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.
Apparel brands have been urged to stay committed to Cambodia after a 28% rise in the minimum monthly wage was agreed for textile, garment and footwear workers....
US firms including apparel retailers and importers are urging the government to intervene in the ongoing dispute at US west coast ports, amid worsening delays on shipments of holiday merchandise and f...
A number of retailers were last week forced to respond to allegations of "forced labour" among female textile workers in mills in southern India, with H&M blacklisting one of the five named....
Yet another fast fashion brand could be about to launch, with suggestions that the next move by Swedish furniture retailer Ikea might be into apparel....
- New scenarios driving sustainability in textiles
- New wage ladder lifts workers towards living wages
- US retailers to face logistics issues into 2015
- Cambodia employers and unions unhappy at wage rise
- Uzbekistan forces more adults into cotton harvest
- Bangladesh worker dies as factory boiler ruptures
- Coats launches new services business in Vietnam
- Eight footwear factories lead on social compliance
- Global unions join forces on apparel wage poverty
- US firms eye Vietnam footwear growth ahead of TPP