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jerryking : apparel   59

Chasing Amazon, Retailers Are in a Never-Ending Arms Race
Nov. 25, 2019 | New York Times | By Sapna Maheshwari and Michael Corkery

Especially hard hit are the big sellers of apparel and accessories like Nordstrom, which are grappling with the dual costs of running fast and efficient e-commerce operations, while also keeping their stores inviting and relevant........While retailers are coming through with a “very, very competitive digital shopping experience,” said Kimberly Greenberger, a retail analyst at Morgan Stanley, they are pouring money into their e-commerce operations at the same time their stores are bringing in fewer sales. Just when they seem caught up, Amazon raises the bar again.
“It just continues this vicious cycle that retailers find themselves in,” .........And then, there are the dozens of buzzy e-commerce start-ups, built through savvy marketing on Instagram and Facebook, that have also been putting pressure on department stores. Often, these companies are built around one product, ship directly to consumers and have only a few stores, if any. They include Away for suitcases, Allbirds for shoes, Lively for bras, Everlane for clothing and Brooklinen for bedsheets.
Many of these companies, backed by venture capital, are focused on growth and not concerned with making money in the short term.
Amazon  Amazon_Prime  apparel  arms_race  contra-Amazon   department_stores  e-commerce  Kohl’s  Macy’s  Nordstrom  product_returns  retailers     same-day  start_ups  supply_chain_squeeze 
november 2019 by jerryking
Rihanna to lead new LVMH fashion house
May 10, 2019 | Financial Times | by Harriet Agnew in Paris.

Pop star will launch a new line of ready-to-wear luxury clothing, footwear and accessories brand named Fenty, becoming the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH. This is significant because it is one of the most high-profile creative tie-ups to date between a celebrity and a luxury group, and illustrates the lucrative potential of celebrities to draw attention — and sales — through Instagram (Rihanna has 70.5m followers). .....LVMH said Fenty would be “centered on Rihanna, developed by her, and takes shape with her vision . . . including commerciality and communication of the brand”....Rihanna joins other singers such as Beyoncé in launching her own clothing line.....
accessories  apparel  beauty  brands  celebrities  creative_class  digital_influencers  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  Fenty  footwear  greenfields  Instagram  luxury  LVMH  music  partnerships  singers  clothing  clothing_labels 
may 2019 by jerryking
Anti-Algorithm Fashion
Sept. 10, 2018 | The New York Times | By Vanessa Friedman.

Some fashion brands are displaying an increasingly confident adherence to their own ideas about what the world should look like now.

They make what they want, in the way they want. If that means getting rained on, so be it. If that means they lose audience members to shelter, well, O.K. It sounds like a small thing, but it’s getting harder and harder to find. The industry bends toward compromise. There’s a lot of pressure these days to design by algorithm. We know too much about buying habits and likes, and the result is an insidious bias toward giving people what they have already indicated they want. It may be safe, and easier to sell, but it’s antithetical to the whole point of fashion, which should be about giving people what they never knew they wanted — what they couldn’t imagine they wanted — until they saw it. There’s a clarity to such commitment that keeps people in their seats, a ruthlessness toward pandering to the prevailing winds (or rain) that is itself desirable.
====================================================
Excerpt from 'A whole new mind: why right-brainers will rule
the future' By Daniel H. Pink. "Indeed, one of design's most potent
economic effects is this very capacity to create new markets... The
forces of Abundance, Asia, and Automation turn goods and services into
commodities so quickly that the only way to survive is by constantly
developing new innovations, inventing new categories, and (in Paola
Antonelli's lovely phrase) giving the world something it didn't know it
was missing.
analog  fashion  messiness  inspiration  algorithms  apparel  brands  clothing_labels 
september 2018 by jerryking
Norway’s oil wealth swamps innovation
John Gapper OCTOBER 19, 2016

"omstilling", is the name for Norway’s nascent shift to living without the energy industry that has brought it wealth and welfare for 45 years.

Why hurry, some wonder. Its 5.2m citizens are among the world’s comfiest, with gross domestic product per head of $75,000. Its oil-funded sovereign wealth fund, set up in 1990 to help it avoid “Dutch disease” — the syndrome of resource wealth driving up national currencies and weakening other sectors — is worth $880bn. Its oil and gas reserves should last for another half-century.

The trouble is that Norway is too comfortable. It takes a crisis to get most people to change their ways radically or for an economy to adjust the way that it works. Whatever you think of Brexit, it is one of those crises. At the moment, Norway has more official think-tanks and innovation incubators than entrepreneurship and disruption.....The oil fund is exemplary in many ways: by taking the wealth largely out of the hands of the government and directing it into overseas investment, Norway has avoided the worst of Dutch disease. But it adds to the sense of the country having a cushion against change: the fund’s very existence extends its deadline to reshape the economy.

The citizens are also cushioned......Norway remains hesitant about change.....Norway is a consensus-driven society that feels comfortable only with reform that has been carefully discussed and agreed....Elisabeth Stray Pedersen, a 29-year-old fashion designer who last year bought a factory opened in 1953 by the designer Unn Soiland Dale. She wants to revive its Lillunn brand and sell more of its Norwegian wool blankets and coats abroad.
Norway  Norwegian  oil_industry  Brexit  United_Kingdom  innovation  natural_resources  resource_curse  sovereign_wealth_funds  complacency  fashion  apparel  start_ups 
april 2018 by jerryking
Can Smartphones Stop the Death of the Salesman? - WSJ
By Khadeeja Safdar | Photographs by Dominick Reuter for The Wall Street Journal
April 15, 2018 8:00 a.m
smartphones  retailers  mens'_clothing  suits  apparel  salespeople  bricks-and-mortar 
april 2018 by jerryking
How One Investor Made a Fortune Picking Over the Retail Apocalypse - WSJ
By Khadeeja Safdar and Miriam Gottfried
March 21, 2018

While private-equity firms and public investors have been shying away from traditional retail, Sycamore has made bigger bets on the sector. It bought Staples Inc. in September for $6.8 billion—the largest U.S. leveraged buyout of 2017.... strong demand from pension funds and other institutions to co-invest to tap Sycamore’s retail wizardry.

With Sycamore’s strategy, it isn’t necessary to spruce up a purchased company. The firm often buys struggling retailers and sells off their most valuable pieces. It cuts costs at whatever remains, sometimes using the savings to extract dividends.

The firm tells investors its returns “need not depend” on successfully identifying growth opportunities for its retail targets, according to documents for its new fund.

Sycamore also extracts returns from clothing chains by acting as a middleman between them and suppliers, using a company it owns to sell inventory to the retailers, sometimes as they struggle to remain solvent, according to industry executives and court filings.....“Sycamore is the best of the bunch in the retail sector,” .....Sycamore’s team doesn’t usually get involved in day-to-day operational decisions such as selecting merchandise and designing store layouts, preferring instead to hire consultants and veteran retail executives, said former executives at some of its portfolio companies.
apparel  bricks-and-mortar  cost-cutting  investors  private_equity  retailers  selling_off  Staples 
march 2018 by jerryking
Levi’s Wants Lasers, Not People, to Rip Your Jeans - WSJ
By Suzanne Kapner | Photographs by Christie Hemm Klok for The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 27, 2018
blue_jeans  Levi_Strauss  supply_chains  apparel  automation  accelerated_lifecycles 
february 2018 by jerryking
In the fashion industry, McShopping has gone global - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
PUBLISHED AUGUST 7, 2017

invaded by the same global chains that have made the shopping streets of the world's great cities all start to look the same. In the main shopping districts of Paris, Madrid, London or Toronto, the invasion of the same global chains (e.g. Zara, H&M, Primark & Uniqlo) that have made the shopping streets of the world's great cities all start to look the same. It's destroying the visual identities of cities once visited for their unique charm.

The cheap-chic revolution has brought affordable fashion to the masses and, thanks to better monitoring of offshore factories, provided millions of decent jobs in developing countries. It also has its downsides. Massive amounts of "disposable" clothing end up in landfills each year. When clothes are this cheap, we don't think twice about chucking what we bought last month for something even trendier. Instead of four fashion seasons, we now have at least 12...... department stores are a dying breed. Those that survive will likely only do so by going global.
Konrad_Yakabuski  fast-fashion  fashion  apparel  retailers  department_stores  brands  globalization  concentration  identity  Uniqlo  H&M  HBC  Zara  Paris  Madrid  London  Toronto  disposability  Primark  uniqueness  J.Crew 
january 2018 by jerryking
The Retailers That Can Resist the Amazon Onslaught
AUG. 28, 2017 | The New York Times | By JENNIFER SABA.

The Amazon vortex won’t suck in everyone. That’s the verdict of investors in the retail sector.

Among potential competitors to the e-commerce juggernaut founded by Jeff Bezos, some – including Ross Stores, Home Depot and AutoZone – may have the wherewithal to withstand Amazon. The market is conferring on them valuations commensurate with, or better than, the one accorded to Amazon.........The auto-parts chain AutoZone may represent another retail slice that is somewhat resistant to Amazon. The $19 billion company trades at 1.5 times 2020 sales, a recognition that it has created a supply chain that minimizes inventory without crimping a timely ability to fulfill customer orders.

Even in apparel, there are bright spots. At 1.4 times projected 2020 sales, Ross Stores, which sells reasonably priced clothing through more than 1,500 outlets, fetches an enterprise valuation close to Amazon’s. TJX Companies, operator of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, lingers at 1.1 times sales. That’s below Amazon but well above peers like Macy’s and Kohl’s. Bargain hunting may offer some respite from online price choppers...........Once he is done crushing the grocery business, Mr. Bezos may seriously set Amazon’s sights on car parts, cheap clothes and home-improvement accessories. For now, though, the market is betting on a few pockets of calm.
retailers  bargain_hunting  e-commerce  Whole_Foods  competitive_landscape  apparel  Home_Depot  AutoZone  valuations  Amazon  home-improvement  contra-Amazon 
august 2017 by jerryking
Nike Thought It Didn’t Need Amazon—Then the Ground Shifted - WSJ
By Laura Stevens and Sara Germano
June 28, 2017

Meanwhile, more and more of the sales of Nike and other goods on Amazon’s site were by third parties. The growth in the third-party segment had been fueled by rapid adoption by sellers and an offering in which Amazon warehouses and fulfills orders.

A shopper left a Nike store in San Francisco last year.
A shopper left a Nike store in San Francisco last year. PHOTO: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS
These days, analysts estimate third-party sales in total have surpassed Amazon’s own sales on the site, and the number of sellers has swelled to over two million. Amazon doesn’t report the value of sales by third-party sellers, but it confirms that about half of units sold on its site are from third-party sellers.

Third-party sales are generally more profitable to Amazon than its own, because it collects fees from the sellers without having to take on inventory risks.
Amazon  Nike  sneakers  third-party  brands  sports  apparel  Under_Armour 
june 2017 by jerryking
As Retailers Race to Close Stores, a Web Startup Is Opening Them - WSJ
By Khadeeja Safdar
April 30, 2017

Online brands are treading more carefully into physical retail. Several brands, such as Everlane, Casper and Warby Parker, have opened temporary stores to test out foot traffic and experiment with new concepts. ....One challenge for online brands is to ensure that new locations increase sales, rather than cannibalize existing business.

“We have to see the interplay between our online and offline channels,” said Ms. Ulman. “A customer who shops online and offline is supposed to be very valuable, but we want to understand just how much more valuable.”....Online apparel brands are finding that they don’t need much to set up a store. The evolution of point-of-sales technology means that transactions can now be made on phones and tablets. Some newer retailers don’t even keep much inventory. Bonobos, which started out selling men’s clothing online, lets customers try on items at its more than two dozen “guideshops” and mails purchases to their doorsteps.

Greats sells eight core styles of shoes in different colors and materials, making its business more mobile than that of a traditional retailer. At its new locations, the company plans to bring its own interior elements such as shelving, greenery and lighting.

“You can do a lot within four walls,” said Ms. Ulman. “All we really need is some Wi-Fi.”
clicks-to-bricks  sneakers  pop-ups  e-commerce  retailers  store_closings  shopping_malls  landlords  bricks-and-mortar  foot_traffic  omnichannel  short-term  leasing  inventory-free  cannibalization  Bonobos  Everlane  Casper  Warby_Parker  point-of-sale  brands  Wi-Fi  mens'_clothing  apparel  physical_retail 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy - The New York Times
Neil Irwin @Neil_Irwin JUNE 16, 2017

The decision by Amazon and Walmart to compete for my grocery business — as well as for space in my closet — is a tiny battle in a war to dominate a changing global economy.

And for companies that can’t compete on price and technology, it could cost them the shirt off their backs.....[Amazon's purchase of high-end grocery chain Whole Foods places it] on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy.

Each one is trying to become more like the other — Walmart by investing heavily in its technology, Amazon by opening physical bookstores and now buying physical supermarkets. But this is more than a battle between two business titans. Their rivalry sheds light on the shifting economics of nearly every major industry, replete with winner-take-all effects and huge advantages that accrue to the biggest and best-run organizations, to the detriment of upstarts and second-fiddle players.....in turn...this has more worrying implications for jobs, wages and inequality.

Amazon vs. Walmart

Both want to sell everything!!!!

Walmart is buying Bonobos, an omnichannel innovator. Its website and online customer service are excellent, and it operates stores in major cities where you can try on garments and order items to be shipped directly. Because all the actual inventory is centralized, the stores themselves can occupy minimal square footage. The acquisition helps Walmart build expertise in the very areas where it is trying to gain on Amazon.

Walmart and Amazon have had their sights on each other for years, each aiming to be the dominant seller of goods via omnichannel.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods helps it to understand the grocery business which has a whole different set of challenges from the types of goods that Amazon has specialized in heretofore.

A Positive Returns-to-Scale World
The apparel business has long been a highly competitive industry in which countless players could find a niche.....any shirt-maker that tried to get too big rapidly faced diminishing returns.It would have to pay more and more to lease the real estate for far-flung stores, and would have to outbid competitors to hire all the experienced shirt-makers. The expansion wouldn’t offer any meaningful cost savings and would entail a lot more headaches trying to manage it all....in the digital economy, rather than reflecting those diminishing returns to scale, show positive returns to scale: The biggest companies have a huge advantage over smaller players. That tends to tilt markets toward a handful of players or even a monopoly....The apparel industry...is moving in the direction of being like the software business (high fixed costs, zero variable costs, enormous returns to scale)..... the reason why Walmart and Amazon are so eager get into the shirt business is because retailers know that they need to figure out how to manage sophisticated supply chains connecting Southeast Asia with stores in big American cities so that they rarely run out of product. They need mobile apps and websites that offer a seamless user experience so that nothing stands between a would-be purchaser and an order....Larger companies that are good at supply chain management and technology can spread those more-or-less fixed costs around more total sales, enabling them to keep prices lower than a niche player and entrench their advantage....large companies will invest in automation/robotics...the future of clothing/apparel might be a handful of companies with the very expensive shirt-making robots---and everyone else shut out in the cold.

What It Means for the Economy

A relative few winners are taking a disproportionate share of business in a wide range of industries....in turn may help explain why the income gap has widened in recent years. How much on income inequality is driven by shifting technology — as opposed to changing corporate behavior, or loose antitrust policy — is an open debate.
increasing_returns_to_scale  winner-take-all  fixed_costs  variable_costs  Amazon  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods  retailers  economics  Bonobos  shirts  mens'_clothing  omnichannel  apparel  digital_economy  automation  robotics  competitive_landscape  market_concentration  barbell_effect  income_inequality  antitrust  market_power  corporate_concentration  grocery  fresh_produce  supermarkets  large_companies  UX  inventory-free  global_economy 
june 2017 by jerryking
J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler Confesses: I Underestimated How Tech Would Upend Retail
By Khadeeja Safdar
Updated May 24, 2017

For decades, fashion was essentially a hit or miss business. Merchants like Mr. Drexler would make bets on what people would be wearing a year in advance, since that’s how long it took to design and produce items. Hits guaranteed handsome returns until the next season.

Now, competitors with high-tech, data-driven supply chains can copy styles faster and move them into stores in a matter of weeks. Online marketplaces drive down prices, and design details such as nicer buttons and richer colors are less apparent on the internet. Social media adds fuel to the style churn—consumers want a new outfit for every Instagram post. “The rules of the game have changed,” said Janet Kloppenburg, president of JJK Research, a retail-focused research firm. “It’s not just about product anymore. It’s also about speed and pricing.”

Mr. Drexler’s plan is to emphasize lower prices, pivot toward more digital marketing and adopt a more accessible image........Mr. Drexler didn’t appreciate how the quality of garments could easily get lost in a sea of options online, where prices drive decisions, or how social media would give rise to disposable fashion. Online, price has more impact than the sensory qualities of clothing. “You go into a store—I love this, I love this, I love this,” he said. “You go online and you just don’t get the same sense and feel of the goods because you’re looking at a picture.”.....Amazon.com and other algorithm-based websites can change prices by the hour based on demand, and the variety of options makes it easy to mix and match brands.

“The days of people wearing head-to-toe J.Crew are over,”......Today, with nearly two billion people using Facebook every month, he feels differently: “You cannot be successful without being obsessed with the product, obsessed with social media, and obsessed with digital,” he said. “Retail is now about all that.”

Mr. Drexler said he hasn’t given up on quality. Instead, he is now lowering prices on about 300 items and creating an analytics team dedicated to optimizing prices for each garment......TPG co-founder David Bonderman recently acknowledged J.Crew and its peers are struggling with declining mall traffic and the shift to online shopping. “The internet has proven much more resilient and much more important than most of us thought a decade ago,” he said at a conference earlier this month.
retailers  e-commerce  Mickey_Drexler  J.Crew  fashion  apparel  LBOs  private_equity  hits  copycats  social_media  Instagram  data_driven  supply_chains  Clayton_Christensen  disruption  brands  Old_Navy  Banana_Republic  Madewell  digital_influencers  TPG  fast-fashion  disposability 
may 2017 by jerryking
U.S. Textile Industry Turns to Tech as Gateway to Revival - The New York Times
By STEVE LOHR APRIL 1, 2016
...a functional fabrics project represents “the future of apparel.”..The broad linking of government, universities and corporations to both advance research and develop new markets is a model advocated in a new book, “The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations” (Oxford University Press), by Ben Shneiderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland. In an interview, Mr. Shneiderman called the advanced fabrics project “a well-crafted plan.”
textiles  fabrics  sensors  technology  Steve_Lohr  books  innovation  apparel  renewal  revitalization 
april 2016 by jerryking
Web Retailers, Now With Stores, Teach New Tricks - WSJ
By SUZANNE KAPNER
Aug. 11, 2015 | WSJ

Retailers have been stealing ideas from online rivals about how to run websites for years. Now they are borrowing ways to run brick-and-mortar stores.

In Manhattan Beach, Calif., Macy’s Inc. revamped its swimsuit and workout sections this spring to display only samples, a strategy used by online retailers that have opened physical stores.

Instead of stuffing racks with every size and style in these departments, Macy’s displayed only one item of each style. Shoppers used an app on their mobile phones to alert Macy’s sales staff of the style and size they wanted to try on and that item was sent to a specified dressing room.

By not putting all the sizes on the sales floor, Macy’s was able to display more styles and avoid the tangle of hangers. Shoppers didn’t have to go back and forth into the fitting rooms to find the right size. The effort sought to marry the ease of online with something the Internet can’t offer—the ability to see, touch and try on goods.
clicks-to-bricks  retailers  apparel  e-commerce  bricks-and-mortar  mobile_applications  mobile_phones  experiential_marketing  inventories  Macy’s 
august 2015 by jerryking
Look to Hong Kong data for a glimpse into global retail troubles - The Globe and Mail
CARL MORTISHED
Look to Hong Kong data for a glimpse into global retail troubles Add to ...
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Aug. 21 2014,

The feng shui from Hong Kong is distinctly bearish. Li & Fung Ltd. is a logistics and supply management firm, in simple terms a middle-man that bridges the gap between big fashion and apparel retailers, such as Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Marks & Spencer Group PLC and their largely Asian suppliers. Owning no sewing machines and employing no seamstresses, it nonetheless is at the cutting edge of global retailing, making $8.7-billion (U.S.) in revenues over six months. It is no more nor less than the back office for some very big brands, organizing the supply of raw materials, the manufacturing, the distribution and warehousing of the frocks you see in the shops.
Carl_Mortished  Hong_Kong  Li_&_Fung  fashion  Marks_&_Spencer  asset-light  logistics  supply_chains  data  apparel  Target  Wal-Mart  retailers  middlemen 
august 2014 by jerryking
The New Style Influencers Are Digital - WSJ.com
September 10, 2013 | WSJ | ByELIZABETH HOLMES.

Brands Court Stars With Active Audiences to Try Turning Followers Into Shoppers
brands  WoM  influence  Word-of-mouth  fashion  apparel  bloggers  digital_influencers  stylish 
september 2013 by jerryking
Fashion Industry Meets Big Data - WSJ.com
September 8, 2013 | WSJ | KATHY GORDON.

Fashion Industry Meets Big Data
High-Tech Forecasting Comes to a Business That Dreads Being Out of Style
apparel  clothing  data  fashion  forecasting  massive_data_sets 
september 2013 by jerryking
99 Percent
July 1, 2004 | | MIT Technology Review | By Joe Chung.

Also featured in:
MIT Technology Review Magazine
July/August 2004
More in this issue »

If genius is 99 percent perspiration (and 1 percent inspiration), then entrepreneurs surely walk the fine line that separates the Einsteins of the world from those poor sweaty souls who practice yoga in saunas. The archetypal startup is the lone inventor in a basement pursuing his or her passion with relentless energy. Somewhere between the original spark of genius and a successfully profitable enterprise, though, lies a maturation process that pits the inventor’s vision against the cold and cynical outlook of the business world. Often the 1 percent-a deep and highly individual creative desire-gets lost amid the desire to look and feel like a “real” company. But it is quirky proclivities combined with the sweat that creates the innovations around which successful businesses are formed.
start_ups  angels  apparel  women  entrepreneur  innovation  execution  proclivities  inspiration 
september 2013 by jerryking
Stop the pickpockets with this belt - The Globe and Mail
MERCEDEH SANATI

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Jun. 03 2013
travel  safety  apparel  packing 
june 2013 by jerryking
Is your wardrobe killing Bangladeshis, or saving them? - The Globe and Mail
Apr. 27 2013 |The Globe and Mail | DOUG SAUNDERS.

1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, in which 146 Jewish and Italian immigrants, many under 18, roasted or plunged to their deaths after the owner of the Manhattan clothing factory ignored fire-safety warnings and locked workers inside...led to a changing of the shape of North American cities, factories and working lives: It’s the reason why fire-escape stairs and sprinklers are now ubiquitous; it’s also part of the reason why blue-collar wages, working conditions and child-labour laws improved in the decades that followed, creating the last great period of upward mobility.

There’s good reason to hope for a similar transformation in Bangladesh – especially if consumers demand high standards from their brands, as they have done with considerable success in China.

Garment-factory w orkers in Bangladesh, China, India, Mexico and other corners of the developing world are not victims. They have sought out this work, and they want to be agents of their own fate. They often get a raw deal, but they’re enduring these jobs because the jobs are an improvement over any other alternative – and their engagement with the West’s consumer markets can be the vehicle to greater empowerment.
Doug_Saunders  Bangladesh  Loblaws  exploitation  apparel  unintended_consequences  workplaces  safety  developing_countries 
may 2013 by jerryking
Mixing up the recipe
February 16, 2008 | globeadvisor.com | JENNIFER WELLS
Under_Armour  Nike  apparel  sports  sportswear  entrepreneur 
march 2013 by jerryking
Building Buzz for Ellis Island -- and Shirts - WSJ.com
August 20, 2007 | WSJ | By STEPHANIE KANG and SUZANNE VRANICA.

Building Buzz for Ellis Island -- and Shirts
PVH's Arrow Launches Social-Networking Site Full of Immigrant Tales
apparel  social_media  social_networking  Facebook  mens'_clothing  advertising  advertising_agencies 
january 2013 by jerryking
Harry Rosen readies itself for retail foreign invasion
Jan. 24, 2012 | Globe and Mail | Marina Strauss — RETAILING REPORTER.

Sensing profound change coming to the retail landscape, Larry Rosen called his senior executives to an urgent meeting at Canada’s premier high-end mens’ clothier. Luxury men’s sales were on a tear despite the shaky economy, but Harry Rosen Inc. still faced uncertainty. Savvy new foreign retailers were rapidly invading Canada, and upscale U.S. department-store powerhouse Nordstrom Inc. was mapping out its entry here...
At the meeting late last year, Mr. Rosen’s top team drew up its own battle plan, buttressed by an unprecedented $100-million war chest to expand most existing stores, add a few new ones and pump up e-commerce and staff training over five years. It envisions eventually making acquisitions, possibly even a risky move into women’s luxury fashions, although Harry Rosen ditched the segment more than two decades ago after a challenging run.
Harry_Rosen  retailers  apparel  luxury  preparation  Marina_Strauss  mens'_clothing  crossborder  microtargeting  Nordstrom  microtrends 
january 2012 by jerryking
At Apple's Grand Central Store, iPhones Aren't the Only Draw - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 9, 2011 | WSJ By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO and IAN SHERR.
Apple's Hottest New Product Can Be Thrown in the Wash
Fans Collect Company's T-Shirts, Kept in Limited Supply; 'Star Trek' Model
Apple  apparel  T-Shirts  retailers  Junior_Achievement  Jessica_E._Vascellaro 
december 2011 by jerryking
Have Fun. Start Companies.
December 10, 2006 | New York Times | entrepreneur Kenny Dichter's life story as told to ABBY ELLIN.

We founded Alphabet City Records in 1996, producing music compilations for professional teams.

We became a national company that worked with all the major leagues. Two years later, in 1998, we were purchased by SFX Entertainment Inc., where I met my second mentor, Robert F. X. Sillerman. Bob taught me my second important business lesson: “Have fun. Make money. Have fun making money.
celebrities  aviation  apparel  entrepreneur  private-jets  concierge_services  serial_entrepreneur  mentoring  SFX  music_labels  college_moguls 
november 2011 by jerryking
A Middleman Who Doesn't Feel Squeezed by China
September 15, 2005 | New York Times |By JAMES FLANIGAN

Henry Fan expects growth from acquiring distressed apparel firms and gaining the size and strength to withstand the risks of supplying big retail companies even at the low prices that Chinese imports are dictating....Fan says he believes he can continue to compete by using the expertise he gained in the worlds of technology and finance to build an international supply network to handle the growing trade.

"We have overseas offices in Hong Kong and in many parts of China as well as Bangladesh and Thailand," he said. "We can design products here or overseas and ship them anywhere; we can tackle the job in numerous ways." In short, he wants to make Basic Elements a central part of the new supply equation of Chinese factories and American retailers.
intermediaries  Chinese  China  apparel  competitive_advantage  strategy  supply_chains  middlemen  economic_clout  Hong_Kong  Bangladesh  Thailand  roll_ups 
october 2011 by jerryking
globeadvisor.com: Moving sale
October 6, 2011
Vintage fashion retailers hitch a ride on the mobile shop trend

Rasha Mourtada
Rasha_Mourtada  vintage  apparel  pop-ups  mobile  retailers 
october 2011 by jerryking
Running Shorts Reviews From Runner's World
Running Shorts Reviews

Running Shorts Reviews
Eight running shorts designed to fit your style as well as your stride.
By Lisa Jhung Image by Thomas MacDonald Published 03/27/2007
running  apparel  mens'_clothing  exercise 
may 2011 by jerryking
Anna Wintour's Brand Anna - WSJ.com
MARCH 23, 2011 | WSJ | By JOSHUA LEVINE. The editor of Vogue
has always occupied the most powerful seat in the world of American
fashion. But Anna Wintour's web of influential friends and allies has
helped turn her into a global brand that transcends fashion. Photographs
by Mario Testino
fashion  profile  personal_branding  Vogue  branding  PPR  luxury  LVMH  apparel 
march 2011 by jerryking
Net-a-Porter’s Natalie Massenet on Buying Designer Clothes Online
September 9, 2010 | - WSJ. Magazine - WSJ | Edited from Tina Gaudoin’s interview with Natalie Massenet.
apparel  e-commerce  branding 
september 2010 by jerryking
Tweet to Lululemon: Smaller sizes, please
Jun. 11, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Marina Strauss
Retailing Reporter. Lululemon has wrestled with a problem that rivals
can only envy: not being able to keep up with heavy demand for its $100
hoodies and yoga pants. The immediate feedback of social media means the
company doesn't have to wait for customer data from the stores' cash
registers....Comments through social media about the chain running out
of women's size 4s and 6s, for example, are helping Lululemon CEO,
Christine Day, adjust her product purchasing to ensure she's in stock
of those sizes rather than forfeiting sales, as has happened in the
past. Identifying the high-demand products to carry for her “guests,” as
the company calls its customers, is crucial for the purveyor of premium
athletic wear...Still, part of Ms. Day's strategy is something she
calls a “scarcity model.” She doesn't want the stores to carry too many
size 4s and 6s, to keep customers coming back.
social_media  Lululemon  twitter  Marina_Strauss  high-demand  customer_feedback  apparel  speed  retailers  yoga  scarcity  customer_risk 
june 2010 by jerryking
China's Big Brands Tackle Web Sales - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 30, 2009 | WSJ | By AARON BACK. Sportswear Maker Li
Ning Revisits Its Internet Strategy as Buying Moves Online. Established
retailers and consumer brands in China largely ignored the Internet.
Instead, it's been the new companies —none more so than Taobao, a unit
of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group, which also runs Hong
Kong-listed business site Alibaba.com Ltd.--that have dominated the
sector.
China  branding  sportswear  apparel  e-commerce  IBM 
june 2010 by jerryking
Evangelist in sheep's clothing
Jun 2, 2010 | FT | by Anna Fifield.

Ideas for JCK

Do
* Hold onto your brand's core msg. "Having a strong identity from the
beginning helps shape the org. as it evolves."
* Use retail to create a deeper customer connection "There's nothing
like being able to tell your full story in 3 dimensions."
* Hire a specialist team of retail advisers when opening in new mkts
"We've been successful over the yrs. because when we do something new,
we find people who can teach us."
* Connect with the local community to create local advocates "It's all
about repeat business & people talking to people."

Don't
* See wholesale and retail as substitutes - they should be complementary
"If we take the eye off our wholesale business then our cash cow dries
up & we can no longer fund our retail expansion."
* Be afraid to be anti-fashion "We're about longevity, not [about being]
disposable."
* Forget that great brands grow through word of mouth "Our most
important question is: 'Would U recommend Icebreaker to others?'"
brand_identity  ProQuest  New_Zealand  entrepreneur  clothing  international_marketing  lifestyles  branding  outdoors  apparel  storytelling  Communicating_&_Connecting  WoM  longevity  3-D  customer_intimacy  think_threes  retailers  wholesalers  cash_cows  disposability  brands 
june 2010 by jerryking
Bonobos: Very Fit to Lead -Thinking Big
May 18, 2010 | TIME | By Carlye Adler. "Bonobos is now
launching a plan to bring "mobile fit pods", or portable, collapsible,
dressing rooms to airports, train stations, corporations, college
tailgates, beach parties, and farmer's markets — wherever the potential
customers are — to get guys measured by its experts (so-called style
ninjas), who will then direct them to the website. Bonobos's web site
and pop up fitting rooms have entirely eradicated the brand's need for
leases, sales staff, and distribution. "The concept has such validity in
today's world," says Maxine Martens, the CEO of fashion industry search
firm Martens & Heads, and an investor in the company. In 2009, a
retail environment that saw shrinking sales, reduced traffic, store
closures, and bankruptcies, Bonobos tripled its business, earning $4.9
million in gross sales. And even though the pants aren't cheap,
($88-$195 a pair), Dunn says there's enough appeal to double business
this year. "
apparel  e-commerce  fashion  mens'_clothing  inspiration  reinvention  Bonobos  pop-ups  retailers  thinking_big  inventory-free  product_launches 
may 2010 by jerryking
Custom-tailored for clothing success - The Globe and Mail
Mar. 31, 2010 | The Globe & Mail | Sharda Prashad. The
best strategy for a new business is to focus on building its own
business, he said; eventually, when the dominant player takes notices,
it's because the new entrant is a success. Shirtpal developed an online
strategy to differentiate itself from the competition, where customers
can custom-order clothing from the site, in addition to attending live
purchasing events. (Although Maxwell's has a website, Mr. Maxwell
himself acknowledges it's not as sophisticated as it could be.) Shirtpal
invested in its site with help from grants from the Singapore
government, where a third partner, 28-year-old Ash Singh, now lives.
Online sales represent 65 per cent of total Shirtpal orders.
Ivey  mens'_clothing  Shirtpal  e-commerce  market_entry  bespoke  apparel 
april 2010 by jerryking
EBay Adds 'Flash' Fashion - WSJ.com
MARCH 29, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER
And RAY A. SMITH. EBay Adds 'Flash' Fashion
Business Model Takes a Page From Online Sample Sales. EBay Inc. will
launch "flash sales" of high-end fashion brands Monday in its latest bid
to revive its giant online marketplace. On a portion of its Web site
dubbed Fashion Vault, the company will offer discounts starting at 50%
off retail for a limited time, beginning with offerings from French
Connection Group PLC.
The business model, which follows a trial in the fall featuring Hugo
Boss, DKNY and Max Mara, takes a page from such Web sites as Gilt Groupe
Inc. and GSI Commerce Inc.'s Rue La La. Those sites have carved out a
fast-growing niche in e-commerce by offering the online equivalent of
one-off sample sales. The move is a departure for eBay, which has
generally billed itself as a neutral third-party marketplace that anyone
can join.
apparel  brands  EBay  e-commerce  fashion  flash_sales  high-end  high-growth  microsites  niches  one-of-a-kind  product_launches  Ray_Smith 
march 2010 by jerryking
Uniqlo Parent Fast Retailing Pursues Global Deals - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 11, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by MARIKO SANCHANTA and JURO OSAWA
Uniqlo  japanese  retailers  fast-fashion  apparel 
february 2010 by jerryking
Working Things Out With a Giant Customer - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 17, 2006 WSJ article by ANN ZIMMERMAN.

Romano Pontes, a longtime apparel supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was told by Sam Walton "'If you believe in a point, scream it as loud as you can to whomever will listen to you,'". This spring, Mr. Pontes put Sam Walton's advice to the test and risked losing Wal-Mart, his biggest and most lucrative client, in the process. He and a Wal-Mart buyer had a disagreement over a shipment of apparel that wasn't selling.....Pontes says he decided to fight for what he thought was right. He thinks small-business owners who work with big corporations frequently are afraid to stick up for themselves, fearing they will ruin the relationship. He says that not giving in doesn't have to kill a business relationship. It can even strengthen it. "You have to speak your mind, but you have to say it nicely," says Mr. Pontes, 46 years old. "I never said, 'I want to sue you.' I just made my case.".....Mr. Pontes's company, Global Vision Inc., is one of 61,000 U.S. suppliers to Wal-Mart,....The company says it doesn't know how many supplier relationships end each year and how many new vendors they bring on board.....Each supplier has a different vendor agreement with Wal-Mart...Some contracts may specify that unsold products will be returned. It depends on the type of product and supplier.

Shouldn't vendors always have agreements like that in writing? "Not always,"

Not in Contract
Although Global Vision's contract with companies doesn't spell out the policy for merchandise that doesn't sell, Mr. Pontes says he had an unspoken agreement that "we would work things out."......To straighten out the situation, Mr. Pontes says, he started with two members of the buying team, who claimed Mr. Pontes had authorized the goods to be returned. Neither side would relent, so Mr. Pontes then made his case to a senior executive in the finance department in Wal-Mart's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters. This time, Mr. Pontes said that he would produce documentation that the merchandise wasn't defective and challenged the company to prove that it was.
A conference call was set up between Mr. Pontes and a general-merchandise manager. But two hours before the scheduled call, Mr. Pontes says he canceled and sent an email instead, claiming he had stopped shipments on Wal-Mart orders to locations around the world. He added that other buyers in Puerto Rico were interested in buying Wal-Mart's 1,296-piece order of T-shirts and board shorts by Quicksilver, a trendy teen brand.

Less than two hours later, Wal-Mart emailed back, saying it would pay for the original Ocean Pacific order and wanted it shipped back to Puerto Rico....Says Mr. Pontes: "You have to have courage and guts, elevate it as high as you can. If you leave it at the buyer's level, they'll bury you. I went four levels higher than whoever is in charge of our accounting."
apparel  disputes  enterprise_clients  escalation  Gulliver_strategies  large_companies  self-respect  small_business  start_ups  supply_chains  Wal-Mart 
march 2009 by jerryking

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