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Textile Talks Between U.S. & China Fail
Saks Confirmed Improper Collections
Talks Between EU & China
Bikini With Timer
Rodger's Ramblings - Free Giveaway 2 Testers Still
United Retail's Q2 Results
'Bra Wars' Hurting European Boutiques
Germ Fighting Underwear
Madonna Sues Lingerie Range
Victoria's Secret Robbed Again
Ann Summers' Advertising Campaign
La Senza Up Q2
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September 1, 2005
Women's Wear Journal
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Textile Talks Between
U.S. & China Fail
Talks between U.S. and China in Beijing on Wednesday failed to settle a
dispute over American efforts to rein in imports of low-cost Chinese textiles, amid signs that China's position was
strengthened by the pileup of its goods at European ports over quotas.
However, the U.S. side, which had been scheduled to head home Thursday, said the talks would go into a third day on Thursday,
The U.S. industry groups were not optimistic that both sides will be able to
come up with an agreement in advance of a visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington next week.
"It appears that it's over this week, and no agreement has been reached," said Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American
Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.
He said, "the Chinese were not prepared to reach an agreement this week."
"The European situation did muddy the picture," he added.
In Europe, some 75 million pieces of Chinese-made clothing are stuck in customs houses for exceeding import limits, prompting European
retailers to complain that their store shelves may go bare.
China's Commerce Ministry didn't comment on the talks Wednesday, but government-run media cited the European pileup as evidence that
import quotas don't work.
In Brussels, the EU head office said Wednesday there was growing consensus among member states to unblock the Chinese textile imports
held up at Europe's borders.
The dispute is politically sensitive at a time of soaring U.S. trade deficits
with China, which last year hit $162 billion — an all-time record high with
Hu is to meet President George W. Bush on September 7 in Washington. U.S. clothing manufacturers say the flood of cheap Chinese goods
since the beginning of this year has forced 19 U.S. plants to close and resulted in
26,000 lost jobs.
If no agreement is reached, U.S. manufacturers will continue to rely on the
safeguard system which allows them to petition the U.S. government on a case-by-case basis for limits if imports are seen to
be threatening American industry, Tantillo said.
Beijing argues that developed countries should focus on high-tech, big-money goods like airplanes and not try to stymie Chinese
production of low-cost items like socks and underwear.
China also argues that the United States and its other trading partners are
to blame the surge, because they failed to meet commitments to drop market barriers before the quota system ended on
The U.S. trade deficit with China this year is running at 32% above last year's record pace, due largely to a 58% jump in clothing and
Weldon A. Lafferty Dies at 74
Weldon A. Lafferty, the former owner of Scentique Ltd. Manufacturing
Co. passed away August 15, at his home in Daytona Beach, Florida.
He will be missed by his wife of 26 years, Ellen Lafferty, three daughters; Darlene McFarlan, Paulene Honcik, Gail Forbes, along with
a stepdaughter - Ellen Marie Masankay and a stepson Michael J. Durbin.
He is also survived by this brother Lyndon Lafferty, eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Weldon was born in Oakland, California and grew up in Vallejo California. He also lived in Walnut Creek, California for many
Weldon served in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1946 to 1949, and the Korean Conflict from 1951 to 1952.
He majored in business at Armstrong College in Berkeley California, and went on to become well known in the intimate apparel industry
for many years.
Weldon was a member of the National Ski Patrol for numerous years. He loved outdoor sports; tennis, golf, boating and he also enjoyed
making stained glass objects.
In 2004 he moved from Vandling, Pennsylvania to Daytona Beach,
Florida to retire.
Hospice offered a wonderful care to Weldon and support for his family
during his last days. His family is asking that any donations to be made to Hospice of Volusia/Flagler County, 3800
Woodbriar Trial, Port Orange, Florida, 32119 in his name. Tel#386-322-4701.
EC Names 8 Shoemakers
In Dumping Case
The European Committee has named eight Vietnamese footwear
companies to be probed for anti-dumping practices, according to a report by the Vietnam News Agency.
The Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association has reportedly selected foreign-invested companies Pou Yuen Viet Nam, Pou Chen
Viet Nam, Taekwang Vina and Kainan, and locally-invested Company No 32, Dona Biti's, Binh Tien Import Export Company, and Hai
Phong Leather and Footwear Company.
Selected from a total of 100 local companies, the chosen shoemakers have been ordered to respond to EC questionnaires within
30 days and get ready for on-the-spot questioning.
The EC launched the investigation after the European Confederation of Footwear Industry demanded action on alleged exports of
unfairly low-priced shoes.
Business picked will be landed with hefty anti-dumping fines should they fail to follow the EC’s instructions.
A model presents a creation by Boudoir on the last day of the
Bangkok Fashion Week in August, 2005. Designed to raise
Bangkok's status as a regional fashion hub, the Bangkok Fashion
Week seeks to promote Thai garments and jewelry.
Saks Confirmed Improper
US retailer Saks Inc has confirmed that one of its merchandising
divisions engaged in improper collections of $32.4 million worth of vendor markdown allowances between 1996 and 2003.
Saks’ Audit Committee began two internal probes at the start of the year after an the independent investigation concluded that one of
Saks Fifth Avenue’s divisions had collected illicit markdown allowances.
Saks said that the over collections were due to “falsification by merchants in the [division] of information delivered to vendors”.
The company is now reimbursing the vendors with added interest, and also expects to restate financial results for the specified years.
Gap Launches Forth & Towne
Apparel giant Gap Inc is launching its new women’s clothing chain,
Forth & Towne.
The first store of the new chain will be opened in the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, New York.
Gap, which also owns the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy chains, will then open four stores in Chicago on 31 August.
Forth & Towne will sell the Allegory, Vocabulary, Prize and Gap Edition
brands in its stores, which are aimed at women aged 35 and over.
Gap earlier this year announced strategic plans for its three other retail
concepts, including refocusing the core Gap brand to concentrate on casual American style, growing the Banana Republic
brand with jewelry, handbags, personal care products and petites, and opening new Old Navy
Stores as well as pursuing brand extensions.
Talks Between EU & China
To Solve Textile Crisis
European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson is expected to face tough opposition at the meeting with ambassadors from the 25 EU
member states to try to find some way to release blocked Chinese textile imports to the EU.
First reports from the European Commission say that discussions this-morning showed a “strong consensus that the current situation
needs to be resolved as rapidly as possible,” and that stockpiled Chinese
garments need to be unblocked and released to stores as a matter of urgency.
There will be a meeting of the 133 Textiles Committee to continue discussions at a more technical level, with proposals then being
transmitted to member states for their response.
Mandelson is trying to balance demands for protection from EU textile producers against complaints from retailers warning of store
closures, empty shelves and soaring prices this autumn and winter.
On Tuesday he warned of clothing shortages and higher prices for European consumers – less than 24 hours after dismissing as “scare
stories" retailers’ concerns about clothing shortages.
Mandelson is thought to be trying to persuade producers to accept a one-off deal where goods already in transit by 12 July (the day the
quotas were imposed) should not be counted towards the new quota.
Instead, they should be allowed into the EU under the previous quota-free regime.
However, his plan could be blocked without support from a majority of member states.
Federated Completed May
Federated Department Stores Inc says that it has completed its
previously announced merger with The May Department Stores Company.
A spokesperson for Federated said that it would be meeting with May in order to learn more about the business to make the best possible
Federated, which expects to operate all May Company stores under their existing nameplates until at least the end of 2005, reiterated
its pledge to May associates that it will make no workforce reductions or job
eliminations as a result of the merger.
The company added that it has identified an additional seven duplicate stores in California, New York and Massachusetts that it
intends to divest in 2006.
50 Million Pullovers For France
Stuck in Transit
About 50 million pullovers sent from China are now stuck in
transit in Europe’s ports after the 2005 export limit for the items were reached,
according to a French importer quoted by Agence France-Presse.
A company representative said: “In light of decrees issued in July, we all
thought we could pick up the merchandise until 20 July, but in fact, everything that arrived after 12 July was blocked because
there was no more quota to buy”.
The source added that some of the goods would hopefully be able to continue their journey thanks to the EU raising some of this year’s
quota, but added that only about 20m pullovers would be allowed through.
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