Blog: Leonie BarrieBack-to-school shapes sales

Leonie Barrie | 6 September 2010

Last-minute spending on back-to-school products provided a welcome lift to many retailers in August, helping the latest monthly sales results to come in ahead of expectations. Bolstered by promotions, sales at stores open more than a year - a key gauge of retail demand - grew by 3.4% in August. Apparel sales benefited from tax-free weekends in three large states, and may have been even stronger if hot and dry weather had not curbed demand for warmer autumn fashion ranges that began arriving in stores.

For retailers including Gap and Zara, the internet is seen as a key driver of business in Europe, with both launching e-commerce sites in the past week. Perhaps the biggest question though, is what took them so long? The success of fashion e-tailers like Asos suggests that going online is a win-win proposition, but there has been an element of 'if we're going to do it, we'll do it properly' about the recent launches.

Fashion brands are also adding the shape of their shoppers to sizing considerations in a bid to broaden their appeal. Levi's new Curve ID jeans, for example, uses a fit system based on curves and follows a study of 60,000 body scans by the company. While shape is not replacing size, it is increasingly being used to differentiate and attract shoppers with different body shapes.

Meanwhile, US textile and cotton groups have hit out at a suggested package of trade concessions to help Pakistan recover from the recent flood disaster, saying the US government should send humanitarian aid to Pakistan instead of US jobs. The comments were made in response to a proposal by the US Chamber of Commerce to grant one-way trade concessions to Pakistan in the form of duty-free treatment for certain textile and apparel products as a way to help the flood-ravaged country.

And a recent study has shown that US import prices in the year to 31 May have fallen in the case of nine of the country's ten largest clothing suppliers. During the 12-month period the average price of US clothing imports dropped to its lowest level in over 20 years, after the elimination of safeguard restrictions against US imports of certain items from China at the end of 2008 meant there was no upper limit to the supplies available and exporters were forced to lower their prices to compete for orders.


BLOG

A deep dive to unlocking digitisation's potential

So far, the promise of digitisation in the apparel industry remains largely unfulfilled. But with opportunities for new cheap supplier countries nearly exhausted, it is now seen as offering sourcing e...

BLOG

Kingpins Goes to DC – Watch now

The challenges and opportunities facing today’s textile and apparel industry is also explored in the second in a series of expert panel discussions that is now available to watch on demand...

BLOG

Industry outlook positive but disruptive

How is the global apparel sourcing landscape changing? According to executives at last month’s MAGIC fashion trade show in the US, "speed-to-market," "product differentiation" and "inventory control" ...

BLOG

Speed-to-market can be slow to achieve

It's easy for brands and retailers to see how they can potentially benefit from a successful speed-to-market program – but the irony is that without the support of strategic suppliers, it can be a lon...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?