Blog: Wal-Mart sees light at the end of the tunnel
Leonie Barrie | 25 February 2013
US retail giant Wal-Mart is finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as its domestic apparel business is concerned - last week reporting the first full-year of positive comparable apparel sales for seven years.
The revelation that efforts to turn around its apparel business are finally starting to gain traction came as the world's largest retailer posted an 8.6% rise in fourth quarter profit to US$5.6bn, with revenue up 3.9% to $127.1bn.
A move away from image-led fashion items back towards basics and essentials like underwear, socks and T-shirts was attributed to the apparel gains, along with improved quality.
Gains were also seen at Wal-Mart's UK-based George at Asda clothing brand, which is ramping up its international expansion to give it a presence in 24 countries by the end of September. This will be driven mainly through online expansion.
The brand also said it remains committed to sourcing in Bangladesh - partly because it's the "right thing to do", but also because it has invested heavily in improving productivity in the country.
International growth is also topping the agenda at Iconix Brand Group, which has bought European denim brand Lee Cooper in a $72m deal. The acquisition of "another truly global brand" will help elevate the New York based firm's international business to around one-third of its total this year, the company said.
But struggling Australian surfwear firm Billabong International has swung to a first-half loss after writing off the value of its brands - and says that from next month it intends to slash the number of apparel suppliers that it uses to less than one-fifth of the current total. Billabong, which is currently a takeover target for two rival bidders, also lowered its full-year guidance for the second time since December, blaming difficult trading conditions in Europe and a poor performance at the Nixon watch and accessories brand.
Malaysia's textile and clothing industry, meanwhile, is planning to focus on three key areas - higher value fashion, dyeing and finishing, and technical textiles - to sustain growth and enable it continue to compete with lower-cost competition elsewhere in Asia.
Some of just-style’s more eagle-eyed readers might have noticed a small change to the menu bar on the homepage: the addition of the word re:source. Yes it might be a small change – but it marks the co...
Over the past week just-style has continued to try to unravel the potential ramifications of Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States....
One event dominated the international airwaves last week, and on just-style too we took a closer look at the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States....
As the Brexit roller-coaster continues to twist and turn, and the US presidential election campaign nears its unpredictable and possibly protectionist end, there's no doubt these events – and the perc...
- Traditional financing is a misfit for fast fashion
- Planning is key to an effective inventory strategy
- US apparel retailers' November 2016 sales roundup
- Why do modern robotics elude sportswear makers?
- Software for financial planning and operations
- US Q3 in brief – Genesco, G-III Apparel, Express
- Esquel efficiency drive continues to boost brands
- Film documents Cambodia garment workers' stories
- Pakistan suspends India cotton imports
- just-style Sourcing Survey – share your thoughts
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Footwear Top 5 Emerging Markets Industry Guide_2016
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022
- REPORT BUNDLE: Africa-Med, Southeast Asia and Central America strategic sourcing pack