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Articles Of Interest
Chinese Imports To Be Released
Wal-Mart Accused of Sweatshop Conditions
M&S Fined £10,000
Push-Up Bra Sales Drop
Playboy Bunny Gains Popularity
High Gas Prices Decrease Consumers' Spending
'Life AFTA CAFTA'
Bendon's Ads Anger Locals
Ann Summers Launches Superstore
Campbell Accused of Sabotage
PETA Ends Campaign Against Benetton
August Retailers' Sales Review
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September 15, 2005
Women's Wear Journal
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Chinese Imports To Be Released
Around 87 million custom-blocked Chinese garments will be free to
enter the EU after the 25 European member states last Wednesday backed a
plan brokered by the European Commission and China to release the textile imports.
The goods had been held at European ports after they exceeded their 2005 import limits.
The Commission said in a statement it will now adopt, by written procedure, “a regulation that will provide the legal grounds for
Member States to issue import licenses to products that are currently blocked.”
Under the terms of the new accords, all 87 million of the textile and clothing goods from China trapped in embargo will be allowed to
enter the EU.
Half of these will not count against quota limits of any kind.
The remaining 50% will count against quotas imposed on China in 2006.
Half of these amounts will be unblocked by different transfers agreed with
China: transfer of agreed quantities from 2006 into 2005.
For trousers and bras (categories 6 and 31 respectively) agreed quantities
will be transferred from 2006 quotas to clear the pending goods totally, as
well as partially (up to 5% of the 2006 level) for category 5 (pullovers).
For the other categories and for the rest of the amounts needed for category 5, the amounts will be transferred from the 2005 quantities
of category 2 (cotton fabrics).
However, the increased market access given to China in the renegotiated
EU-China textile deal has been criticized on several fronts.
The Global Alliance for Fair Textile Trade (GAFTT) said the access,
“amounting to tens of millions of garments, represents potential business
taken from GAFTT member countries and given to China, a country that manipulates world textile prices in order to gain an
unfair market advantage.”
Likewise, Spain’s biggest textiles lobby Consejo Intertextil Espanol (CIE),
says the deal will boost China’s competitive edge and “water down” prior
accords to thwart its massive imports drive.
The consequences of this deal bring new uncertainties for the Spanish textiles industry and will have a null effect in fighting
China’s dominant position in the European textiles market,” the CIE said.
The CIE called for the Spanish government to launch a package of specific
measures to save the country’s textiles industry from the Chinese insurgency, which it claims is triggering steep job losses
and factory closings.
Wal-Mart, has been landed with a lawsuit for allegedly ignoring
sweatshop conditions at clothing and toy factories.
The class-action suit was filed in Los Angeles in the US on behalf of 15
factory laborers in Bangladesh, Swaziland, Indonesia, China and Nicaragua.
According to the workers, the factories pay less than the minimum wage and make their employees work extra, unpaid hours. Some workers
have even claimed supervisors at the production plants beat them.
The company has reportedly failed to adhere to its contracts with overseas
suppliers that state it must monitor labor conditions at its factories.
Wal-Mart has been continually slated for implementing poor work conditions in order to maintain its famously low prices.
The company, which is investigating the allegations, claims that it "strives to
do business only with factories run legally and ethically" and that it is
currently aiming to achieve improved conditions for workers as well as push for worldwide monetary
opportunity for them.
A black bikini is modeled with a leaf print georgette tunic during
the presentation of the spring/summer 2006 collection of Behnaz
Sarafpour during Fashion Week in New York.
M&S Fined £10,000
Marks & Spencer has been fined £10,000 for wrongly suggesting that a
clothing collection was made in Italy.
Marks admitted it was guilty of misleading shoppers over a range called I
Italian, which was actually produced in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The prosecution came about after a customer complained to trading standards officials about the collection.
A subsequent investigation found that the range’s garments, which were
labeled ‘made in Italy’, ‘Italian Fabric’ and ‘Italian Inspired’ were not
The items did bear a disclaimer, the prosecutor said, but it was too subtle
and allowed the customer to be deceived.
Marks & Spencer was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £6,390 costs.
The range has now been renamed Collezione.
Vietnamese Trade Officials Charged for Export Scandal
Ex-deputy trade minister Mai Van Dau is being charged for corruption in a scandal over exports of textiles and clothing to the US,
according to Vietnamese state-controlled media.
Dau is the top ranking among a group of officials involved in the case in which himself and Le Van Thang, former deputy director of
the ministry's Import-Export Department, are said to have taken bribes worth hundreds
of thousands of dollars from companies affected by a US exports quota.
About sixteen other people are reported to have been charged with fraud and bribery connected with the case, and will stand trial
along with Dau and Thang.
The US introduced a quota of $1.7 billion on Vietnam’s textile and clothing exports to the US two years ago, causing anxiety among
Vietnam’s textile industry is its second-biggest source of export revenue after crude oil.
Miller's To Close or Sell
Value retailer Miller's Retail Ltd has announced plans to sell off
or shut 62 of its variety stores after suffering an annual net loss of AUD103.4 million
Miller’s said that the loss, which compared to a net profit of AUD8.7m
last year, was caused by asset write downs and troublesome trading conditions.
The store closures are set to take place over the next year, and the company says it is already in negotiations with several potential
Miller’s has so far shut eleven Crazy Clark's and Go-Lo outlets this financial year.
The company's retail brands include Miller's Fashion Club, Katies, Crazy Clark's Discount Variety Stores and Go-Lo.
French Connection Warns
Low Yearly Profits
High-street fashion chain French Connection has warned that
full-year profit will be at the lower end of predictions after it suffered a 69% slump
in profit during the first half of the year.
Pretax profits fell to £5.1 million during the six-month period ended July
31, from £16.2m the same time last year as same-store sales dropped 9%.
The company attributed the poor results to a troublesome trading environment and said it had "missed opportunities" with its summer
lines as well as suffering a slow start to winter business.
``The level of sales achieved at both retail and wholesale was below our
expectations,'' French Connection chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks said.
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