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Top ten news of retailers around the globe

World retailers those who are sourcing from Bangladesh are being followed by BTT for the readers who are keen to know what is happening in textile & clothing manufacturing sector. Global retailers like H & M, Marks and Spencer, Calvin and Klein, Gap, C&A, Walmart etc. are accomplishing their best regularly to spread out their business and innovation. Here are top ten activities of those retailers for our readers. All concerned are requested to send related news to me, farhan@textiletoday.com.bdAll the news in this section are collected from secondary sources and edited following that. BTT bears no liability on these if any harm & damage are caused to the companies.

Primark, Matalan, Walmart, Benetton and JC Penney among 22 of 27 brands still to contribute after Rana Plaza disaster

A recent release has informed that only five of the 27 global clothing brands linked to the Bangladeshfactory that collapsed last year with the loss of 1,138 lives have committed to paying into a compensation fund for the victims.

The Clean Clothes Campaign, which wants improved conditions in the industry, said only Zara-owner Inditex, Mango, Canada’s Loblaw, Denmark’s Mascot and El Corte of Spain had committed to the fund, which is trying to raise $40m in time for the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in April.

Several big British brands, including Primark and Matalan, are among the companies that have not paid into the fund, although Primark has paid the wages of workers laid off after the disaster. Other big brands connected to the factory include Walmart, Benetton and JC Penney.

Primark said it had already paid short-term financial aid to all the employees at Rana Plaza, most of whom were making clothes for its competitors … and remains committed to paying long-term compensation to the workers employed by its supplier in the Rana Plaza building.

Gap Inc. Reports February Sales Results

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) Has just reported net sales for the four-week period ended March 1, 2014 were $929 million compared with net sales of $966 million for the four-week period ended March 2, 2013. Gap Inc.’s comparable sales for February 2014 were down 7 percent versus a 3 percent increase last year. The company noted that more than 450 stores experienced closures during February due to weather. The company also noted that February typically represents the smallest month of the first quarter. The management team continues to focus on delivering its full year goals, as outlined during last week’s quarterly earnings announcement.

In line with its strategic priorities, the company also announced the opening of its first Gap store in Taiwan. The brand expects to end fiscal year 2014 with more than 100 Gap stores across the Greater China region.

Uniqlo’s New U.S. Strategy: Big Growth, Big Sizes

Setting its sights on the U.S. market, discount retailer Uniqlo is revising its strategy to accommodate the American consumer. Apparently, this means the price of its apparel will contract while its sizes expand. Fast Retailing Co’s casual clothing brand Uniqlo is rethinking its “Made for All” strategy, looking to offer lower priced lines in smaller Asian cities and more generous sizes to fit the U.S. market, a top executive said recently. Asia’s biggest clothing retailer is studying ways to offer a better fit for U.S. consumers – a move that could help Uniqlo expand its customer base in the world’s biggest market as it adds more stores in suburban areas. Uniqlo has long marketed the “Made for All” concept, offering the same products universally rather than tweaking its designs or pricing for individual markets. From now on, however, Fast Retailing will develop and design about 10 percent of Uniqlo’s products with local needs in mind, Uniqlo said, with a view to possibly selling those products in other markets if the demand arose.

Cotton On Seeks Chinese Partner to Challenge Zara, H&M Dominance

Cotton On Group, a clothing chain with 1,300 stores globally, said it will invest in China to step up its overseas expansion and challenge the dominance of Fast Retailing Co.’s Uniqlo and Hennes&Mauritz AB. The Australian casual-wear retailer is seeking a partner to help with language and regulatory barriers as it plans to set up new stores in the world’s second-biggest economy. Cotton On, along with apparel companies such as Fast Retailing and Inditex SA’s Zara, are expanding in China as rising incomes boost buying power. The North Geelong, Victoria-based retailer, which also owns brands including Rubi Shoes, Supré and Typo, is opening more than 100 stores in Asian markets including South Korea, Japan and Vietnam to cut its reliance on Australia, which made up 55 percent of sales last year. Cotton On expects its Asian operations to contribute 20 percent to total sales this year, an increase from 15 percent the year before.

Tesco market share shrinks to lowest level in almost a decade

Tesco’s share of the UK grocery market has shrunk to its lowest level in almost a decade as British shoppers defected to German discount chains Aldi and Lidl to save money.The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel shows Tesco’s market share dropped to 28.7% in the 12 weeks to 2 March. That compares with 29.6% a year ago and turns back the clock to late 2004 when the retailer was in the ascendant. At its peak, in October 2007, Tesco’s share hit 31.8%.The “big four” supermarket chains are facing unprecedented pressure as the grocery market polarises with the discounters stealing sales at the value end while Waitrose cleans up at the top. Tesco not only lost market share but, like struggling rival Morrisons, it also experienced falling sales in a market that grew at 2.2%. Tesco’s sales were down 0.6% while the picture was even bleaker at Morrisons which recorded a 3.2% slump. Its market share fell to 11.1%, down from 11.8% a year ago.

Primark says it is still gaining market share as shoppers shift to ‘value’ clothes

Primark has lauded a shift to “value” clothes as it reported strong trading and said it continued to take market share from other retailers. Like-for-like sales at the cheap fashion giant are expected to be up 4% for the six months to the end of February, helped by a bumper Christmas when novelty jumpers flew off the shelves.According to company Primark was taking market share from every major retailer in the UK, as well as rivals in continental Europe, where it continues to open new stores. In the UK, where Primark already has more than 500,000 sqmetres (5.5m sqft) of retail space, its relentless expansion is set to continue. Primark plans to set up shop in several cities where it has not had a presence before: Bath, Canterbury and Milton Keynes in 2014 and Carlisle in 2015.

Walmart to expand in e-retailing in India

Months after it put its brick-andmortar expansion plans in India in deep freeze, Walmart Stores is quietly readying a major e-retailing push in India with an electronic marketplace business model akin to that used by US-based Amazon and eBay Inc. Sources familiar with the world’s biggest retailer’s plans told ET that a team of 15-17 people under Walmart India’s COO ArvindMediratta and including global veteran and V-P for operations in the India office, Steve Rodrigues, have been working on developing an electronic platform that is expected to go live in the next three to four months. Walmart is expected to finalise the brand name for the website that will serve as its e-marketplace in India.

H&M to Debut $99 Wedding Dress

Fast-fashion clothier Hennes&Mauritz AB (H&M) will soon be outfitting brides for less than $100. The retailer will debut a vintage Hollywood inspired dress in stores this month in advance of the summer wedding season for a budget-friendly $99. The flowing white dress has cinched detail at the bust and beading at the neckline. The floor-length, slightly Grecian-looking white gown is the retailer’s first wedding dress at an affordable H&M price point.

The dress will be sold online and in select stores starting later this month. Clearly, H&M is doing more than marketing to budget-conscious brides and they’re essentially turning the psychology of weddings on its head. Weddings are really crazy expensive, but that cost doesn’t necessarily come from the expense or lavishness of the materials

Levi’s Develops Way to Manufacture Jeans Using 100% Recycled Water

Levi Strauss has developed a new way to make jeans using 100 percent recycled water. The denim manufacturer, which applied the first-of-its-kind process to 100,000 pairs of women’s jeans during a test run, says it saved some 12 million liters of agua, or enough to fill nearly five Olympic-size swimming pools. The technique, according to Levi’s, is the result of a new, third-party-verified water-recycling standard designed to ease the stress of garment production on freshwater supplies.

J.C. Penney Is Taking Back Home Goods

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) is riding the success of its latest turnaround efforts and relaunching its previously thriving home goods section. Will customers revisit J.C. Penney stores to get their hands on the affordable, no-fuss brands they used to know and love? The company’s executives sure hope so. Its rebuilt home business will offer more lower-priced items, in-house brands, and basics like towels and comforters. J.C. Penney is now working to take on rivals like Target (NYSE:TGT) and Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) by offering home goods items at affordable prices, both in-store and online. Per the news service, J.C. Penney will continue to offer popular brands like Calphalon like it did under the Johnson reign, but it’ll also expand its offerings of other national brands, like Royal Velvet bedding and bath towels.

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