Blog: Michelle RussellWalmart deal set to accelerate Asda strategy

Michelle Russell | 7 October 2020

US retail giant Walmart is to sell its UK supermarket chain Asda to the Issa brothers, founders and co-CEOs of EG Group, a global convenience and forecourts retailer, and private equity firm TDR Capital for GBP6.8bn (US$8.8bn). The deal is expected to accelerate Asda's strategy and build on the retailer's low-price heritage.

US fashion brand Ralph Lauren is among 3,500 companies that have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for its imposition of tariffs on more than US$300bn of Chinese made goods. The lawsuits, filed in the US Court of International Trade, challenge the unlawful escalation of the US trade war with China through the imposition of a third and fourth round of tariffs.

Meanwhile, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has filed a complaint with the European Court of Justice, seeking to annul the bloc's decision to withdraw the country's preferential access to the EU market under the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme.

New figures from the Asian Development Bank suggest Cambodia's total industrial output could rise by 5.1% in 2020 if garment and footwear exports continue to recover, as it revises its economic projection for the southeast Asian country.

The latest data released by Malaysia's Department of Statistics shows the textile, apparel, leather and footwear sectors are still struggling to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The figures indicate the country's industrial production growth returned to positive territory in July for the first time since February, edging up 1.2%.

A new report is calling on businesses and governments to scale up digital wage payments for low-paid workers after the Covid pandemic exposed the need for critical support to reach vulnerable populations.

And with as much as 73% of clothing produced eventually sent to landfill or incinerated, the new The Full Circle Textiles Project aims to tackle some of the challenges by scaling innovations in closed loop cellulosic recycling. However, there are a number of difficult but key barriers to overcome first.

In further retail news, Swedish fashion giant H&M Group will shutter about 250 stores next year as it steps up the pace of its transformation work following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to a boom in online shopping.

PVH Corp, parent company to Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, has announced president Stefan Larsson will take up the role of CEO from February 2021. He succeeds Manny Chirico, the company's CEO since 2006.

US department store retailer Target Corporation has increased the amount of responsible CanopyStyle rayon used in its products over the last year and is continuing to replace conventional polyester with polyester made from recycled plastic.

While leading viscose fibre producer Sateri has invested US$48m in a new R&D innovation centre as part of efforts to diversify its portfolio of fibre products and further its closed-loop manufacturing capabilities.

In other news, Neiman Marcus has emerged from voluntary Chapter 11 protection, Lenzing is one of 11 companies to co-found the Renewable Carbon Initiative, and Indonesia has launched its Decent Work Country Programme.

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