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June 15, 2003
Women's Wear Journal
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Consumers To Spend More
On Apparel, & Footwear
According to a post Iraq war consumer spending study, recently released by market information company The NPD Group Inc, many consumers are willing to spend more on apparel and footwear, despite disappointing retail sales.
NPD says the apparel and footwear industries saw dollar volume decreases of two and five per cent respectively in 2002 over 2001 - but reports 14 per cent of consumers are planning to spend more than usual on apparel during the months of May, June and July.
”Consumers are beginning to show signs of wanting to get back into the stores and shop for their spring/summer wardrobes," said Marshal Cohen, senior industry analyst, The NPD Group.
”The stores are ready for them with lots of new colours and fashionable products. Between the war, cold weather lingering around many parts of the country and the horrible storms in the South, it was not a good start for the spring season.
”We don’t expect consumers to go out and replenish their entire wardrobes, but they will be looking to add onto them and find some fun fashions this season.”
According to the study, the biggest shift for apparel spending came from consumers aged 18-34 with no children. This age group plans to spend 24 per cent more than usual on apparel over the next three months versus 19 per cent who planned to spend more on apparel before the war.
Wal-Mart's May Sales Climb 10% To $18.9bn
The world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, on Thursday posted an expected 2.1 per cent hike in May same-store sales.
The Arkansas-based operator of more than 3,200 stores said total sales in the four weeks to May 30 jumped 10 per cent to $18.9 billion from $17.2bn in the year-ago period.
It added sales at its Wal-Mart division rose nine per cent year-on-year to $11.7bn with Sam's Club sales up 6.3 per cent to $2.6bn and International division sales up 17 per cent to $3.5bn.
The Ohio-based owner of popular lingerie chain Victoria's Secret, Limited
Brands Inc, posted a one per cent rise in May same-store sales and added
total sales at its 4,002 stores rose to $618.1m from $599.4m last year.
eading Florida-based women's clothing chain Chico's FAS Inc posted an 11.7 per cent jump in May same-store sales and added total sales at its 409 stores surged 36 per cent to a record $59.8m from $44m in the year-ago period.
eading casual apparel chain Pacific Sunwear of California Inc said its May same-store sales jumped 13.2 per cent last month and added total sales at its 819 stores in the four weeks to May 31 soared 22.2 per cent to $61.1m from $50m in the year prior.
omen's clothing chain The Cato Corp reported a seven per cent fall in same-store sales for the four weeks to June 1 and revealed total sales at its 1,039 outlets rose one per cent to $63.1m from $62.6m last year.
hiladelphia-based operator of 330 clothing stores, Deb Shops Inc, announced a 6.2 per cent slide in May same-store apparel sales and reported a 1.7 per cent slip in total apparel sales to $26.1m from $26.6m in the year-ago period.
eading retailer of women's fashions, AnnTaylor Stores Corp, reported a 9.4 per cent jump in May same-store sales and added total sales at its 601 outlets soared 19.1 per cent to $137.3m from $115.3m last year. It also lifted its second quarter earnings guidance 10 per cent.
exas-based retail giant J C Penney Co Inc posted a 3.2 per cent rise in May same-store sales at its department stores on the back of strong sales of children's apparel and family footwear. Total sales rose 1.1 per cent to $2.29bn from $2.26bn in the year prior.
rkansas-based fashion apparel and furnishings chain Dillard's Inc said its same-store sales and total sales fell seven per cent last month with the latter falling to $536.6m from $576.7m in the year-ago period.
t Louis-based May Department Stores Co, parent of Lord & Taylor and Filene's stores, recorded a 3.9 per cent slide in May same-store sales and added total sales for the four weeks to May 31 fell two per cent year-on-year to $1.03bn.
ederated Department Stores Inc, which runs the famous Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, posted a 0.8 per cent slip in May same-store sales and said total sales in the month to May 31 fell 1.2 per cent year-on-year to $1.14bn.
pscale retailer Nordstrom Inc said its same-store sales rose 3.4 per cent in the four weeks to May 31 with total sales at its 143 outlets up 8.5 per cent to $449m from $414m in the same period of the year prior.
ew York-based women's clothing chain Cache Inc posted a four per cent hike in same-store sales for the four weeks ended May 24 and added net sales at its 239 stores rose nine per cent year-on-year to $17.8m.
eading women's fashion chain Charming Shoppes Inc reported a three per cent slide in May same-store sales and revealed total sales at its 2,245 stores in the four weeks ended May 31 fell seven per cent to $193.6m from $208m in the year-ago period.
Lingerie Maker Sherwood Says
Lace and lingerie maker Sherwood Group Plc on Wednesday said garment sales had slipped from the year-ago period and its margins were still under pressure.
The Nottingham-based company told shareholders at its annual meeting it has strengthened its management team and is close to finding a solution for its unprofitable lace business.
Two nude female anti-G8 protesters, one with a slogan
painted on her back, take to the streets in the Swiss city of Lausanne on
Saturday, May 31, 2003. Slogan reads: 'Shame on G8! Not on me.' Some 25
naked protesters blocked roads and shouted anti-G8 slogans to protest
against the G8 summit in the neighboring Evian, France.
Gap's Same-Store Sales Surge 10% In May
Casual apparel giant Gap Inc on Thursday showed more signs of
its recovery as it posted a 10 per cent jump in May same-store
sales on the back of strong women's sales and more focused
marketing. The California-based operator of more than
4,200 stores said in a statement total sales at its banners
in the four weeks to May 31 climbed 14 per cent to $1.1bn
from $995 million in the year-ago period.
New Ethical Clothing Line Launched
A new women's fashion line made entirely from "fairly produced" textiles and apparel has been launched by two UK entrepreneurs.
Called Ethically Me, the line is sourced and produced by firms who sign up to a wide-ranging code of conduct in order to ensure workers' health and safety, pay and conditions and bans child or forced labour.
The brainchild of marketing consultant Meagan Tudge and psychologist Manisha Mehta, the collection includes linen trousers, T-shirts and skirts, with some of the proceeds of each sale donated to community charities in London.
"We realised there was a big gap in the market for really fashionable, well cut clothes which were fairly produced," Tudge said. "There's a demand for Fair Trade and organic food and it has moved into mainstream now, but the fashion industry has been lagging behind when it comes to ethics."
Mehta added: "When someone says 'I love your top, where's it from?' it's great to be able to say exactly where it was made and to know it wasn't made using child labour or produced in a dangerous sweatshop."
The line is initially being sold online at ethicallyme.com as well as mail order following open evenings around the UK.
Swimwear Business Dampened by Cool May
NEW YORK - The swimsuit season is off to a soggy start as an unseasonably cool May compelled retailers to put swimwear on sale before most Americans have gotten anywhere near a pool or beach.
At a Speedo Authentic Fitness store in midtown Manhattan, every swimsuit is marked off 25 percent until June 1.
Business over Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of summer, was about 10 percent worse than a year ago, according to the store's manager, who cited recent cool weather. Speedo is a unit of Warnaco Group Inc. (Nasdaq:WRNC - news).
"We've been selling a moderate amount of suits this year. A little less than last year but not much so. Inventory is fairly high," said Jon Ahuna, supervisor at the Quiksilver Inc. (NYSE:ZQK - news) store in downtown Manhattan.
Most garment retailers have struggled against adverse weather and nervous consumers for much of the spring, resulting in an industry-wide glut.
"Last year was milder and drier across the country. The temperatures were much more favorable for outdoor activities, especially east of the Rockies," said climatologist Dave Taylor at weather-tracking firm Meteorlogix
What's another name for a push-up bra?
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