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Fashion & Retail

Top ten news of the month of retailers’ world

This is a new section in BTT for the readers who are keen to know what is happening in retail world. Global retail world is important equally for our readers locally and internationally as Bangladesh has been considered as one of biggest manufacturers of the world especially when it is apparel & textiles. I am Ataullah  Al Farhan, editing this section for you all. All concerned are requested to send related news to me farhan@textiletoday.com.bd.

Wal-Mart ‘to reduce reliance on Bangladesh’!
Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s biggest retailer, could move some of its apparel manufacturing out of  Bangladesh, according to a report published in Women’s Wear Daily recently. The report said the company had a strategy to reduce its reliance on Bangladesh. Following the news Bangladesh Textile Today tried to get information on Wal-mart real position about sourcing from Bangladesh. An employee of a liaison office here in Dhaka working for Wal-Mart informed BTT anonymously we know so sign within the company of reducing import from Bangladesh. There is no immediate reason that Wal-Mart is doing that.

Bangladesh is the world’s second-biggest apparel exporter after China with an industry worth about $19 billion. Its labour costs are the lowest in the world, says Charles Kernaghan, executive director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights.

He says workers there make from 18¢ to 26¢ an hour while in China they make an average of $1.34 an hour.
If Walmart did move some of its apparel manufacturing out of Bangladesh, there are at least two other places it might go: Cambodia, where the average wage is 29¢ an hour, according to Kernaghan; and Vietnam, where workers make about 55¢ an hour.

Walmart’s labour costs would go up, but it could benefit from the better infrastructure available in those countries.

‘Bangladesh needs to make a giant step forward in terms of enforceable labour rights,’ Kernaghan says. ‘But when it comes to making the factories safer, this has to be up to the big retailers. It’s at least 50 per cent of their responsibility.’

Megan Murphy, senior manager for international corporate affairs at Walmart, said in an e-mail: ‘Bangladesh continues to be an important sourcing market for Wal-Mart. We welcome the opportunity to work with the respective governments, suppliers and factories to improve worker safety conditions and standards.’
Walmart could also be sending a not-so-subtle message to its suppliers in Bangladesh: ‘You need us more than we need you’.

UK retailer Laura Ashley saw full-year net income grow on the back of rising sales.
On last 28 March UK retailer Laura Ashley arranged a seminar to thrash out their plan for the next year. The company said, over the year ended 26 January, net profit increased 11.8% to GBP17m (US$25.7m) from GBP15.2m in the prior year. Sales were up 4.5% to GBP298.8m, as UK retail sales grew 3.1% to GBP263m. Meanwhile, like-for-like sales increased 2% and profit before tax was up 9.2% to GBP20.1m.

“We are confident that, despite an extremely competitive retail sector and a challenging consumer environment, both our business and brand are able to continue the steady and robust progress of recent years,” said chairman Tan Sri Dr K P Khoo.

Vogue Knitting Live kicks off from April 5
The leading US knitting event, Vogue Knitting LIVE, makes its debut in the Seattle area April 5 through 7 and proves that knitters can be a wild and wooly bunch.

More than 3,000 Seattle-area handcrafters are expected to fill the Meydenbauer Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Bellevue to take classes (from beginner to advanced), view fashion shows, shop for unique new fibers, view one-of-a-kind knitted art, and network with other crafters. Vogue Knitting LIVE offers a full range of package options, from single-day Marketplace passes to an all inclusive package of classes, lectures, shopping, and exclusive evening events. Nearly one million kids living in poverty have received items hand-knit through Knit for Kids, and Vogue Knitting LIVE is aiming to make that number rise.

Wal-Mart launched an online intention for buying unique and interesting products.
Wal-Mart has recently launched an online destination on Walmart.com that gives shoppers who want to buy unique and interesting products the opportunity to do so while supporting small women-owned businesses around the world.  With each purchase, consumers lift and empower the women behind these products to create new jobs and improve both their own lives and the lives of their families and communities.

New Gap Strategy scores Lead Times, Positions Materials, Boosts Profits.
Gap has newly said that a key revenue measure rose more than expected in February, helped by sales of jeans and woven tops at its Gap and Old Navy stores. New Gap Strategy Cuts Lead Times, Positions Materials, Boosts Profits. Gap has been satisfying more customers, faster, using a new strategy that improves its speed to market. This enables them to more variations over the life of a line, minimizing the risks on any given styling decision.

UK: George to launch graduate fashion line
George at Asda is set to launch a new label called G21 Talent, a line of limited edition, catwalk inspired collections created by designers from Graduate Fashion Week.

The Levi’s® brand announced Water Less™ jeans collection for spring.
LEVI’S When it comes to the water used to make Levi’s® Water Less™ jeans – less is definitely more! The Levi’s® brand has announced the expansion of its Water Less™ jeans collection for spring. The average pair of jeans uses 42 liters of water in the finishing process, Levi’s® Water

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