Blog: M&S leak draws conspiracy theories
Leonie Barrie | 14 January 2013
Conspiracy theorists had a field day last week when UK retailer Marks & Spencer was forced to release its Christmas trading update early after the results were leaked. An internal attempt to discredit chief executive Mark Bolland, a rival or potential bidder seeking to destabilise the business, or a simple mistake?
Whatever the reason, it didn't soften the blow of worse-than-expected third-quarter sales figures, with general merchandise - which includes clothing and footwear - taking the majority of the hit. "Dismal," "disappointing,' and "lacklustre" are some of the adjectives used by retail analysts to sum up M&S's results.
It was only the lack of discounting that allowed M&S to protect its margins and avoid a profit warning.
But global sourcing giant Li & Fung Ltd was unable to escape such a fate, warning of a 40% fall in full-year core operating profit and naming a new president to lead its US unit, where sales and margins have weakened. Except for LF USA, all other parts of the group's business performed as expected, it added.
Fast Retailing Co, operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain and Asia's biggest global fashion brand, expects to see its full-year sales topping JPY1 trillion for the first time, along with record profits. Reporting "considerable gains" across its business during the first quarter, it also announced plans to eliminate hazardous chemicals from its entire global supply chain and products by 2020.
And the apparel operations of Singapore-based Ocean Sky are to be acquired by Luen Thai Holdings (LTHL) for US$55m. The agreement will see LTHL's subsidiary Sunny Force Limited acquire Ocean Sky's wholly owned subsidiary, Ocean Sky Global, with the larger group positioned to offer a wider product range.
The US government, meanwhile, has unveiled details of proposed flexibilities it wants to introduce into the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement which will allow importers to buy scarce clothing, textiles and yarns from outside the bloc. The plan recommends creating a 'short supply' list of yarns, fabrics, and textiles that cannot be sourced or manufactured from any of the member TPP countries.
China is using a catchy English-language TV ad to promote its 13th Five-Year Plan for the five years to 2020. But Mike Flanagan questions whether the Plan really tells us how garment-making in China w...
It seems American Apparel doesn't want to learn its lesson. Now operating under new CEO Paula Schneider, you might be forgiven for thinking the US fashion retailer had turned a corner....
If proof was needed of the link between consistent garment size and fit and its impact on top-line growth, then look no further than European value fashion retailer C&A – where a 10-month overhaul of ...
The release of the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement earlier this month coincided with a number of events showing how unpredictable the deal’s approval is likely to be. ...
- ‘Fixing Fashion’ one stitch at a time
- Why China 5-year plan won't change garment-making
- Five ways to tackle market and demand volatility
- Freeing up working capital in the supply chain
- Hungary offers a mix of strengths and weaknesses
- German sustainable textile scheme heads to Vietnam
- Uniqlo under fire again for China worker abuses
- Golden Lady creates a new man-made fibre
- 3D tool uses product data to shake up shopping
- Fast Retailing in deal for laser treated garments
- Wearable technology: The future market potential for smart garments and e-textiles
- Practical Brand Sourcing Strategy
- Statistics: Trends in Global and Regional Man-made Fibre Production - 2015
- Myanmar's Garment Sector in 2015 - now with updated members' directory
- Trade and Trade Policy: The World’s Leading Clothing Exporters and Key Markets 2015