Blog: The week that was...
Leonie Barrie | 29 September 2008
Underwear and T-shirt maker Hanesbrands is nearing the end of a restructuring which began when it was spun off from Sara Lee Corp three years ago. But that doesn’t lessen the shock value of its latest decision to close nine plants in five western hemisphere countries and axe 8,100 jobs as it consolidates production into fewer and bigger facilities in Asia and Central America.
That’s about 16% of the 50,000 strong workforce at the company whose brands include Champion, Wonderbra, Playtex and Bali.
The latest supply chain streamlining – which is part of a long-term plan to cut costs – is due to be completed by the end of summer 2009. It will also mark the end of the company's large knit-fabric textile production in the United States.
Since September 2006, Hanesbrands has brought the axe down on at least 28 plants worldwide employing around 16,300 workers.
Belgian denim major Uco Sportswear has also decided its manufacturing unit in Ghent is no longer viable, and is to shut the plant with the loss of 379 jobs. Production will be transferred to the Uco textile mill in Giurgiu in Romania, where the annual cost of workers is one tenth of that in Belgium. The Romanian plant is also seen as key to making the company more competitive against nearby manufacturers in Turkey, as well as strengthening its position in Europe's high-volume mid-markets.
The viability of one of the UK’s most popular sports retailers was called into question on Friday after auditors to JJB Sports warned that the company could go under after breaching a banking covenant. Compounding worries was the retailer’s unexpected slump to a GBP9.7m half-year loss from a profit of GBP8.3m a year earlier. Sales were down 5.6% to GBP344.7m. JJB also took the surprise step of scrapping its first-half dividend.
Its fortunes compare markedly with those of rival retailer JD Sports, which earlier in the week posted a 54% jump in pre-tax profits to GBP12.4m with like-for-like sales up 5.8%.
Strong US sales and a 3% rise in future orders have helped Nike Inc beat Wall Street expectations, even though a one-time tax benefit last year meant first quarter profits fell 10%. Revenues grew 17% to $5.4bn, with all geographical areas registering growth, including the beleaguered US market. Results have been helped by the Beijing Olympics, which helped raise brand awareness and product innovation.
US specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc has also set its sights on the women's sports and active wear sector after buying apparel company Athleta Inc for $150m in cash. Athleta will become the "fifth tab" on Gap's online platform, selling alongside the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime brands. The deal will give Gap a foothold in the $31bn women's active apparel sector in the US, allowing it to tap into popular activities such as yoga and pilates where customers demand stylish yet functional clothing.
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
This week our focus turns to first thoughts from a panel of industry experts consulted by just-style on the challenges and opportunities likely to face the apparel supply chain in 2017, with prospects...
Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year....
Apparel sourcing is a complex process built on a mix of location, logistics, lead-time, price, compliance, risk and reliability. And it's in a constant state of flux as retailers, brands and manufactu...
- Trump and the apparel industry – Infographic
- $1.7bn package to boost Pakistan clothing exports
- Mexico riots hit apparel retailers and shipments
- Outlook 2017 – What next for apparel sourcing?
- Is China about to burst its apparel trade bubble?
- Cambodia clothing exports at risk from Brexit
- MAS Holdings planning second industrial park
- Apparel brands urge Bangladesh PM to address wages
- American Apparel to shutter all stores?
- JC Penney latest retailer to shutter stores?
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Anti-odour clothing: fresh fashion for an active lifestyle
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022