Blog: Design helps drive demand
Leonie Barrie | 14 November 2011
With figures from both sides of the Atlantic continuing to emphasise that shoppers, by and large, remain downbeat amidst economic gloom and uncertainty, two retailers last week emphasised the importance of quality and design in continuing to drive sales.
While the UK's Marks & Spencer blamed the intensifying promotional culture in its UK general merchandising division - which includes clothing and footwear - for weaker first-half profits, it also noted sell-outs in its "good" lines and growth in the "better and best" categories.
Admitting that some 25% of its range is being discounted at any one time, chief executive Marc Bolland also noted: "It's not everybody buying into deals, it's not everyone buying into low price. But we have to cater to both."
And US based luxury clothing seller Ralph Lauren Corporation listed rising input costs among the "near-term headwinds" that continue to buffet its business - but says shoppers are willing to spend more on products as long as they put "fashion first" and offer something new and exciting.US: Ralph Lauren shares fall on H1 results
As its clothing business gets bigger, UK supermarket retailer Sainsbury's is shifting towards direct sourcing - and expects falling cotton costs to be reflected in prices of its spring/summer 2012 collections. Claiming to be the UK's seventh largest clothing retailer by volume, group commercial director Mike Coupe told just-style the clothing business now has the scale to buy direct and plans to source increasing volumes this way.
But the new slimmed-down Liz Claiborne Inc, which in recent months has sold several under-performing brands including Mexx and its namesake Liz Claiborne label, has admitted it will also have to trim its corporate costs in line with its smaller footprint - but that an investment in new IT systems is also on the cards.
Meanwhile, Australian apparel retailers are facing a perfect storm. The country is only now seeing signs of the global economic crisis, the strong Australian dollar is driving shoppers to look at international online retailers - and the world's major fast fashion retailers are plotting their entries into the market. In a series of four special reports, just-style looks at how firms are faring.
Experts on China's textile and apparel industry say that international brands must take increasing care to ensure their sourcing is environmentally and socially responsible, ahead of an anticipated ti...
It seems former Men's Wearhouse CEO George Zimmer may be about to show his trump card following his fall-out with the apparel retailer, through the launch of a new company....
As UK retail giant Tesco continues to fight its way through the fallout from its recent accounting crisis, it seems a board member has begun compiling a list of candidates to succeed chairman Sir Rich...
If evidence is needed as to the new direction likely to be pursued by US retail giant Gap Inc, look no further than the company's new leadership change. It was revealed last week that CEO Glenn Murphy...
- China tightens on corporate social responsibility
- Marks & Spencer to extend mobile phone monitoring
- Factoring: a lifeline for apparel suppliers?
- Outdoor industry's future must be more inclusive
- Responsible apparel sourcing requires teamwork
- Adidas "Reebok sale" would be admittance of defeat
- New JC Penney CEO “credible but no solution”
- UPDATE: A&F appoints Horowitz to head Hollister
- H&M calls for annual wage reviews in Bangladesh
- Fire and safety events to converge on Bangladesh
- Apparel Market in China to 2018 - Market Size, Trends, and Forecasts
- Wool in the 21st Century: new prospects for a familiar fibre
- Ethiopia – the emerging textile and clothing industry
- Prospects for the Textile and Clothing Industry in Vietnam
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2020