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Global apparel markets: business update, 2nd quarter 2009
published in Issue 6, 2nd Quarter 2009
Abercrombie & Fitch and Gildan have reported poor financial results for the early months of 2009. But results at Marks & Spencer (M&S) are relatively upbeat, and UK-based Asos has continued to grow apace. One of the biggest casualties of the global economic slowdown has been the Germany-based luxury fashion group Escada, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2009. However, before doing so, it managed to sell four women’s fashion brands—apriori, BiBA, cavita and Laurèl, which belonged to its wholly-owned subsidiary The Primera Group—to two German firms.
In the area of anti-counterfeiting, authorities have seized thousands of counterfeit clothing items in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Italy. In an attempt to combat counterfeiting activities, the EU launched an official observatory. Other intellectual property matters included the filing of two trademark infringement cases—one by Gucci against Guess and another by Kay Celine against Stein Mart and Sienna Rose.
Many companies have been taking steps to deal with the consequences of the global economic slowdown. Triumph International, for example, has reduced its workforce by about 8%, or 3,600 jobs. Meanwhile, UPM Raflatac has continued to transfer production of its radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and inlays to China and the USA. Other strategic activities have included: the signing of a global licensing agreement between Calvin Klein and Premium Golf Brands (PGB); collaboration between Fast Retailing and Jil Sander to develop a new clothing collection for Uniqlo; Iconix China’s development of the Rocawear brand in China and its acquisition of a 50% stake in Hardy Way; a licensing agreement between Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and Target Entertainment relating to the development of PlayStation-branded apparel; and two agreements relating to the distribution of Tory Burch products in Japan and South Korea.
Market data show that global sales of apparel and home textiles made from organic cotton rose by 63% to reach US$3.2 bn in 2008, while sales of ethical clothing in the UK are expected to be worth £175 mn in 2009. In the Americas, the management consulting firm AT Kearney has named Brazil as the most attractive emerging market for apparel retailers in 2008, for the second year in a row.
Several major brands have opened new clothing stores in various countries or are planning to do so—including Adidas in Saudi Arabia, Gap in Thailand, H&M in China, Top Shop in the USA, and Zara in Egypt. Japan-based Uniqlo and China-based Taobao have launched two virtual stores dedicated to selling Uniqlo products online to consumers across China. Meanwhile, Guess has invested in product life cycle management (PLM) software to manage its global sourcing and product development.
Table of Contents
Acquisitions, divestments and mergers
Anti-counterfeiting and trademark infringement
Company restructuring and reorganisation
International trade policy
Joint ventures, cooperation, licensing and distribution agreements
Global Apparel Markets provides intelligence, analysis and insight on the global apparel and fashion industries.
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