Blog: UK retail sector in the spotlight
Leonie Barrie | 23 April 2012
The spotlight last week fell firmly on the UK retail sector. Marks & Spencer saw its fourth-quarter clothing sales hit after running out of stock on a number of its best-selling women's wear lines, and supermarket giant Tesco promised to improve its clothing offer after booking a fall in full-year profit in its UK business.
M&S said its UK clothing sales fell 0.3% in the three months to 31 March after failing to buy deeply enough on its best-selling women's wear lines. It was also caught out by the weather, with not enough knitwear in stock during a cold snap in February.
Tesco, the UK's largest retailer, meanwhile said clothing is one of the areas being targeted as part of a new GBP1bn (US$1.59bn) investment aimed at revitalising its sagging domestic business. The supermarket giant booked a 3.9% fall in general merchandise, clothing and electricals sales in the UK over the year to 25 February.
And luxury UK fashion house Aquascutum finally called in the administrators after efforts by owners Harold Tillman and Belinda Earl failed to stem losses. Hong Kong-based YGM Trading, which owns the licence to Aquascutum in Asia, has already begun talks to buy the rights to the brand in other regions - but the company's factory in Corby in the UK is to be shuttered with the loss of 115 jobs.
While still-high cotton costs weighed on first quarter profit at sock, T-shirt and underwear maker Hanesbrands, the company still managed to beat forecasts and says it believes the worst of the cotton price inflation is now over. Losses in the three months to 31 March came in at a better-than-expected $26.8m.
And two comment articles on just-style during the week garnered a huge amount of interest. In his monthly Flanarant, Mike Flanagan notes that falling apparel imports into the US and EU have largely been due to Asian producers raising their prices, rather than falling consumer demand. And David Birnbaum explains why he believes US retailer Gap has been going consistently downhill for the past 10 years.
Fashion retailer H&M and UK based glove and leather manufacturer Pittards both say they are monitoring the situation in Ethiopia closely after the country's government declared a state of emergency af...
Increasing competition for garment sourcing contracts is seeing China not only being challenged by other countries in Asia, but by sub-Saharan African and even Russian suppliers too. And it is pushing...
The monthly minimum wage for workers in Cambodia's textile, garment and footwear sector is set to rise to $153 from January next year, following a vote on the issue last week. The increase marks a ris...
The results of two highly-anticipated initiatives in the sportswear sphere were revealed last week: the launch of Under Armour’s new UAS lifestyle brand and the first pair of running shoes created at ...
- Fashion fit for the future – strategies for speed
- Digitisation to drive new apparel-making models
- Will new Vietnam wage hinder competitiveness?
- Under Armour Lighthouse will disrupt production
- Pakistan industry seeks help to kickstart exports
- Child refugees found in Turkey apparel factories
- Chinese manufacturer invests $20m in US facility
- US Q3 in brief - Under Armour, VF Corp, Skechers
- Reebok Liquid Factory reinvents shoe production
- Managing change in the move to new tech tools
- Africa-Med strategic sourcing review – comparing East Africa, North Africa and Turkey
- REPORT BUNDLE: Africa-Med, Southeast Asia and Central America strategic sourcing pack
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Apparel (GLOBAL) - Industry Report
- Global Sports and Fitness Wear Market 2016-2020