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Britain’s youngest adult demographic, aged 18-24, has been crowned the thriftiest age group when it comes to getting rid of unwanted clothing, shoes and accessories, according to research by the Fashion Retail Academy.

A new study has revealed that those aged 18-24 are the most active at selling their unwanted garments with 22.8 percent selling their clothes via resale apps and 11.9 percent selling to their friends. They are the biggest users of resale apps, with almost a quarter revealing that's how they sell their unwanted items.

The research reveals that older generations are not as savvy, with only 18.4 percent of 25-34-year-olds, 16.8 percent of 35-44-year-olds, 14.9 percent of 45-54-year-olds and 9.5 percent of those aged 55+ selling their clothes using fashion resale apps.

The findings come after the Fashion Retail Academy revealed Brits are sitting on a 4.1 billion pounds of unwanted clothes they ‘can’t be bothered’ to sell or donate.

Lee Lucas, principal at the Fashion Retail Academy, said in a statement: “This study highlights the ongoing move to a more digital world, with Britain’s youngest generation leading the way. The sheer choice of fashion resale apps like Depop, Vinted, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and others, demonstrates the strength of demand for simpler ways of converting unwanted items into cash.

"Convenience is king, and we expect the rapid growth of resale apps to accelerate as digital natives come to dominate every economically active demographic.”

Author: Danielle Wightman-Stone
Posted: ”19-06-2019”

Despite three years passing since the EU referendum, over half (57 percent) of British retailers still have no plans in place for Brexit, according to a survey of 200 British retail decision-makers by Global-e, the cross-border e-commerce solutions provider, in conjunction with Censuswide.

Since the 2016 referendum, a third of retailers have experienced a fall in sales in the UK and the research reveals that the ongoing uncertainty, has left over half (54 percent) of retailers with a range of Brexit concerns.

Half of retailers (49 percent) anticipate a collapse in consumer confidence in the UK post-Brexit, while 43 percent anticipate difficulty in sourcing products or goods and over a third (34 percent) will even consider rationing in the event of stock shortages. Regardless of the outcome, 43 percent of UK retailers say they will have to raise prices post-Brexit.

Overall, 52 percent of retailers are concerned that their business will be impacted negatively by currency fluctuations post-Brexit. Many retailers that sell cross-border have benefited from a weak pound that makes UK products more appealing to shoppers overseas, but the weaker the pound, the more expensive imported raw materials will be.

However, 39 percent of the retailers surveyed anticipate a decrease in sales to the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit and over 50 percent stated that they don’t know the tariffs that their EEA consumers will have to pay after UK leaves the EU, suggesting that the attractive prices created by the weak pound may be offset by additional duties and taxes.

Global-e survey reveals that 57 percent of British retailers have no plans in place for Brexit

One of the biggest concerns is the whether the delayed Brexit date of October 31 will directly impacting Christmas trading online, with 38 percent expressing that the delay poses a “significant risk” to retail performance over the fourth quarter and will affect online trading.

However, of the 67 percent of retailers that sell online to shoppers internationally, 38 percent have seen an increase in cross-border e-commerce sales. Whilst 58 percent of these retailers accept that selling to shoppers internationally will become more complex, 3 in 5 (57 percent) retailers overall are confident that their business can flourish internationally after Brexit.

Nir Debbi, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Global-e, said in a statement: “While many British retailers still have no formal Brexit plans in place, our survey shows that retail leaders are acutely aware of the issues their businesses face in the wake of Britain leaving the EU. The government has set a formal date for Britain’s exit, which unfortunately falls right before peak trading – a vital time in the year for the sector, adding an additional layer of concern.

“However, our survey shows that retailers that sell internationally have actually experienced an increase in sales, defying the Brexit gloom and showing that the wider industry is confident when it comes to international growth.”

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Author: Danielle Wightman-Stone
Posted: ”19-06-2019”

Cherokee Global Brands, for its first quarter of fiscal 2020, reported revenues of 5.1 million dollars, a decrease of 6 percent, which the company said was due to non-renewal of the its Cherokee license in South Africa at the end of fiscal 2019, the sale of Flip Flop Shops in June 2018 and the impact of the economic uncertainty related to Brexit affecting several of the company’s European licensees. The company said that decreases in revenues were partially offset by revenues from its new design services agreement in China.

Commenting on the first quarter trading, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Henry Stupp said in a statement: "We have entered a new chapter in our operational model that is highlighted by reducing corporate spend, improving our bottom-line performance and driving revenue growth through our expanded brand portfolio and service model. Towards the end of June 2019, Cherokee Global Brands will officially rebrand to Apex Global Brands to appropriately reflect the company’s expanded brand portfolio and design services.”

Cherokee revises outlook for FY20

Operating income for the quarter was 0.6 million dollars compared to an operating loss of 0.2 million dollars in the first quarter 2019. Net loss was 2.3 million dollars or a loss of 15 cents per diluted share, compared to 2.7 million dollars or a loss of 20 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA increased to 1.2 million dollars compared to 1 million dollars in the prior year.

Updating its guidance for the remainder of its fiscal year ending February 1, 2020 to account for the potential continued negative impact on its licensees’ revenues due to economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and potential tariff rate increases on domestic apparel and footwear, Cherokee Global Brands said, full year revenues are now anticipated to be in the range of 24.5 million dollars to 26.5 million dollars, an increase of up to 8 percent year over year.

The company added that adjusted EBITDA is now expected to be in the range of 10.5 million dollars to 11.5 million dollars, an increase of 7 percent to 17 percent year over year.

Picture:Facebook/Cherokee USA

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”19-06-2019”

Following Facebook’s announcement earlier today that it would be launching its own cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020, luxury online retailer Farfetch has been named as one of the founding members behind the initiative.

The cryptocurrency, which is set to launch in 2020, will enable its billions of users to make transactions and send money with practically zero transaction fees, and will be governed by the Libra Association, an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The association is made up of 28 members including Facebook, Ebay, Mastercard, Lyft and luxury online retailer Farfetch.

Farfetch said as a founding member it will be actively working with other members on the ongoing technical, architectural, and operational development of the Libra Association in the build-up to the cryptocurrency’s planned commercial launch in the first half of 2020.

According to Facebook, Libra cryptocurrency will be available to buy through its platforms and can be stored in a digital wallet called Calibra. The social media giant said using the cryptocurrency would be as easy as texting.

Sneak peek at the Calibra wallet courtesy of Facebook

Stephanie Phair, chief strategy officer at Farfetch said in a statement: “Farfetch is delighted and honoured to join the Libra Association as a Founding Member. We have been looking at blockchain technology to help solve a range of fashion industry issues. We were delighted to be approached by the Association for this initiative, which we believe will enable frictionless e-commerce for hundreds of millions of people around the world.”

Jose Neves, CEO and co-chair at Farfetch, added: “We believe blockchain will benefit the luxury industry by improving IP protection, transparency in the product lifecycle and - as in the case of Libra - enable global frictionless e-commerce.

“Farfetch is delighted and honored to join the Libra Association as a founding member. We have been looking at blockchain technology to help solve a range of fashion industry issues. We were delighted to be approached by the association for this initiative, which we believe will enable frictionless e-commerce for hundreds of millions of people around the world.”

Below is the full list of current Libra Association founding members:

Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspers' fintech arm), Stripe, Visa, Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook/Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, Mercado Pago, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies, Inc., Iliad, Vodafone Group, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings Limited, Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures, Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva,Mercy Corps, Women's World Banking.

Main article photo credit: Farfetch, Facebook

Author: Huw Hughes
Posted: ”18-06-2019”

For the week to June 15, 2019, John Lewis reported 3.8 percent rise in total sales. The company said in a statement that fashion sales for the week under review, were up 7.6 percent and sales of women’s accessories were up 11.3 percent.

Sales of the company’s own brand fashion were up 7.1 percent, with new season Kin products performing particularly well, up 47 percent. The company added that price-matching competitors through its ‘never knowingly undersold’ promise saw beauty sales go up 26 percent.

Home sales were up 4 percent, while gift sales were up 17.1 percent, driven by customers shopping for Father’s Day. Bedroom and bathroom sales also rose 5 percent and home accessories sales were up 13 percent. Electrical and home technology sales were down 1.3 percent.

Picture:John Lewis media centre

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”18-06-2019”

Downgrading its full year outlook, IC Group has said that cost cutting measures have been initiated at Tiger of Sweden to create a more competitive, digitally-oriented and agile brand. Additionally, the company announced that its Chairman Peter Thorsen will not be seeking re-election at its ordinary annual general meeting in September 2019.

As a consequence of the above, IC Group said, for the financial year 2018/19, the expectations for the EBIT margin before non-recurring costs in respect of the transformation of IC Group are changed to approximately 0 percent from previous outlook of 1-2 percent and Tiger of Sweden's nominal earnings are changed to a substantial decline compared to previous expectation of moderate decline.

Cost-cutting measures at Tiger of Sweden

IC Group has initiated a number of cost-cutting measures such as organizational changes and store closures at Tiger of Sweden brand.

The company further added that these cost-cutting measures will lead to non-recurring costs of around 10 million Danish krone for the financial year 2018/19, primarily for severance payments and costs in respect of store closures. As of the financial year 2019/20, the annual savings are expected to amount to approximately 10 million Danish krone. The plan for Tiger of Sweden, IC Group said, is to return to the level of earnings performance generated in previous years as quickly as possible.

Peter Thorsen leaves IC Group

After announcing his decision to not continue as chairman of IC Group, the company added that Thorsen has communicated that Kirk & Thorsen Invest A/S intends to accept the pending offer from Friheden Invest A/S and sell all of its 373,855 shares in IC Group.

"I was appointed as chairman of the board of directors of IC Group in 2017 in order to head the new strategy process. During this period, the group's operational platform has been decentralized in preparation for establishing the remaining brands as independent business units while the group's HQ functions have gradually been downsized. Today, Friheden Invest A/S owns approximately 77 percent of the shares in IC Group and has submitted an offer to the market with the intention of increasing its ownership share further. Due to the development of IC Group, I have found it natural to inform that I will not seek re-election for the board of directors at the coming ordinary annual general meeting," Thorsen said in a statement.

Commenting on Thorsen’s departure, the majority shareholder and board member Niels Martinsen said: "I would like to thank Peter for his tremendous efforts in the transformation process of IC Group. Friheden Invest A/S wishes that Peter Thorsen after his resignation as chairman of the listed Company continues to play a decisive role in the development of the group's remaining brands."

Picture:Tiger of Sweden media gallery

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”18-06-2019”

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has announced that its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ed Record will be taking a medical leave of absence, effective today. In his absence, the company has appointed Becky Roof as Interim CFO.

The company said in a statement that Roof is a seasoned financial leader who previously served as interim CFO at a number of large companies and is currently a managing director at the global consulting firm AlixPartners, LLP, where she provides advisory and C-suite interim management services.

Supported by HBC’s finance team, Roof will report to Helena Foulkes, HBC’s Chief Executive Officer.

Author: Prachi Singh
Posted: ”18-06-2019”

New York - Hennes & Mauritz Group (H&M) reported a 6 percent increase in local-currency sales for the second quarter. However, many analysts covering the Swedish fashion retailer’s shares warned about the company’s mounting excess of inventory and pressing margins could worsen in the second half of 2019.

H&M said Monday local-currency sales over the March-May period rose by 6 percent, beating Bloomberg’s polled analysts’ estimates. However, the group’s quarterly figures imply a slowdown in growth over the April – May period when compared against the same period a year ago.

Analysts at Bernstein, who currently recommend hold on to H&M stock, said the figure suggested an improved product offering was starting to gain traction, but added that “Despite this we assume full earnings later in June will detail marked gross margin attrition - forex sourcing pain, reduced markdowns recovery - with opex inflation remaining elevated and leading to more operating profit margin pain.”

Meanwhile, RBC analyst Richard Chamberlain, with a “sector perform” rating on the world’s second-largest apparel group’s shares, said H&M probably gained share in key markets, outperforming among others Gap which has suffered in a challenging U.S. market.

Chamberlain added that inventories probably remained high at the end of the quarter, and cautioned that sales comparisons become more challenging in the third quarter. Loyalty scheme roll-outs and other investments, as well as costs for store closures, had probably squeezed margins in the second quarter, he said.

H&M will publish its full second-quarter earnings report on June 27.

Author: Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez
Posted: ”17-06-2019”

ANALYSIS New York - The world’s second largest fashion retailer saw sales rise for the fourth consecutive quarter. However, Hennes & Mauritz AB revenue growth slowed down in April and May despite the Swedish clothing group’s attempts to reduce a buildup of inventory that’s been weighing on earnings and unsettling investors.

Hennes & Mauritz Group said Monday local-currency sales over the March-May period rose by 6 percent. And even if sales in the latest quarter were above analysts’ estimates as compiled by Bloomberg News, the figures suggest growth slowed to 5.5 percent in April and May from a 7 percent rate in March, wrote Kepler Cheuvreux’s analyst Fredrik Ivarsson in a note to market.

This watered financial release comes as the Swedish retailer has seen profits shrink in recent years as it has struggled to keep up with the online shift and tougher competition.

Indeed, figures disclosed Monday imply that revenue slowed down in April and May, with analysts quoted by Bloomberg estimating that inventory kept increasing in the second quarter. This news also hinted it had likely have disappointed investors with a week online business, adding to their concerns about margin pressure.

H&M’s investors grow concerned over shrinking margins

H&M has suffered from shrinking profits and rising inventories rise in recent years as its core brand has not kept up with the online shift and tougher competition, and not reacted fast enough to demand swings, sum up market experts quoted by Reuters.

Market sources consulted by FashionUnited point out at the apparent struggles the Swedish fashion group might be experiencing with reinventing its online offering “in a way that confers them a real competitive edge.” And even if H&M’s preliminary second-quarter revenue came ahead of forecasts, the retailer doesn’t seem to manage to convince investors it is back on track and its shares remain little above the 13-year lows seen in 2018.

“The rapid changes in the fashion industry continue and we can see that our own transformation work is taking us in the right direction, although hard work and many challenges still remain,” the company said in a statement issued Monday. It’s worth recalling H&M has been investing heavily in logistics, digital technology, and store concepts, as well as re-assessing its brands' portfolio. “As customer satisfaction and sales increase, we have intensified our transformation work even further,” added the company when presenting the second-quarter results.

Photo: Love Stories X H&M Collection, H&M U.S. Web

Author: Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez
Posted: ”17-06-2019”

A widening gap of skills is the biggest concern for the European textile sector, as the industry continues to see experienced employees retire but struggles to attract new young talents, warned Euratex. To make matters worse, that shortage is poised to be aggravated by the need for workers to skill up amid digitalization, which in turn calls for changes to the education system.

“The need of new skills in transforming an industry facing a significant wave of retirement makes the lack of skilled workforce the number one business concern,” Alberto Paccanelli, the president-elect of Euratex said at the General Assembly of the European textile lobby on Thursday in Brussels. “This situation is exacerbated by a vocational education and training system that is in great need for modernization and investment in outdated programs, new facilities and teaching and training methods.”

The European textile sector overcame the economic downturn after the financial crisis, managing to increase its turnover by 10 percent to 178 billion euros in the past five years. However, the labor force declined by 35 percent over the same period and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies to find skilled employees locally. Years marked by factory closures and job cuts have dented the appeal of the sector among young jobseekers, while the aging of the current workforce is accelerating. The proportion of employees aged 50 or older reached 36 percent in 2018, its highest level since at least 2010.

On the one hand, the industry needs to appeal to young job seekers, while on the other hand, it needs to retrain and make the best of the existing workforce, said Paccanelli.

The EU clothing, footwear and leather industry is estimated to hire 600,000 new employees by 2030, and that number may still be lower than the number they will actually require, he said. As well as hiring new workers with the same skills as retiring employees, companies are also looking for talent in the areas of design, product development, technical textile production, digitalization, sustainability and circular economy. As it will be hard to hire as many new employees within a short period, companies will also have to retrain their current workforce.

EU to focus on skills in coming budget

Along with other industries, the textile sector is facing the challenge of equipping its employees with the skills to keep up with the pace of digitalization. More than half of the existing workforce in the European Union needs to retrain by 2022, according to a study by Eurofound, the EU Agency for the improvement of living and working conditions.

Picture: Lutz Walter (Director Innovation & Skills Euratex), Klaus Huneke (Euratex President), Alberto Paccanelli (Euratex President elect), Manuela Geleng | FashionUnited

 

Additionally, the increasing rate of job changes - with the average employee holding 15 to 20 jobs during their lifetime, according to a study by the European Commision - also underlines the need to shift the focus of spending in education. European member states on average spend 4.7 percent of their gross domestic product on education but only 0.1 percent on further education, Manuela Geleng, director for skills at the European Commission, said at the conference.

The EU budget for 2021-27 will focus very much on skills, said Geleng. “Our aim will be to use the budget in a way where it adds most, where it can really make a difference, bring about change,” she said, stressing the need to shift funding from initial to continuous education in the future.

The skill set required in the digital age will be less about acquiring and instead about how to apply knowledge, Geleng said. Being able to communicate, think creatively, disruptively and analytically will become more important.

The textile industry has started to battle the looming skill gap with marketing and training initiatives, as presentations by different national member organizations of Euratex showed on Thursday. The Italian industry association Sistema Moda Italia is working on plans to improve the image of the sector among young people. Education shall be enhanced with new programs, teachers and hands-on training. Modatex, the Portuguese industry lobby, embarked on revamping training in areas of innovation with partnerships. In collaboration with online luxury platform Farfetch, the association developed an e-commerce fashion styling course.

The Textile and Clothing Association of North-West Germany, a regional textile association, even founded a new school with an initial investment of 20 million euros to fill the gap of high-quality training. On a national level, the German lobby textil + mode, started the initiative “Go Textile!” that advertises jobs and vocational training with local textile companies on its website and social media. The campaign also stresses the digital aspect to boost the appeal to work in the textile sector, said Ralph Kamphoener, who heads the Brussel office of Textil + Mode. “There are so many young people who don’t have the faintest idea that their future could lie within the textile industry.”

Picture: Alvanon

Author: Weixin Zha
Posted: ”17-06-2019”