell 4% at Wet Seal but rose 6% at Arden B where it has launched a new merchandising and pricing strategy.
April sales at Zumiez Inc fell 1.7% to $23.8m, from $24.2m in the same month last year. The company's same-store sales dropped 13.8% compared with an increase of 4.1% a year ago. Zumiez operates 358 stores.

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