Blog: Leonie BarrieFebruary chill cools US retail sales

Leonie Barrie | 11 March 2013

US retailers battled significant headwinds in February, with sales of early spring merchandise getting off to a slow start in the face of cool weather, higher payroll taxes and economic uncertainty. Same-store sales increased by 4.2% during the month, according to figures released last week.

Sportswear firm Adidas has blamed impairment charges relating to its Reebok business for pushing it to a fourth quarter loss - and says it plans to revive Reebok by repositioning it as a fitness brand. The sportswear giant also said it continues to be on track to reach the growth targets set out in its Route 2015 strategic plan, despite booking a 14% drop in full-year profit.

US textile and apparel imports have continued their upward trajectory in January, led by big gains from the Caribbean and South East Asia regions. The volume of textile and apparel imports into the US rose 3.7% in the first month of 2013, according to official figures released last week.

Cambodia also came under the spotlight after garment and footwear industry unions and businesses failed to agree a rise in the minimum wage for factory workers despite four rounds of talks. But workers at a shuttered apparel factory in the capital Phnom Penh are set to receive US$200,000 worth of unpaid wages and benefits.

And a comment on just-style looks at Cambodian worker rights versus worker benefits, arguing that professional help is needed to create a viable labour union movement in the country.

The joint "roadmap" aimed at securing zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in the supply chains of leading fashion brands and retailers by 2020 has also come under fire. An update that hints at moving its focus away from the zero discharge element has been criticised for avoiding decisive action on the issue.


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