The apparel and textile business blog from Katie Smith
If you would like to offer your comments, opinions, suggest topics or just have a good rant, please feel free to email: Katie Smith.
House of Fraser accelerates multichannel plans
20 Jun 2013 14:27
Launching a mobile site is one of the ways House of Fraser is ramping up its multichannel strategy
UK department store retailer House of Fraser is to revamp its website, launch a mobile site and extend cut off times for next day delivery as part of efforts to ramp up its multichannel strategy.
House of Fraser will launch a replicated version of its stock locator iPhone app on its main e-commerce website, allowing customers to check whether products are available in their local stores.
The cut-off point for Buy & Collect purchases will now be 8pm for pre-noon next day delivery, with plans to extend this to 10pm within the next few weeks.
The moves came as the company revealed that 50% of its online traffic now comes from touch screen devices, which is an indication of how rapidly consumer shopping habits are evolving. It also revealed a 53% jump in online sales for 2012.
Executive director for multichannel Andy Harding said: "Designing for mobile and tablet devices before desktop versions will soon become the norm and is a change we've already implemented."
Texprocess trade fair opens next week
05 Jun 2013 17:32
The Texprocess sewn products, sourcing and equipment trade fair will open its doors for the second time next week with more than 1,600 exhibitors.
The event, which covers all stages of the textile processing chain, takes place parallel to the Techtextil trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, from 10-13 June.
Visitors from the fashion industry can find out about production countries and manufacturing firms at The 'Source it' procurement platform in hall 5.0, where Eastern Europe and North Africa are focal points this year.
"This takes account of the fact that many companies are bringing their textile processing and apparel manufacturing work closer to consumer markets," said Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH.
Some 326 companies from 37 countries will present their high-tech solutions in four halls of Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre, while 1,322 exhibitors from 48 countries will make presentations at Techtextil.
Proenza Schouler women's wear designer of the year
04 Jun 2013 16:53
The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) named New York-based upscale apparel accessories brand Proenza Schouler women's wear designer of the year.
The award for men's wear designer of the year was given to Thom Browne, while Phillip Lim for 3.1 Phillip Lim took home the accessories designer of the year yesterday (3 June) at the CFDA fashion awards.
The three Swarovski Awards, which honour and recognise emerging talent, went to Erin Beatty & Max Osterweis (women's wear), Dao-Yi Chow & Maxwell Osborne (men's wear) and Pamela Love (accessory design).
Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy was given the international award.
The Geoffrey Beene lifetime achievement award was presented to Vera Wang, while Colleen Atwood was awarded the board of directors' tribute.
Primark launches online at Asos
03 Jun 2013 17:11
Skinny joggers, skater dresses and printed T-shirts are now available online
UK value fashion retailer Primark has today (3 June) stepped into the world of e-commerce by launching its products at online clothing firm Asos.
Skinny joggers, skater dresses and printed T-shirts are among some of the items that are now available to buy online for the first time.
"As an online fashion destination, Asos delivers an edit of the brands and product that are relevant to its twenty-something target market. Primark is part of that mix. As such, a small selection of Primark's most fashion-led pieces are available on Asos from today," Asos said.
The move comes after Asos posted another half of strong profit and sales growth in April, while Primark recorded an "exceptionally strong" first-half performance, with sales growing 24% and like-for-like sales rising 7%.
Harris Tweed wins two Fashion & Textile awards
28 May 2013 14:22
Harris Tweed Hebrides was awarded textile business of the year and let's make it here UK manufacturer of the year
Harris Tweed Hebrides won two awards at this year's UK Fashion and Textile awards. The Scottish textile manufacturer, which accounts for around 90% of Harris Tweed production, was awarded textile business of the year and let's make it here UK manufacturer of the year.
Meanwhile, Nadja Swarovski collected the outstanding achievement award for her contribution to the fashion industry. Brand of the year was awarded to fashion retailer Ted Baker, while Abraham Moon won supplier of the year and Cambridge Satchel Company collected the exporter of the year award.
Christopher Raeburn won designer business of the year and Tatty Devine collected accessories business of the year award. Liberty London collected the Torque UKFT retailer of the year and the Hotel Indigo UKFT rise newcomer was presented to luxury label Emma J Shipley.
In addition, Fearne Cotton won the OK Magazine! UKFT best celebrity & design collaboration for her range with very.co.uk.
Abercrombie & Fitch under fire over plus-sizes
20 May 2013 10:41
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries has come under fire over the issue of plus-sized clothing - or lack of it in the case of this teen apparel retailer.
In an interview with Salon magazine eight years ago, Jeffries said: "Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."
But now the retailer's stand against plus-sized shoppers wearing its clothes because they don't fit with the brand's image has led to an online petition with more than 7,000 supporters.
The controversial issue was reignited last week by Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail. According to a report in Business Insider, Lewis will no longer allow her children to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch anymore, because it does not stock women's clothing above a size 10.
The retailer's policy of no plus-sized clothing appears to be paying off, though, after it more than tripled its fourth-quarter profit to US$157.2m. Sales rose 11% to $1.47bn for the 14 weeks to 2 February, from $1.33bn in the same period last year.
John Lewis bags top retailer award
03 May 2013 08:37
Department store operator John Lewis has reclaimed its title of the 'UK's best retailer' after its online sales passed the GBP1bn mark earlier this week - a year ahead of schedule.
John Lewis scored highly on its service and product quality. The company was followed by Bonmarché, who retained second place in the Verdict Customer Satisfaction Index rankings. In terms of clothing companies, Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) came third.
Verdict director of research & analysis Maureen Hinton said: "John Lewis swept the board this year coming top in all its main product categories, including for the first time, clothing.
The department store, which has also launched a new web platform, said it has seen an unprecedented pace of online growth, with online sales rising more than 40% in 2013.
just-style takes an Easter break
28 Mar 2013 17:22
We're heading off for the Easter break here in the UK, which means there will be no site updates or email newsletters on Friday (29 March) or Monday (1 April).
We'll be back at our desks bringing you the latest news and insight from the global apparel and textiles industry on Tuesday (2 April).
just-style editorial team
How skinny can jeans get?...
21 Mar 2013 17:03
...so skinny that teenagers will feel like they're wearing nothing at all, according to American Eagle Outfitters.
The teen apparel retailer has launched a campaign for the AEO skinny skinny, which is described as its "skinniest jean yet" because it comes straight from a can. American Eagle Outfitters claims that "one size fits all" for the jeans, which are available for a limited time only in Indigo and bright light.
But when customers visit the product online, they may be disappointed to find out that the spray-on jeans are temporarily sold out and will be asked to enter their email address to be updated on when the AEO skinny skinny jeans become available.
So what was the reason behind the spoof ad? A way of redirecting people to the company's e-commerce store possibly and adding them to its mailing list?
One thing we're sure of though is that if it was meant to be an April fool's joke - it's a week and a half too early.
UK: Tesco unveils F&F virtual mirror
27 Nov 2012 12:55
UK retail giant Tesco has launched virtual changing room mirrors in three of its stores.
Shoppers will be able to try on clothes without wearing them by using a virtual mirror.
CIO Mike McNamara demonstrated Tesco's latest digital innovations at a company conference, claiming they will "transform retail over the next few years".