Blog: October retail sales cooled
Leonie Barrie | 19 November 2012
Retail sales on both sides of the Atlantic cooled in October as shoppers cut back on purchases including clothing and footwear - although observers are confident spending will pick up in time for the holiday shopping season.
Retail sales volumes in the UK fell 0.8% in October, compared with the month before. Sales at textile, clothing and footwear stores tumbled 2.3% as consumer confidence dropped to a six-month low.
US retail sales, meanwhile, were battered by a number of factors, including Hurricane Sandy, economic worries and concerns over looming tax rises and spending cuts. October sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores were 0.1% lower than the month before.
But specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc raised its full-year earnings guidance after third-quarter profit surged 60% thanks to higher sales of new and revamped product lines. The San Francisco-based business said the results underscore its continued progress on key strategies - and that the next step in its transformation is to become a truly global brand.
And US-based online retailer and auction house eBay is setting its sights on fashion-conscious consumers in China after teaming up with Chinese luxury online retailer Xiu.com to launch a new eBay Style website. The site will feature up to 5,000 apparel, shoe, accessories, health and beauty brands.
Retailer Marks & Spencer has outlined some of the latest milestones reached under its Plan A ethical programme, including using sustainably sourced cotton in 900 products and saving 865 tonnes of clothing from going to landfill. The company also says 35% of the products it sells - over a billion items a year - now have a Plan A eco or ethical attribute.
And supermarket group Tesco is taking steps to boost productivity in the Bangladeshi apparel industry by investing in a new training centre to teach leadership skills and production techniques to garment workers. Tesco says it will contribute to the country's long-term competitiveness by improving conditions, pay and opportunities.
And a group of Hong Kong based buyers representing some 20 global brands and retailers has visited the country as part of a wider regional tour to explore sourcing alternatives to China.
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A special event on ‘The Fit Factor – World class wisdom on fashion sizing and fit’ will bring together speakers from Marks & Spencer, Tesco, C&A and Debenhams in the UK next week....
A tentative agreement on a new five-year contract has been agreed for some 20,000 dockworkers at 29 US West Coast ports, ending nine months of discussions. The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and I...
As the threat of a US West Coast port shutdown looms, analysts already estimate the ongoing disruption could add an eye-watering US$36.9bn to costs over the next 24 months. ...
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