Activewear has ended its search for a low cost strategic location for
the development of a “major vertically integrated manufacturing hub” in
Asia by purchasing Bangladesh-based Shahriyar Fabric Industries.
Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) has acquired Tommy Hilfiger and become one of
the world’s largest apparel companies while Jones Apparel Group has
bought Moda Nicola International (MNI). Iconix Brand Group has set up a
new joint venture with Madonna, called MG Icon, while Iconix China has
signed a deal with Eve NY to develop the Badgley Mischka brand in
China. YMI Jeanswear and Stargate Apparel have signed a licensing
agreement relating to YMI branded clothing for girls. Most of the North
America-based companies featured in this report posted declines in net
sales, including Abercrombie & Fitch (down by 16%), Gap (down by
2%), JC Penney (down by 5%) and Levi Strauss & Co (down by 7%).
However, increases were achieved by Gildan Activewear (up by 20%) and
TJX Companies (up by 7%). Increases were also recorded by all but one
of the European companies featured in this report, including H&M
(up by 15%), Inditex (up by 7%), and Marks and Spencer (up by 3%). The
exception was Benetton Group (down by 4%)”.New stores have been
opened by American Eagle Outfitters and Bloomingdale’s in the Middle
East, and by H&M in Israel and South Korea. Uniqlo has opened a
store in Russia and Jaegar has opened concessions in Harvey Nichols
stores in the UK and Ireland. Looking ahead, there are plans to open
Uniqlo stores in Taiwan, Gap stores in Australia and Italy, and Banana
Republic stores in Italy. Marks and Spencer (M&S) aims to become
the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015 while three organisations
in Bangladesh have agreed to work together to improve environmental
compliance in the country’s textile and apparel sector. Meanwhile, the
speciality store private label apparel retailer IT’S International has
implemented radio frequency identification (RFID) technology across its
supply chain .