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.
H&M expands its reach in US
Swedish apparel retailer H&M, staying committed to expanding its global reach, has opened a new store (spread across 23,000 square feet) in North Riverside, USA. To separate the newly opened store-within-a-store, sections for accessories, maternity, plus-size H&M+ line and sports apparel are featured there. With this store, H&M adds about 30 employees to its total of 16,000 in the US.
The clothing retailer, through the opening of this store, is also capitalizing on the opportunity to work for a social cause… as for each gift card purchased this month, the H&M Conscious Foundation will donate 5 per cent of the total gift card amount to UNICEF’s work on behalf of children in Myanmar.
Sustainability is of utmost significance for H&M, which states that the apparel brand is actively working to ensure that both new and existing stores are sustainable long-term. Initiatives include recycling waste, utilizing water and energy-efficient systems, and selecting environmentally responsible materials such as certified wood and fabrics, the press release states.
At present, the apparel retailer operates in 61 countries across the globe with more than 3,700 stores and as of 2015, it has employed around 132,000 people.
Walmart reducing stores to affect Bangladesh RMG units
Bangladesh’s apparel exports to the US may be affected by Walmart’s decision to trim its store count. The US imports readymade garments worth $5 billion annually from Bangladesh and Walmart alone accounts for 20 per cent of this. Bangladesh exported 1,720 million sq. mt. of clothes worth in the January-November period of last calendar year to the US. Meanwhile Walmart has decided to close down 269 stores in the US and across the globe under its cost-cutting move. A review of the company’s portfolio is underway to ensure assets are aligned with strategy. Walmart has some 11,600 worldwide stores and their financial performance is being assessed. It says it’s actively managing its portfolio of assets to maintain healthy business. On the other hand, the company is committed to growing. It says it will open more than 300 stores around the world next year. Though the impact of Walmart’s cost-cutting measure would not be felt immediately, Bangladesh garment makers feel prices for their products might decline further. Walmart may not minimise orders from Bangladesh immediately but the annual growth might remain static for Bangladesh’s products. Walmart has 200 factories in Bangladesh. It is a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety comprising 26 North American retailers and suppliers.
Adidas adopts eco-friendly Bluesign standard
Adidas has set a target that by the end of 2016, 75 per cent of all dyes used in its apparel will be approved by Bluesign. Bluesign is a Switzerland-based certification company that applies standards for textile product manufacture and use of hazardous substances. The apparel and footwear brand aims to have 30 per cent of all auxiliary chemicals used in apparel approved by Bluesign. Auxiliaries are substances used to support the production process, but which do not add a function to the product. Adidas surpassed its 2015 goals, which were set at 50 per cent of all dyes and 10 per cent of auxiliary chemicals approved by Bluesign. By the end of the year 65 per cent of dyes and 30 per cent auxiliary chemicals had been approved. To help achieve its target of eliminating all polyfluoro carbons by 2017, it has been working with chemical companies to explore formulations which are still in an R&D phase. In total, more than 8,400 lab tests were conducted and 43 wear tests were performed in a sporting environment. Meanwhile the company has met its target of phasing out plastic micro beads from its body care products. This was in response to criticism that some of the company’s products contained micro beads.
Primark working towards cleaning its supply chain
Primark is an Irish fast fashion retailer. It’s focused on teens and produces low-priced, selfie-friendly clothes like dresses, shoes and bags. It’s known for its cheap mini-skirts and club-ready clothes. For summer it has everything from beach cover-ups, like tasseled kimonos and kaftans, to chic swimwear and bargain bikinis for every body shape. There are tops, leggings and bras in luxe brights and pastels. The brand has built up its reputation with the newest designs, jazzy stores and media promotion. It doesn’t sell online and rarely advertises. Among its activities is cleaning up its supply chain in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burma, Ethiopia and India. In those countries it is engaged in the health and general welfare of workers in the textile industry. In addition, attempts are made to stimulate the local economy of the countries. Primark feels it is important that the people who make its products can work in good conditions and are treated properly and receive a fair wage. Like all fast fashion, cheap clothes can cost a lot with respects to workplace safety and workers’ rights. Primark produces its low-cost clothes in Bangladesh and was one of the many retailers using Rana Plaza when the building collapsed in 2013, killing over 1000 people.
JC Penney to start selling home appliances again
J.C. Penney will sell refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances at some of its stores for the first time in more than 30 years.
The move, announced Tuesday, comes as many department stores are under pressure to attract shoppers who are spending more money on their homes than on clothing.
J.C. Penney says many of its customers are either buying their first home or already own one and want to update them. Shoppers were often searching for refrigerators or washing machines on the department store’s website, says J.C. Penney spokes woman Daphne Avila.
The appliances will go on sale Feb. 1 at 22 stores in the San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa, Florida, areas. If they sell well, appliances could be sold at stores nationwide, Avila says. Among the appliance brands that J.C. Penney will sell include GE, LG and Samsung. The company says it stopped selling appliances around 1983.
Department store operators have been looking at ways to shake up their offerings. Macy’s, for example, opened Best Buy shops at 10 of its stores late last year to sell smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronics.
Wal-Mart ready to open in Fort Lauderdale
The city’s first Wal-Mart is scheduled to open Wednesday at 2500 W. Broward Blvd., just west of Interstate 95 – an area where public officials hope it will spark development.
Like many Wal-Marts, the store will sell groceries, clothing, furniture, sporting goods and other general merchandise, but it’s also expected to be the first in the nation with the retailer’s new Smart Life section: a space displaying home technology.
That will include products from home security systems to movie streaming gadgets to video doorbells – cameras on front doors that let homeowners watch an app to see who’s there.
“It’s exciting to have another shopping option. About every other retailer has been in Fort Lauderdale for some time,” Mayor Jack Seiler said. “At the end of the day, consumers will benefit.”
GAP to reduce Carbon footprint
Gap is committed to cutting its absolute greenhouse gas emissions. The company plans to halve emissions at its stores, offices and distribution facilities around the world from 2015 levels by the end of 2020, after successfully reducing them by 38 per cent from 2008 levels as of the end of 2015.
Much of the reductions so far have come from installing long-lasting, more efficient LED lighting and smart thermostats at stores, turning off unnecessary lights at night and using an industry shipment program to improve fuel efficiency. Shuttering stores has also contributed, but to a lesser extent.
Gap’s commitment only extends to facilities it owns or operates, and therefore the factories that produce its clothes but not the third-party factories that produce its clothes. The retailer will also try to divert 80 per cent of the waste from its US facilities away from landfills by 2020. In 2014, it diverted just 29 per cent of that waste.
The fashion industry hasn’t been kind on the planet. Toxic chemicals are used to make some clothes, lots of wasted and polluted water and the mountains of apparel tossed into landfills every year. And huge amounts of energy are expended along the life of a garment, from manufacturing to transportation to a sales floor.
Tesco faces £100m damages claim over accounting black hole
Tesco investors are set to launch a huge damages claim, saying they lost tens of millions because of the accounting scandal at the supermarket. Group litigation fund Bentham Europe has gathered institutional investors who believe they lost out when the retailer admitted overstating its profits by £250m.
Shares in the company plunged by more than a fifth in September 2014 when Tesco issued its third profit warning in weeks, saying it had uncovered a “serious issue” within its accounts. Dave Lewis, chief executive, said the black hole in Tesco’s accounts was down to “accelerated recognition of commercial income and delayed accrual of costs” – taking money from suppliers in return for promoting their products and paying them for their goods later.
Bentham, which is bankrolling the legal action in return for a share of any payout, said it had instructed Stewarts Law to write to Tesco on behalf of the investorsit has gathered as a “prelude to the commencement of formal legal action”. Many of the investors say they lost seven-figure sums as a result of the scandal, and other larger claims expected to be added to the action.
Amazon to create 2,500 jobs in the UK this year
The company is expanding in response to strong demand, and will employ 14,500 people in the UK by the end of 2016. Amazon is creating 2,500 jobs in the UK in 2016, as it responds to “stronger demand than ever”. The new positions will expand the shopping giant’s fulfilment centres across the country, as well as its R&D facilites, customer services department and head office. It will bring the company’s total number of employees in the UK to more than 14,500 by the end of 2016. The online retailer is also opening a new head office in London’s Shoreditch, with space for 5,000 workers, as well as a web services UK data centre. Both will both open in 2017.
The news comes as Amazon prepares to beef up its household goods and groceries service, Pantry, in direct competition to the UK’s established supermarkets. It also recently announced it would allow customers to pay in installments, as it steps up its attack on the high street. In the past year, Amazon has created 10,000 jobs across Europe, which it says is the highest number of jobs it has ever created in a single year in the region. The company claims that it has invested more than €15bn (£11bn) since 2010 on infrastructure to support its operations in Europe.
Fashion retailer N Brown boosted by silver surfers
A rise in online savvy, mature customers who “refuse to grow old” has boosted sales at clothing retailer N Brown. The company behind the Simply Be and Jacamo fashion brands grew revenues by 4.1pc over the 18 weeks to January 2, lifting like-for-like sales by the same amount.
N Brown’s JD Williams brand, which is targeted at women aged over 50 and fronted by TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, posted “double-digit year-on-year growth”, helped by more of its customers shopping online. Online shopping now accounts for 66pc of the plus-sized fashion retailer’s revenues, compared with 58pc last year.
“We are certainly seeing that our customers who refuse to grow old or be treated differently are happy to shop online,” said Angela Spindler, chief executive. The N Brown boss said that the group’s more traditional brands continued to see sliding revenues as those customers remained reliant on its catalogue and call-centre operations.
N Brown has been trying to revamp itself as an online retailer with a strategy called “fit 4 the future”, moving it away from its legacy catalogue business.
Sales of heavy winter-wear, such as coats and jumpers, were subdued as a result of the “very unusual weather”. N Brown sold 17pc more t-shirts during December than a year before, highlighting the warmer temperatures.