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Articles Of Interest

Chinese Imports To Be Released
Page 1

Wal-Mart Accused of Sweatshop Conditions
Page 1

M&S Fined £10,000
Page 1

Push-Up Bra Sales Drop 
Page 2

Playboy Bunny Gains Popularity 
Page 2

McPete Sez
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High Gas Prices Decrease Consumers' Spending
Page 3

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Bendon's Ads Anger Locals
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Ask Andy
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Ann Summers Launches Superstore
Page 4

Campbell Accused of Sabotage 
Page 4

PETA Ends Campaign Against Benetton
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August Retailers' Sales Review
Page 5

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  September 15, 2005                                              Issue #153


     Mcpete -Sez, 
The Lingerie Newsletter 
       Women's Wear Journal


                              Ready to-wear.

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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 Accused of    
  Sweatshop Conditions
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 Italian-made.
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 producers.
Vietnam’s textile industry is its second-biggest source of export revenue after crude oil.
       Allure Leather     
Miller's To Close or Sell 
               62 Stores

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 buyers.
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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