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WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 16, 2020 – The American Apparel & Footwear Association hailed the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by the Senate today and encouraged President Donald J. Trump to sign the bill into law and implement the agreement quickly.
“Trade agreements have often been approved along sharp partisan lines. The USMCA was passed with a strong bipartisan majority in addition to being broadly welcomed by the business community and other stakeholders. Hopefully this is the new normal for trade policy going forward,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “Thank you to the administration and Members of Congress for their work on this agreement. Once seamlessly implemented, this agreement will be a win for the textile, apparel, and footwear manufacturing and retail industries and the hundreds of thousands of American workers who rely on a vibrant North American trade partnership. With this in mind, we encourage the President to quickly sign this agreement, our trading partners to take the steps they need to implement the agreement, and all three countries to quickly enable it to enter into force.”
Marks & Spencer has appointed Helen Wilson as its new head of merchandising for womenswear.
Wilson joins from the Arcadia group, where she worked as merchandise director of Wallis from 2009, before joining Topshop as merchandising director in 2012. She also previously worked as the international commercial director at Monsoon Accessorize.
The British retailer has made a number top highers recently as it moves forward with its transformation strategy, including David Surdeau as interim chief financial officer, Arcadia’s former creative director Anthony Cassidy as head of brand creative, and CEO of F&F Clothing at Tesco Richard Price as managing director, clothing and home.
Commenting on the appointment in a statement, Jill Stanton, Marks & Spencer womenswear director, said: “Marks & Spencer is changing and the team and I are focused on what matters to our customers – great quality, easy to wear style and the best wardrobe essentials, delivered at great value and backed up by an easy shopping experience. To deliver this change we’re continuing to develop a team of world-class talent, this includes bringing in new expertise and so we’re absolutely delighted that Helen Wilson will be joining the team.”
For the 13 weeks to December 28, Marks & Spencer reported a “disappointing” Christmas trading period, with UK clothing and home sales down 3.7 percent compared to the prior-year period, partly due to an “underperformance in menswear and gifting.”
Photo credit: Marks & Spencer media gallery
The company said on Friday its Q3 net profit dropped. Revenues surged by 6 percent from the same period last year.
For Q3, the company's net profit was 0 million euros, decreased from 0 million euros last year. Revenues surged to 4,156 million euros.
Richemont is a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company. Through its various subsidiaries, Richemont designs, manufactures, distributes and sells premium products. Richemont is a publicly traded company, listed on both the SIX Swiss Exchange and on the JSE Securities Exchange.
As of 2020, Richemont has more than 35,000 employees and operates over 100 stores.
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For the third quarter to December 31, 2019, Compagnie Financière Richemont SA said sales progressed by 4 percent to 4,156 million euros (4,628.7 million dollars), with growth in all regions except Japan. Sales in Europe grew by 9 percent to 1,263 million euros, benefiting from favourable comparative numbers and strong sales in most markets (1,406.6 million dollars). The company added that sales in Asia Pacific increased by 2 percent to 1,429 million euros (1,591.5 million dollars), driven by strong double digit sales growth in China and Korea, which more than offset a severe sales contraction in Hong Kong SAR, China and contrasted performances in other Asian markets.
Sales in the Americas rose by 5 percent to 874 million euros (973.4 million dollars), led by good performances in the US that compensated for declines in other markets. The 3 percent sales increase to 249 million euros (277.3 million dollars) in the Middle East and Africa reflected a good performance of retail and favourable comparative numbers in a soft economic environment. Sales in Japan decreased by 7 percent, impacted by lower tourist spending given a comparatively stronger Japanese yen and the October 2019 value added tax increase that benefited first half sales.
Richemont’s retail channel witnesses sales growth in Q3
The company further said that retail channel posted a 5 percent increase in sales to 2,212 million euros (2,463.7 million dollars), notwithstanding the negative impact of temporary store closures in Hong Kong SAR, China during most of the period under review. The online retail channel saw a mid-single digit sales progression to 747 million euros (832 million dollars), with strong demand in the US. Sales in the wholesale channel were broadly in line with the prior year period to 1,186 million euros (1,321 million dollars), reflecting good performance of franchise stores, notably in Korea, offset by the impact of ongoing cautious watch inventory management and distribution optimisation initiatives which have now reached completion.
Richemont said 6 percent sales progression to 2,162 million euros (2,408.3 million dollars) at Jewellery Maisons was broad-based, driven by jewellery and watches across collections and the performance of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Buccellati was particularly noteworthy given the negative impact of Hong Kong SAR, China. Sales grew in all regions except Japan. The Specialist Watchmakers registered modest sales growth to 818 million euros (911 million dollars), notwithstanding a challenging situation in Hong Kong SAR, China, with higher sales in directly operated boutiques and wholesale sales broadly in line with the prior year period.
At the Online Distributors, the company added, an increasingly competitive pricing environment in online retail and disruption caused by storm damage to Mr Porter’s Landriano warehouse facilities limited sales growth to 2 percent. The Group’s other businesses recorded a 3 percent decline in sales to 522 million euros (581.4 million dollars), reflecting challenging trading conditions for our Fashion & Accessories Maisons with the exception of Peter Millar, which continued to show strong momentum in the US.
For the nine-month period, sales increased by 8 percent at actual exchange rates and by 5 percent at constant exchange rates, broadly in line with the trend seen in the first six months of the financial year.
Picture:Olaf Tamm Hamburg Germany for Richemont
Gap has announced that the company no longer plans to separate Old Navy into a standalone public company.
“The plan to separate was rooted in our commitment to value creation from our portfolio of iconic brands,” said Robert Fisher, Gap Inc. Interim President and CEO in a statement, adding, “While the objectives of the separation remain relevant, our board of directors has concluded that the cost and complexity of splitting into two companies, combined with softer business performance, limited our ability to create appropriate value from separation.”
“We have learned a lot and intend to operate Gap Inc. in a more rigorous and transformational manner that empowers our growth brands, Old Navy and Athleta, and appropriately focuses on profitability for Banana Republic and Gap brand, added Fisher.
Gap announces new leadership structure
Gap added that the company’s board of directors intends to appoint a new CEO to oversee the full portfolio of brands and corporate strategy. In the interim, four of the company’s senior leaders have been elevated and have taken on additional responsibilities reporting to Fisher.
Mark Breitbard, President and CEO, Banana Republic, will now lead Gap Inc.’s collection of specialty brands, including Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Janie and Jack, Intermix and Hill City; Sonia Syngal, President and CEO, Old Navy, will continue to lead the Old Navy business; Teri List-Stoll, Executive Vice President and CFO, will lead corporate operations related to finance, supply chain, technology and real estate; and Julie Gruber, Executive Vice President, global general counsel, corporate secretary and Chief Compliance Officer, will lead corporate administrative functions including legal, corporate facilities and services, human resources and communications, loss prevention, sustainability, government affairs and foundation.
Additionally, the company today announced that Neil Fiske, president and CEO of Gap brand, will leave the company.
Gap raises FY19 outlook
The company now expects total company fiscal 2019 comparable sales and net sales to both be at the higher end of its previous guidance range of down mid-single digits and down low-single digits, respectively. As a result of better than anticipated promotional levels over the holiday period, particularly at Old Navy, the company now expects its adjusted fiscal year 2019 earnings per share to be moderately above its previous guidance of 1.70 dollars to 1.75 dollars.
“We are working aggressively to stabilize and improve business results. We are committed to sharpened strategic focus, tailored operating strategies and operational discipline and accountability that can strengthen the health and profitability of our brands,” said List-Stoll.
Picture:Gap media centre
MySale has reported an underlying loss in its half-year results but said its revenue is “in line with management expectations" amid the company’s ongoing transformation strategy.
The Australian online retailer saw an EBITDA loss of 3.6 million Australian dollars for the six months to 31 December, while it said its revenue of 71.9 million Australian dollars was “in line with management expectations as the group transitions to an inventory light marketplace platform.”
The company’s net cash balance was 7.2 million Australian dollars at the end of the period and it is now debt-free.
The group said it continues to trade in line with management expectations and is “building on the important steps taken to simplify, reorganise and recapitalise the business last year.”
This restructuring strategy included closing its UK and US operations and selling the trade and assets of its shopping platform Cocosa.co.uk to fashion retailer Brandalley for 1.5 million pounds. It has also seen 170 brand partners relaunching on the group’s “inventory-light marketplace platform” where the group says they can benefit from its “counter seasonal proposition.”
In September, the group also secured 1.6 million pounds in funding from shareholders via an open offer.
Commenting on the latest results in a statement, CEO of MySale, Carl Jackson, said: “Having taken some critical steps last year to restructure the Group for the future, we’re pleased to see our counter-seasonal offering beginning to resonate with a number of our brand partners who have relaunched on our marketplace platform over the last six months.
“We will continue to drive this momentum in ANZ, with our inventory light marketplace, through our new organisational structure and simplified business model, and will look to deliver further progress over the second half.”
Photo credit: MySale, Facebook
Moss Bros has reported a drop in sales for the first half of the year and now expects to make a full-year loss, though it said it has made “good progress” with its business transformation strategy.
Total sales at the British men's tailoring specialist for the 24 week period to 11 January were down 3 percent compared to the same period last year, or down 3.2 percent on a like-for-like basis.
The company said it now expects to report a full-year adjusted loss before tax of around 1 million pounds.
Total retail sales, including e-commerce and wholesale, made up over 92 percent of group revenue during the period, down 1.6 percent compared to last year, or down 1.8 percent on a like-for-like basis. Online sales were down 0.4 percent. Online accounted for 17 percent of group revenue during the period, up from 16.6 percent last year.
Suit hire sales, which accounted for just under 8 percent of group revenue in the period, were down 17.7 percent on a like-for-like basis. The company said: “We continue to make progress in respect of newer hire services which may be offered to address the challenges facing our hire business and expect to be able to update on this in the first half of FY20/21.”
The company’s Tailor Me order numbers, however, showed positive signs, growing by a healthy 55 percent.
The company remained positive that it has “identified a clear and comprehensive strategy which seeks to transform the way in which it operates in its marketplace, elevating the brand in the eyes of its customers and investing in key strategic levers in order to drive long-term performance.”
It said it had been successful in delivering full-price sales with less old season stock to clear, resulting in improved retail gross margin rates over the period, and while like-for-like sales were down, they were also broadly in line with the board’s expectations “against a backdrop of ongoing weak consumer confidence.”
Retail trading gross margins for the period grew by around 300 basis points compared to last year due to a reduction in the level of clearance activity throughout the half, lower levels of promotional discounts and improved sourcing prices.
Commenting on the results in a statement, CEO Brian Brick, said: “We are gaining traction across a number of strategic levers which are aligned with our longer-term strategic goals. We have seen more intensive discounting from our competitors and a materially lower level of footfall across the high streets and shopping centres of the UK.
“Despite this, we have resisted discounting pressures, facilitated by our careful buying plans which have meant that we are holding lower levels of terminal stock to clear. This has been particularly evident in our High Street stores where we were able to focus on delivering our core purpose of styling individuals for on form moments.
“Despite the delivery of progress against our strategic levers, we anticipate the year ahead will continue to be challenging until we see an improvement in consumer confidence and a stabilisation in footfall across UK shopping destinations combined with a re-alignment of occupancy costs to properly balance the costs and rewards of doing business in physical retail stores.”
Photo credit: Moss Bros, Facebook
UK’s value footwear retailer Shoe Zone plc has announced the permanent appointment of Charles Smith as Chairman.
The company said, Smith is an existing board member and major shareholder of Shoe Zone with 22.2 percent shareholding and was appointed interim chairman in August 2019. Prior to that he held the office of chief operating officer since Shoe Zone’s IPO in 2014.
Following Smith’s appointment, the company said, board composition will be three executive directors and three non-executive directors and all non-executive directors serve on both the audit and remuneration committees.
For the 16-week period, Associated British Foods plc said trading at Primark has been good in the first quarter with sales 4.5 percent ahead of last year at constant currency and 3 percent at actual exchange rates. The company said in a statement that sales growth was due almost entirely to the increase in selling space and like-for-like performance improved, driven by a marked upturn in the Eurozone.
The UK continued to perform well with sales rise of 4 percent, driven by a strong contribution from new selling space with a marginal decline in like-for-like sales for the period. Sales in the Eurozone were 5.1 percent ahead of last year at constant currency as a result of the increase in selling space and like-for-like growth, with strong progress in France and Italy. The company added that this improvement in like-for-like sales in the final quarter of last financial year continued and at this early stage, there was a notable improvement in Germany. Primark’s US business delivered like-for-like sales growth in the period.
Primark expands retail reach
The company’s retail selling space increased by 0.2 million sq. ft. since the financial year end and, at January 4, 2020, 376 stores were trading from 15.8 million sq. ft. compared to 15.1 million sq. ft. a year ago. The company opened three new stores during the period: at Seville Lagoh in Spain, Kiel in Germany and Milan Fiordaliso in Italy. In addition, Primark relocated to larger premises in Norte shopping centre in Porto, Portugal, the Norwich store in the UK was extended and selling space was reduced in two stores in Germany.
The company now expects to add a net 0.9 million sq. ft. of additional selling space in this financial year and expects to open 18 new stores together with a number of relocations and selling space will be reduced in a further store in Germany. The company will enter the Polish market with a new store in Warsaw in spring 2020, followed by a store in Prague, Czech Republic. Primark has also signed leases for a further store in Poland, in Poznan, and its first store in Slovakia, in Bratislava, which will take the company to its fifteenth country.
N Brown Group Plc, for the 18 week period to January 4, 2020 reported digital revenue increase of 2.5 percent driven by strong growth at Simply Be & Ambrose Wilson. The company said in a statement that product revenue declined 4 percent as it continues the managed decline of legacy brands. The company’s 87 percent of product revenue is now digital, an increase of 5ppts. The company added that due to a lower than expected benefit from the IFRS9 non-cash provision estimate, combined with lower financial services revenue and a highly promotional market, it now expects FY20 adjusted profit before tax to be in the range of 70 million pounds to 72 million pounds.
Commenting on the trading performance, Steve Johnson, the company’s CEO, said: “This has been an encouraging period of peak trading for the business in a highly promotional market, as we delivered digital revenue growth across both womenswear and menswear with particularly strong digital growth from Simply Be and Ambrose Wilson as customers responded well to our ranges. We are making good progress with our ongoing strategic review and look forward to providing further details at our full year results in April. Our expectations remain that the retail market will continue to be challenging and promotional, but we are focused on our clear strategy of delivering profitable digital growth.”
N Brown reports positive digital sales across core labels
N Brown said, within womenswear, Simply Be delivered a strong performance with digital revenue growth of 13.1 percent driven by increased sales of ‘party tops’ and athleisure range which benefitted from closer to home, more reactive sourcing with lead times reduced by four weeks. This was complemented by the Simply Be App with demand penetration increasing by 76 percent year-on-year. The company further said that New Icons campaign, higher sales through partnership channels and more digital traffic being driven by social media also contributed to Simply Be’s strong performance.
JD Williams digital revenue increased by 0.4 percent and 82 percent of its revenue is now digital. Ambrose Wilson delivered strong digital revenue growth of 7.9 percent in the period and 63 percent of its revenue is now digital, an increase of 10ppts year-on-year, driven by ‘Cruise’ and occasionwear ranges performing especially well combined with focused digital campaigns and targeted reduction of paper marketing.
Menswear digital revenue, through the Jacamo brand, increased 3.2 percent in the quarter, against a strong performance in the comparative period of 6.8 percent when sales were boosted by the clearance of stock from store closures.