Blog: Weather warms March retail sales
Leonie Barrie | 10 April 2012
A winning combination of warmer weather, an earlier Easter, new spring fashions and an improving economy helped a number of US apparel retailers to higher same-store sales for March. Data released last week showed Target, Macy's, Limited Brands and Gap all managed to book strong gains during the month.
Meanwhile, US department store operator JCPenney Company is axing around 10% of the staff at its corporate headquarters in Plano, Texas as part of an ongoing transformation of its business under new CEO Ron Johnson. The retailer said it expects to achieve around $200m in savings at its headquarters, where 600 jobs will go. It is also closing its customer call centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
And US retail giant Wal-Mart is hoping a new five-year initiative to empower 60,000 women working at its supplier factories in India, Bangladesh, China and Central America will also lead to higher quality products and lower prices. The Women in Factories programme will be rolled out to 150 factories and will teach "critical life skills" such as hygiene, health and safety.
An inter-governmental group has warned that efforts by the Chinese government to build the country's cotton stockpiles have led to "significant uncertainty" that could weigh on the global cotton market for years. The International Cotton Advisory Council (ICAC) estimates China's cotton imports will be 4.2m tons during the season that ends on 31 July, a rise of 61% on the previous year.
China also comes in for criticism in an annual report from the US Trade Representative's office - and along with India, Argentina and Brazil is among countries listed as obstructing US apparel and textile exports around the world. The 2012 National Trade Estimate Report sets out the major foreign barriers faced by US companies.
And, with increasing numbers of apparel and footwear brands, retailers and manufacturers weighed down by so-called "audit fatigue", steps are being taken to work towards a common platform that will enable firms to share data and reduce the number of audits carried out across the supply chain. The Global Apparel, Footwear and Textile Initiative (GAFTI) brings together retailers, brands, mills and factories to try to reduce this compliance complexity.
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
- How US border adjustment tax could affect apparel
- British Brexit plans prioritise tariff-free trade
- Apparel factory auditing is in the firing line
- Outlook 2017 – What next for apparel sourcing?
- Cambodia clothing exports at risk from Brexit
- Apparel brands urge Bangladesh PM to address wages
- New project to digitalise European fashion chains
- Brands need to tackle Turkey factory refugee abuse
- JC Penney to roll out hundreds of Nike "shops"
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Anti-odour clothing: fresh fashion for an active lifestyle
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016