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Top ten news of retailers’ world

This is a section in BTT for the readers who are fanatical to know what is happening in retail world those are sourcing from Bangladesh. Deeds with them potentially involve and influence Bangladeshi textile & clothing manufacturing sector. Global retail world is important equally for our readers locally and internationally as Bangladesh has been considered as one of leading apparel & textiles manufacturers of the world.

Western retail giants restrict travel to Bangladesh after attacks

Business executives from global clothing giants H&M, Inditex and Gaphave canceled trips to Dhaka this month after the killings of two foreigners, industry sources said, causing anxiety for Bangladesh’s $25 billion garment export sector.

Bangladeshi suppliers to the world’s top brands said they didn’t expect the disruptions to hurt their orders for the year-end Christmas season.

But the attacks, claimed by the Islamic State, increase the pressure on an industry which faces competition from other low-wage countries and is trying to repair its safety image after several fatal accidents.

The United States and Canada have asked their diplomats to restrict their movements, and Britain warned of more attacks after an Italian aid worker and a Japanese man were shot dead a few days apart. Australia canceled a cricket tour. Bangladesh’s government, however, rejected the claim by the Islamic State and blamed the growing violence in the country on its domestic political opponents trying to show it in poor light. The attacks on foreigners, while rare, follow the killings of four Bangladeshi bloggers this year by machete-wielding assailants, and have spawned fear among the foreign community.

Premark joins sustainable apparel coalition

Clothing giant Primark has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a non-profit that helps clothes companies measure their ethical performance. The Higg Index developed by the SAC is a self-assessment tool that allows companies to calculate the sustainability performance of their supply chain and identifies areas that need to be improved. The tool assesses both environmental and social impacts of products.

In a statement, Primark said that it was “committed to reducing the impact that it has on the environment and would use the SAC’s sustainability tool to improve the environmental performance of its supply chain. By measuring sustainability performance, the industry can address inefficiencies, resolve damaging practices, and achieve the environmental and social transparency that consumers are starting to demand. By joining forces in a Coalition, we can address the urgent, systemic challenges that are impossible to change alone.

” Almost forty apparel and footwear brands, including Adidas, GAP and H&M, are already members of the SAC, along with manufacturers, retailers, industry affiliates, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), academic institutions and environmental non-profits. Primark was one of several companies implicated in the 2013 collapse of a garment factory in Rana Plaza, Bangladesh, in which more than 1,100 workers lost their lives. Primark contributed $12million in compensation to the workers.

H&M appreciates Accord for its work in Bangladesh

Accord has received appreciation for its action-plans taken in the RMG sector in Bangladesh, by the Swedish multinational retail-company Hennes & Mauritz-H&M. The brand stated that Accord is an important initiative in this sector.

The company while stating that the work being done within the Accord is making the industry safer, also said that it’s committed to support Accord continuously as well as the Bangladeshi textile industry. However, the brand added that there were some challenges that other collaborating participants within the Accord and they themselves were tackling. Inspection of 1,600 of factories is being done by Accord and all the factories that H&M is working with, which are less than 300, meet the Accord requirements for operation. Almost 60 per cent of the remediation work is completed where H&M is the lead brand. Accord is experiencing some delays regarding the remediation process says H&M. It stated that though they were greatly concerned with any delay, it was also very important for them that measure are taken according to the to the high quality standards agreed between the Bangladesh Government and the Accord and Alliance.

The brand further said that an active involvement and commitment by brands in the remediation process is crucial and that H&M is one of the 200-odd brands that have signed the Accord. It has been actively contributing to Accord’s progress from the start, the company added.

The brand explained that it would continue its long-term investment and offer full support to its suppliers in improving and upgrading their production facilities to safer and higher international standards and their management capabilities, allowing them to become competitive in a sustainable way.

Wal-Mart to cut hundreds of jobs at headquarters

Wal-Mart is planning to lay off hundreds of people at its headquarters in Arkansas as part of the retail giant’s efforts to pare costs, people familiar with the matter said.

Fewer than 500 employees are expected to lose their jobs and an announcement could be made as early as this Friday, according to one of sources, who declined to be named because the move had not been made public.

The cuts will make up a small portion of the more than 18,000 people employed at the Bentonville, Arkansas office but fit in with a streamlining effort that has been flagged by Chief Executive Doug McMillon in recent months.

“There are no cash registers in the office,” McMillon told analysts after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in June to emphasize his focus on stores as the earnings driver for the company.

Speculation of job losses has percolated in Bentonville for several weeks, fueled in part by reports on the matter by local media outlet City Wire. Recruiting firms have reported an influx of resumes from Wal-Mart employees concerned about losing their jobs and suppliers have braced for cuts that could have a knock-on impact on their local operations.

Sustainable brands’ new metrics ’15 announced

Several initiatives focused on identifying, measuring and quantifying entirely new forms of business risk and value were announced by the Sustainable Brands community at New Metrics ’15 in Boston, MA.

To collaborate on leading edge corporate practices and performance indicators that quantify environmental and social impacts and tie them to financial value, over 300 global senior executives across diverse industry sectors convened recently.

Critical insight into the key business metrics that are informing next generation goals will be discussed and debated by more than 60 influential speakers. Innovative measurement tools, breakthrough research methods, informative case studies and advanced frameworks would be featured in the event, including conversations on new ways to measure the ROI of sustainability, quantify employee engagement and performance, measure shared value and impact along the supply chain and benchmark ESG performance ratings/rankings.

Ko Ann Vikoren Skrzyniarz, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Brands said that they had seen tremendous growth in the advancement of new business performance metrics within the SB community over the years. The translation of previously ignored environmental and social impacts into corporate financial performance indicators, the spread of goal-setting methodologies and the proliferation of innovative tools had all elevated the discussion to an extent where an accelerated shift to new norms could be seen, she added.

Iconic American clothing brands face a bleak future

Year 2015 has been where brands such as dElia’s, Wet Seal, and Quicksilver have ceased to exist. Then there are others such as Aeropostale, American Apparel, Bebe, and Pacific Sunwear that are practically on life support, and are simply waiting their demise.

Retailers are realising that while Gen Y loved brands and loved donning their logos, Gen Z didn’t really care much for that. They, instead pick disposable fast fashion from stores such as H&M, Century 21, and Uniqlo. And, there are three more brands in the pipeline that may face the same fate as the others unless they change their ways.

Abercrombie & Fitch is one among brands that are going down. Their marketing ethic and logo-centric clothes of ‘for cool kids only’ clearly stated that it was meant for a certain category of customers. The brand eventually started selling plus-sized clothes; it even got rid of the models in its stores, to attract good-looking shoppers. However, it still sells a surplus of outfits with the Abercrombie name on them.

Gap’s decision to remake all its stores into fast-fashion houses shows that it’s following, not leading the retail industry. This happens when one chases fashion trends, instead of leading them. For 14 straight months, comp sales are down and the situation seems bleak. Gap is looking to turn its namesake stores and Banana Republic shops into disposable-clothing retailers too. While its Old Navy concept look as though it has successfully made the leap to fast fashion (second-quarter sales were up 3 per cent).

Nike launches new fabric that responds to moisture

With insights from the Nike Explore Team (NXT) Sport Research Lab and runners from all over the world, Nike has come up with a new fabric called Nike AeroReact. The fabric’s bi-component yarn senses moisture vapour and opens its structure to maximize breathability.

It has been uniquely engineered to adapt to changes in a runner’s body temperature and provide him/her maximum comfort. The fabric has been developed after several years of research, testing, and trials. To test the technology, prototypes were distributed to runners worldwide who wore it and gave their feedback

Walmart outlines new ways it is helping customers’ live healthy lives

Building on its commitment to making healthcare and healthier food more affordable and accessible, Walmart outlined additional ways the company is helping its customers live healthier lives. The retailer will focus on preventive care and supporting overall well-being across its entire assortment – in stores and online – through in-store events, online education and an expanded assortment of products and services solutions.

Customers will see Walmart’s commitment come to life, when the retailer holds “America’s Biggest Health Fair.” The event will take place in more than 4,400 stores across the U.S. from noon to 4 p.m. Free blood glucose, blood pressure, vision screenings, product samples and health insurance information will be available. In addition, more than 10,000 of Walmart’s licensed pharmacists will offer immunizations in select stores. Walmart expects to set record breaking numbers during the single-day health fair with hundreds of thousands of screenings and immunizations projected.

“There is one thing we can’t put a price on and that’s the health of our customers. We realize we play an important role in making healthcare available to millions and helping millions put healthy meals on the table. This is a responsibility we take seriously,” said Michelle Gloeckler, executive vice president of Consumables and Health & Wellness at Walmart U.S. “From managing diabetes to running your first 5K and simply putting a healthy dinner on the table, we’re equipping our customers with solutions for total health management which spans from nutrition, fitness, preventative care and treatment.”

LF Logistics Scores a Double at the 2015 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Best Practices Awards

LF Logistics (a Li & Fung Company) has scored a double by picking up the Asia Pacific Regional Logistics Service Provider of the Year and Asia Pacific Warehouse Service Provider of the Year awards.

The awards were presented to LF Logistics at the 2015 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Best Practices Awards banquet held at the Conrad Centennial Singapore yesterday.

Mr. Zainal Izham, Research Analyst, Asia Pacific at Frost & Sullivan said that LF Logistics offers a complete package when it comes to its service offerings and experience in logistics handling in Asia Pacific.

“Their dependable supply chain management capabilities, incorporating inter-modal transportation, supply chain network design and cross-docking among others, have produced reliable services for its customers,” he added.

Jack & Jones to open five new UK stores

Menswear brand and retailer Jack & Jones is looking to open five new stores by the end of the year in the Northwest, Northeast and the Midlands.

The label, part of Danish brand house Bestseller, launched in the UK in 2003 with a focus on wholesale and retail representation on the high street.

Bestseller’s UK country director Allan Nielsen said: “We are in a positive development and the growth is mainly with our existing long term partners.

“We are always looking for new store opportunities, but the rent deal needs to be fair and reflect what the current marketplace looks like in 2015.”

He said the company expects to open five new stores before Christmas, adding: “The recent restructure of stores was needed and part of our plan to allow us to open more new stores that are both the right size and right location to achieve the expected growth.

“We are negotiating on further locations, but the outcome depends on agreeing the right rent deals.”

The brand has approximately 120 independent stockists in the UK, 20 multiples and 15 key accounts. It has 32 stores in the UK, having closed 10 Jack & Jones and Vero Moda multi-brand stores in the last two years and opened larger Jack & Jones concept stores in Manchester’s Arndale centre, Westfield London, Meadowhall and Cardiff.

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