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New DR-CAFTA Rules
Page 1

Rainy July Boosts UK Online Sales
Page 1

July 2008 Retailers' Review
Page 1

Matalan Accused of Squeezing Suppliers
Page 2


Buyers' Best Sellers
Page 2

Ask Andy
Page 2

McPete Sez
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2008 CILA 
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Page 3


Intimate Graphics
Page 3

Ask Kevin
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2008 CILA 
Gala Continued 
Page 4

McCartney Upset Over 
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2008 CILA 
Gala Continued
Page 5

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The American Red Cross

  September 1, 2008                                           Issue #224
     The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's Wear Journal           

3/24
                   
                              Intimate Apparel

Sleepwear-Daywear-Foundations-Loungewear-Hosiery-
           Lingerie-Swimwear-Dancewear-Clubwear 
                              Ready-to-Wear
 
                            
        
New DR-CAFTA Rules
Two new rules of origin under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) went into force August 15 to promote regional production.
Under the so-called pocketing amendment, the pocket used in apparel must be formed and finished in the region to qualify for duty-free treatment.
While the cumulation provision permits a limited quantity of woven apparel containing Mexican or Canadian inputs to enter the United States duty-free. 
US Trade Representative Susan C Schwab says the amendments "marks another important step forward in the integration of apparel manufacturing in the region. 
"The provisions will strengthen our already strong economic relationship with our trading partners in the region, and will create new opportunities for the use of US fabric and yarn in apparel production in the region." 

                
The model is wearing Carol Malony, Winner of the Best
Coordinated Category at 2008 CILA Awards. The CILA 
Gala was held at the Waldorf-Astoria, NYC on August 4, 2008. 
                               Photo by
William Lords 


23/24   
Rainy July Boosts UK 
        Online Sales
Online spending during July rose to GBP4.8bn, up 11.3% on the previous month, with sales of clothing, footwear and accessories rising 22.8% as wet weather kept shoppers off the high street.
The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index found that shoppers in the UK continue to spend online despite pressures on disposable income, in stark contrast to to BRC figures which showed that total retail sales for July were 0.9% down on last year.
Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail at Capgemini UK, said: "Gloomy market conditions have not dampened consumers' appetite for shopping online. 
"Online sales continue to show strong growth, particularly when compared to the tough trading conditions on the high street.
"The increase in clothing/footwear sales demonstrates consumers' ever increasing familiarity with e-retailing, extending their shopping behavior into more and more categories."


20/24              Photographed by Lawrence O. Brown

Pakistan's Transporter 
         Strike Ends
An inland goods transporters strike in Pakistan that held up US$350m in textile and clothing exports ended after eight days.
The Karachi Goods Carrier Association (KGCA) has called off the strike and restarted transporting cargo from the evening of August 26.
It will now take an estimated three day period to clear the consignments.
Furthermore, the management of Karachi International Containers Terminal (KICT) have asked exporters to send less consignments as its space is occupied by around 10,000 imported containers.
Tanvir Ahmad Sheikh, president of the federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) said that the export-oriented sector has been badly affected due to the strike and it would add additional cost to the exporters.

 
 
July 2008 Retailers' Sales
              Review

July sales were "lower than expected" at Abercrombie & Fitch, even though they rose 2% to $303.1m from $296.4m last time. Same-store sales decreased 7%, with a 1% rise at Abercrombie & Fitch offset by a 15% drop at Abercrombie, an 11% decline at Hollister Co, and a 25% drop at Ruehl. Total direct-to-consumer net sales increased 14% to $18.3m.
Aéropostale Inc reported that its total net sales for July increased 24% to $138.8m from $111.7m. Same store sales increased 13% for the month, compared to a drop of 12% in the year ago period. The company said it was very pleased with the customer response to its back to school merchandise assortments and pre-planned promotions. 
American Apparel Inc said July sales for stores open for more than 12 months increased 25% over the year ago period. The company operates 145 stores.
American Eagle Outfitters
reported a slight decrease in its monthly sales, slipping to $232.8m from $233.9m last year. Comparable store sales were down 7% for the month.
The Bon-Ton Stores posted rising total sales 1.8% to $197.9m from $194.3m, and same-store sales up 0.7%. The company said business was particularly strong during the latter part of the month due to its semi-annual home and back-to-school promotions. Best performing categories included soft home, accessories, children's, shoes, men's, special size sportswear and intimate apparel.
The Buckle said net sales for the four weeks to August 2 increased 28.7% at its fashion and footwear stores. Total sales rose to $57.0m from $44.3m, and sales at stores open at least one year rose 20.9%. The company operates 381 stores.
Cache Inc was "pleased" as its July sales increased 3% to $17.0m and same-store sales rose 2%. It said all categories contributed positively to sales.
The Cato Corporation posted a 2% rise in July sales to $62.1m, versus $60.7m in the prior-year period. Comparable store sales for the month fell 1% as "the benefit we have received from the stimulus checks has begun to decrease." The value-priced women's fashion retailer operates the Cato and It's Fashion divisions. 
Net sales at Chico’s FAS Inc fell 7.3% to $112.5m from $121.4m in the four weeks to August 4. Comparable store sales were down 18.5%.
Gap Inc said its July sales were down 5% to $998m from $1.05bn in the same month last year, and that same-store sales fell 11%. By division, comparable store sales fell 6% at Gap North America, were down 8% at Banana Republic North America, and slumped 16% at Old Navy North America. Its international sales fell 9%. The company said it focused on clearing summer products and preparing for autumn deliveries - and that merchandise margins were significantly above last year.
Gottschalks Inc announced that its total sales for July were down 4.1% to $39.4m from $41.1m in the same period last year. The regional department store chain said same store sales fell 2.1% from the prior year. Best performing categories were young men's, children's, special sizes and housewares.
Hot Topic Inc said its fiscal July sales rose 1.0% to $56.2m, with a 10.2% rise at its Torrid stores offset by a 1.1% drop at the Hot Topic  chain. Same-store sales fell 2.1%, down 5.2% at Torrid and dropping 1.4% at Hot Topic.
Total sales at JC Penney Company Inc were down 4.9% in July, falling to $1.34bn from $1.41bn. Same-store sales fell 6.5%. Women's apparel, family shoes and children's were the top performing merchandise divisions according to the retailer, which operates 1,083 department stores.
Kohl's Corporation
saw sales fall 2.4% to $1.03bn from $1.05bn last July. On a comparable store basis, the department store group said its sales decreased 10.4%. It said July "was a month driven by clearance sales of spring and summer merchandise."
Limited Brands Inc, operator of the Victoria’s Secret, Pink, and La Senza chains, posted a 6.7% drop in July net sales, to $601.3m from $644.5m last year. Comparable store sales were down 5%.
Net sales at Mothers Work fell 0.6% to $42.0m for the month, which the company attributed to the closure of its leased departments in Sears. Comparable store sales increased 2.8% versus a decrease of 9.4% last year. 
Nordstrom Inc said its sales slipped 6.7% in the month to $840m from $901m. The company, which operates 105 full-line stores, 50 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, and two clearance stores added that same-store sales decreased 6.1%.
Pacific Sunwear of California Inc posted a 3% drop in July sales at its PacSun stores to $99.1m, down from $102.4m in the same period last year. PacSun same-store sales fell 4% during the period.
Retailer Saks Incorporated, which operates Saks Fifth Avenue, posted a 4.6% drop in owned sales in July, down to $192.1m from $201.4m. Comparable store sales were down 5.3%. The strongest categories were women's eveningwear, men's shoes, men's contemporary apparel, women's accessories, and fragrances. The weakest categories were women's apparel, men's classic sportswear and clothing, and handbags. 
Ross Stores Inc's July same store sales came in at the high end of its forecast, rising 4% from the prior year period. Its "ability to offer compelling bargains" helped push total sales up 11% to $499m from $450m. The company, which operates 888 Ross Dress for Less stores and 55 dd's stores added that dresses, accessories and home were the strongest merchandise categories.
Stage Stores Inc reported a 1.0% drop in its total sales for the four week July period to $108.1m, from $109.2m in the same period last year. Comparable store sales fell 6.2%. The company blamed the continuing challenging economic environment, as well as a slow start to the back-to-school selling period for its "disappointing" results.
Stein Mart Inc's July sales fell 4.6% to $80.6m, from $84.5m in the same month last year. Comparable store sales dropped 8.7%, with strong sales of ladies' casual sportswear, intimate apparel and special sizes offset by a downturn in gifts, linens and ladies' career wear. The retailer sells merchandise at up to 60% off department and specialty store prices.
Target Corporation reported that its net retail sales for the four weeks to 2 August increased 4.7% to $4,566m from $4,363m. July comparable store sales declined 1.2%, coming in at the low end of its planned range.
July sales at The TJX Companies Inc were $1.4bn, up 6% over the $1.3bn achieved last year. Consolidated comparable store sales rose 3% over last year, in line with its expectations. The company's stores include TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods in the US, Winners in Canada, and TK Maxx in Europe.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, said its total sales in July rose 9.4% to $30.16bn from $27.58bn in the same month last year. Sales at its US Walmart stores were up 6.7% to $18.74bn, Sam's Club rose 7.7% to $3.54bn, and international sales soared 17.1% to $7.87bn. On a same-stores basis, US sales rose 3.0%. The company said that although comparable store sales in apparel were slightly negative during the period, cleaner inventory meant much less clearance.
The Wet Seal Inc, which sells fashion and accessories for young women, said its total July sales rose 0.6% to $46.5m, with sales at its Wet Seal chain up 3.7% to $38.2m but dropping 11.6% at its Arden B format. Same-store sales were down 8.2%, with declines of 6.2% and 16.2% at Wet Seal and Arden B respectively. The company said its performance reflects the "continuation of a very difficult and highly promotional market."
Zumiez Inc posted a 12.7% jump in total net sales for the four-weeks to August 2, to $31.7m from $28.2m in the same period last year. But comparable store sales fell 1.4% for the four-week period. The company operates 324 stores.

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