brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 26, 2013 05:33 PM
The death toll in the latest Bangladesh garment industry disaster has risen to more than 300 as rescue crews continue to pull survivors from the rubble of Rana Plaza and search for an estimated 500 workers still missing, with more than 2,500 already rescued.
In the aftermath of the garment factory collapse in Dhaka, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for those responsible to turn themselves in. It is believed that the building owner and factory owners are in hiding after ignoring warnings from police and industry officials to forbid workers to enter the building after cracks were discovered on Tuesday. The building collapsed on Wednesday.
"Whoever might be the culprits, and if even they belong to our party, they won't go scot-free," the impoverished nation's Prime Minister warned. (Update: The factory owners were arrested on Friday night, when the death toll had risen to 336.)
The disaster shines a light, yet again, on global apparel companies that outsource manufacturing to Bangladesh, a practice that has ballooned into an $18 billion industry as clothing companies continue to adandon manufacturing in China, where inflation and rising wages are pushing up costs. The upshot: Bangladesh and its questionable garment industry is now the world's second-biggest garment manufacturing center.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 18, 2013 03:32 PM
If Joe Fresh could rescue Ron Johnson, the Canadian apparel brand probably would, but opening Joe Fresh boutiques in nearly 700 of J.C. Penney's 1,100 U.S. department stores on Friday might be only the first step in a long line of right moves the Penney CEO must make in order to save the iconic retail brand from itself—and him.
In Canada, Joe Fresh, which is owned by supermarket brand Loblaw, appears mainly in Loblaw stores or in standalone stores next door. Yet Johnson was able to pluck it out of many possibilities as a fresh, edgy brand to occupy one of the first waves of "store-within-a-store" boutiques that are supposed to begin helping JCP escape the consequences of the CEO's strategy for tearing down the old brand in order to build a new one.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 25, 2012 01:59 PM
When big retailers crash and burn, it seems they do so with style. The trials and tribulations of Sears/Kmart, despite its stylish moves into the fashion world, have been chronic and ongoing. Equally precarious these days is the fate of JCPenney.
In June, JCPenney brand president Michael Francis exited the troubled retailer after less than a year, in a shakeup that was seen as his taking the fall for CEO Ron Johnson. Francis, a former Target exec, along with Johnson, who formerly ran Apple's stores, couldn't combine their top shelf retail experience to effect a turnaround. On the contrary, the company's "fair and square pricing" (with the new logo at right to support the concept) essentially ditched sales and moved to Walmart-like "everyday low" pricing and twice-monthly clearance events. It was anything but successful. In fact, this lead balloon is now being replaced with a return to the more common retail strategy of a "sale."
Is it too little too late? The strapped J. C. Penney Company is cutting 350 jobs in its headquarters and selling part of its stake in Simon Property Group, a major mall developer, to raise $248 million in cash. Even so, the company is trying its darndest to crawl its way back into being a legitimate retail competitor, and that's where fashion comes in.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 7, 2010 02:00 PM
Continuing on our Japan theme today, we're interested to see the nation's supermarkets becoming more like Super Wal-Marts or "hypermarkets," which combine traditional grocery stores with general merchandise offerings.
Clothing is a big part of the selling equation — and these days, Japanese supermarkets are battling against "fast-fashion" retailers like H&M who combine value with trendiness. Now the Japanese markets are trying their own hand at fashion, stocking their shelves with original, private-label clothing designs.Continue reading...