Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2013 10:14 AM
Despite a firestorm of criticism over a product recall, management shake-ups, and inappropriate comments from its eccentric founder, upscale athletic fashion retailer Lululemon Athletica recently reported increased profits and revenue in the third quarter.
The Vancouver-based company most known for its yoga apparel said profits rose 15 percent to $66.1 million, or 45 cents per share, for the three-month period ending Nov. 3. Revenues climbed to $379.9 million from $316.5 million for the quarter, beating expectations of $374.6 million. But the company's recovery may come to a halt next quarter, with projections for same-store sales coming in flat—collateral from a year of struggle for the company.
Perhaps a holiday blessing for Lululemon will be the pending departure of outspoken, controversial founder Dennis J. Wilson, known as Chip, who will be stepping down as chairman of the board, though he'll remain a member.
Wilson most recently ignited a firestorm after telling Bloomberg TV in November that "some women's bodies just actually don't work," for the company's famed yoga pants, the focus of a March recall that shed a spotlight on the company's flawed supply chain and quality control issues. Wilson's comments irritated an already inflamed sentiment that the company neglected plus-size women—an issue that it has yet to address.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 15, 2013 03:42 PM
Swedish retail giant Hennes & Mauritz is gunning for its “coolly-minimal younger sibling,” COS, to make big a splash in the US market after building up quite a fanbase in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The brand will make its debut in the spring, joining fast-fashion phenom H&M.
But the higher-priced, more artsy brand has no intention of settling for second place. According to H&M's head of business, Marie Honda, the high-fashion brand has the potential to be huge. After testing the waters earlier this month with a NYC pop-up shop at Opening Ceremony, the upscale, minimalist and cosmopolitan COS brand will target US ities "that have an international feel," Honda told Women's Wear Daily.
Come spring 2014, the brand plans to launch US e-commerce and open its first store in April in NYC's Soho neighborhood.
It’s a strategic shift for H&M, which launched in the US market as a trendy and cheaper alternative to Gap, Zara and Forever 21, and for whom American stores deliver the most revenue after Germany.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2013 07:47 PM
It has been some time since Crocs ruled the footwear industry. Back in 2007, the brand of rubbery footwear was valued at around $5 billion, but it has steadily fallen since, now sitting somewhere around $1.17 billion.
With sales continuing to fall and profits taking a nose dive, the brand is reportedly seeking ideas to take the publicly-traded company private, the Wall Street Journal reports. "The company's board has invited a small group of private-equity firms to present their ideas for a buyout," the paper notes, but the move by no means is a guarantee that the brand will retreat from the public markets.
More than 200 billion of the brand's shoes have been sold in 90 countries since its inception in 2002, and if Bloomberg has anything to say about it, that may be the root of Crocs' problems. Since the fad's peak in 2007, the brand has been "hurt by competition from knockoffs as well as the decision to sell the clogs—now called Crocs Classic—everywhere, including in gas stations."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2013 06:41 PM
Fair trade and sustainability aren't just terms associated with food and CPG brands. More clothing brands are taking a closer look at how their garments are made, what they're made of and who is doing the work, and iconic clothier Levi Strauss & Co. is the latest to join the effort.
The company's new Dockers Wellthread line includes a men's collection that combines sustainable design, environmental practices, and support of an eco-system that provides for all apparel workers. The line will be available online and in-stores in Europe.
“How you make a garment is just as important as the garment itself,” Michael Kobori, the company's VP of social and environmental sustainability, told WWD. “We believe that we can use our iconic brands to drive positive sustainable change and profitable results. With that comes the responsibility to continually innovate for each new generation of consumers.”Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2013 06:04 PM
Adidas announced lackluster third-quarter results last week, with hopes for a fourth quarter sprint to put things right. “Sales were down 7%, with operating profit 6% lower,” Reuters reported. Archrival Nike, meanwhile, has been on a rollw. When it revealed its fiscal first-quarter numbers back in September, revenue had risen 8% over the same period in the previous year.
That's why Adidas is hoping that its official sponsorship role for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil will help revive sales just as its connection to the London 2012 Olympic Games and European Championships did last summer.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2013 02:38 PM
One of the entrepreneurs behind the TempurPedic foam-mattress phenomenon is bringing an intriguing new line of expensive men's underwear to America with high-tech appeal, a bevy of Swedish models for marketing purposes, and a stiff price point: $35 to $100.
Frigo by startup RevolutionWear has been designed in Europe to incorporate high-end design with what the company called "superior active support into the silhouette of a boxer brief." It features the Frigo Zone, an adjustable mesh pouch that "provides ultimate support, coupled with the perfect fit."
What does that mean? Think "lift and separate" for men's privates. "It separates your genitals from the rest of your body," CEO Mathias Ingvarsson explained to brandchannel, noting that his specific language came from the patent itself. "It lifts a little bit so [men] feel the comfort."Continue reading...
Posted by Kristen Van Nest on October 29, 2013 07:07 PM
Earlier this month, Under Armour introduced a completely different retail concept to the Chinese sporting apparel market—a market that has proven hard to crack even for the most seasoned retail veterans, including Nike and Adidas. But Under Armour's new Shanghai retail theater experience aims to do much more than just sell clothes and sneakers.
Located in the Jing An Kerry Centre, the store features a 270-degree screen that covers 90 percent of the relatively small boutique, encapsulating store-goes in the sights, sounds and experiences of athletic training—a truly foreign concept in China and greater Asia.
In China, especially, working out is not a common activity. Seeing joggers is a rarity and oftentimes in the gym, Chinese are seen wearing jeans or leather shoes as opposed to sporting apparel. Sports participation is also low due to lack of time, the single child policy, and limited governmental support to popularize sports. But, there is still huge market potential; after the Beijing Olympic Games, there has been dramatic growth in sporting brands.
Still, the market has proven difficult, with Nike, Adidas, and others struggling to localize their retail approach to fit the unique needs of Chinese consumers, both young and old. In fact, Nike and Adidas have spent much of their time in the country with a hard focus on building a lifestyle brand around young consumers, capitalizing on consumer trends towards creativity and self-expression. Still, Nike recently saw a three percent decline in its China sales while it experienced an increase in all other geographic locations.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 28, 2013 06:33 PM
The NBA season kicks off Tuesday night with the defending champion Miami Heat versing the Chicago Bulls, and if LeBron James' latest Nike ad has anything to say about it, it seems that James is feeling pretty carefree heading into another season.
The new TV commercial, titled "Training Day," follows James riding his bike through the streets of Miami, all along collecting a troupe of neighborhood kids like a scene out of Rocky II.
James, wearing his new LeBron XI shoes, is seen heading to the arena to practice some shots, the beach for a swim, and ending at the playground to play some pickup with the kids.Continue reading...