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Ten notable news from world’s top retailers

The retail sales are a pointer of the global economy’s growth and reflect the spending patterns, as well as emphasize habits of the consumers. In the case of textiles, the retail sector has seen its ups and downs throughout the globe. The sales of luxury clothing brands and that of other brands have not been very consistent. Prior to the global economic crunch, the retail sector of textile and apparel was striving ahead in glory, but the economic slowdown resulted in the gradual decline in the overall sales of textile goods. But they are trying to boost up. Here are ten recent activities of global top retailers. If you have any information about them mail tofarhan@textiletoday.com.bd

Wal-Mart Q3 beats as U.S. sales rise, but traffic slumps

Wal-Mart stock hit an all-time high after reporting strong third-quarter earnings and an uptick in U.S. comparable-store sales, but a drop in customer traffic also raised questions about future gains. The retail giant’s shares rose as much as 2.1 percent to $80.86. Profit fell marginally to $3.71 billion, or $1.15 per share, for the three months ended Oct. 31, from $3.74 billion, or $1.14 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $119 billion from $115.7 billion. Analysts on average were looking for earnings of $1.12 per share on revenue of $118.32 billion.

Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount division posted a 0.5 percent increase in revenue at stores open at least a year. That was the first increase in seven quarters. Its smaller Neighborhood Markets, which cater to shoppers looking for more convenience and offer groceries, fresh produce and beauty items, had a 5.5 percent increase in revenue at stores open at least a year.

Wal-Mart said that it expects fourth-quarter earnings per share to range between $1.46 and $1.56, which includes the negative impact of closing underperforming stores in Japan. Analysts had expected $1.57 per share. The company expects full-year earnings to be $4.92 to $5.02 per share. Analysts had expected $4.99.

H&M to expand its online markets in 2015

H&M has recently announced that it plans to launch eight new online markets next year, doubling the rate of this year’s online launches and solidifying its position that e-stores are an important complement to its physical stores as they increase the company’s level of service and overall availability.

This year, H&M opened online stores in France, Italy, Spain and China, and in September, H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson said the company has already seen a good response from customers in all of the countries. Next year, the retailer will open online in Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia. The retailer doesn’t break out online sales in its financial statements, but in September, H&M said its sales in the eight new markets for the first nine months of fiscal 2014 totaled 9.31 billion Swedish kronor ($1.26 billion). H&M also said it would open its first physical stores in India, Peru, South Africa and Taiwan in 2015.

UNIQLO to enter Belgian market with store in Antwerp

UNIQLO declared plans to enter the Belgian market with a store in Antwerp, to open in autumn 2015. Antwerp is the first city of Flanders and the second city of Belgium after Brussels. A world renowned fashion capital with a vibrant cultural scene, Antwerp is also a popular shopping destination for international visitors.

UNIQLO stands for high quality, versatile and affordable clothes, for people of all ages, and we believe both residents and visitors to Antwerp will truly appreciate our offering. In Europe, UNIQLO operates 23 locations across four markets (as of the end of October 2014) – the UK, France, Russia and Germany, where it opened its first store, in Berlin, April this year. 2014 has also seen the expansion of UNIQLO’s operations in France, with the opening of UNIQLO Le Marais in April, a store in the fashionable Marais district of Paris, a UNIQLO store in Marseille in May, and another store has been opened in Strasbourg on November 14.

Levi’s team up with IFC to encourage garment suppliers to improve environmental performance

Iconic denim apparel marketer – Levi Strauss & Co has partnered with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group to provide financial incentives for garment suppliers in developing countries. This new supplier finance program, which was announced at the ILO/IFC Better Work Buyers’ Forum in New York City, will help garment factories upgrade environmental, health and safety and labour standards.

IFC’s Global Trade Supplier Finance (GTSF) program has performance ratings attached to its short-term and low cost loans, for those borrowers which score strong performance ratings under Levi Strauss’s environmental and social monitoring system. ‘Specifically, this pioneering program will reward vendors that score higher on Levis Strauss ‘Terms of Engagement’ (ToE) assessments, which measure labour, health and safety, and environmental performance, a press release from IFC informs. The GTSF program will offer these vendors lower cost rates on working capital financing and higher the vendor’s TOE score, the more they will save.

David Love, Levi Strauss & Co. Chief Supply Chain Officer said, ‘Levi Strauss believes vendors that score highly on our strict standards, should be recognized and rewarded in ways that allow them to reinvest in their business and improve their sustainability performance.’ IFC provides financing to ready-made garment suppliers through its GTSF program, which provides working capital to suppliers backed by receivables from international buyers. IFC and Levi Strauss launched this initiative in partnership with GT Nexus, a cloud-based business network and platform for global trade and supply chain management, whose platform optimizes flow of goods, funds and trade information. (AR) Established in 2010, GTSF is a $500 million multicurrency investment and advisory program that provides short-term finance to emerging-market suppliers and small and midsized exporters. IFC’s support to the industry includes its engagement through the Better Work joint-venture program with the ILO.

J.C. Penney Q3 beats street on the bottom line, misses on the top

J.C. Penney posted a third quarter loss of $0.77 a share on revenue of $2.76 billion. Wall Street analysts were looking for a loss of $0.80 on sales of $2.81 billion. Last year, the struggling retailer lost $1.81 per share on $2.78 billion in sales. As for details, same-store sales at the company were flat to last year; up 4.3 % year-to-date. Gross margin improved 710 basis points from the same quarter last year. SG&A improved $18 million versus the same quarter last year, while net income improved 62% compared to last year.

Gap plans to expand namesake chain and Old Navy quickly in Asia

Gap Inc. has announced plans to expand quickly in Asia as it tries to tap into growing demand there. The San Francisco-based retailer said that it is opening its first namesake store in Guangzhou this month. That will bring its total number of Gap stores across mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to more than 100. It also plans to open a Gap in Hsinchu in Taiwan in late November.

The parent company also said that it will expand Old Navy’s footprint faster than originally planned in mainland China, with plans to open its first locations in southern and northern China. It also plans to open an Old Navy in the special economic zone of Shenzhen later this November and open its first Old Navy in Beijing in December.

Both Gap and Old Navy have been warmly embraced, giving confidence to continue our expansion in this vibrant region, Gap reports. The company, which also owns brands such as Banana Republic and Piperline, opened its first namesake store in China in 2010. The Gap brand is now in 25 cities in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Target closing more stores this year than in last two years combined

Target proclaimed that it would be closing 11 underperforming stores by Feb. 2015, which only represents a small fraction of the retailer’s 1,800 stores in the U.S. But that brings this year’s total number of Target closures to 19, nearly five times the number of stores shuttered the previous year. In fact, Target had only closed a total of 9 stores during the two previous years, while also opening more than 40 locations during that same period of time. The company says that employees at affected stores will be offered jobs at other stores and those who don’t accept the transfer will be giving severance packages According to a Target rep, They typically decide to close a store after careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of a particular location. In most cases, a store is closed as a result of seeing several years of decreasing profitability.

Primark plans to come to US via 7 Sears stores

European discount fashion chain Primark plans to lease space in seven Sears stores as it expands into the U.S. and as struggling sears holdings wrings cash from its real estate. The announcement came as Hoffman Estates-based Sears said it also plans to raise up to $625 million through an offering of senior notes and warrants, the latest in a string of efforts to boost liquidity going into the holiday season.

Sears stock rose 23 percent to close at $34.96, returning to levels not seen since before news of a loan from its CEO last month sent its share price plunging. Primark, founded as Penneys in Ireland in 1969, announced this summer that it plans to open 10 stores in the U.S. by spring 2016, starting with a store in downtown Boston. The retailer, which has 275 locations in nine countries and competes with stores like H&M, did well through the recession, with its profits doubling during the past five years to $829 million in 2012-13.

Sears said that it has entered into lease agreements with Primark for seven of its stores in the Northeast, totaling 520,000 square feet, which it plans to deliver to Primark in 12 to 18 months.

Marks and Spencer unveils make-or-break fashion range

Marks & Spencer has unveiled the summer fashion collections that could save or cost its chief executive his job. The new ranges are due to arrive in store in the spring, when the City will demand concrete evidence that Marc Bolland’s turnaround plan is working.

Clothing sales have been in decline for more than three years, but recent figures have pointed to an improving trend at the high-street chain. Womenswear sales rose by 1.3% in the first five months of the year, before a poor September widely blamed on the unseasonably warm weather. It was a modest upswing, but the share price rose sharply as profit margins improved and the dividend payout was lifted.

The retailer’s new fashion team, led by former Jaeger boss Belinda Earl, has cut the number of cardigans and is backing jackets to be big sellers instead, with sporty bomber jackets, kimono-style wraps and light duster coats the order of the day.

Tesco launches free Wi-Fi across 919 of its stores

Tesco has announced it is partnering with BT to provide free Wi-Fi internet access across all of its extra and superstores. Customers now want the same kind of experience in-store as they enjoy online, with fast and convenient access to product information, pricing and offers at the touch of their fingertips. Tesco was the first supermarket in the UK to offer free Wi-Fi and the first to launch online shopping. Tesco hopes this service will make downloading Clubcard vouchers much easier, not to mention that consumers will now be able to check up on recipes they should have written down before they left the house. Research commissioned by BT showed that 44% of people use wi-fi in shops to browse items or compare prices. The BT Wi-fi partnership with Tesco gives customers the connectivity they expect. It also creates a platform for Tesco to further bring the in-store and online shopping experience closer together for the benefit of its customers.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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