BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Hennes & Mauritz
, the world’s second-biggest clothing retailer, is
launching a new sportswear line with the help of Sochi-bound
Swedish Olympians in a bid to outpace discounters like Primark
that are snapping at its heels.
The global sportswear market will grow more than 7 percent
in 2014, outpacing 5.8 percent growth for broader apparel,
according to Euromonitor. H&M hopes that by muscling into a
market seen to be worth $220 billion this year it can move away
from the cut-throat budget fashion area and towards
higher-margin products could help it copy the success of
Inditex’s mid-market fashion chain Zara.
BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) – Retailers in Europe are predicting their best Christmas since the financial crisis, though optimism is laced with caution in the face of rising e-commerce and early discounting in a fragile economic recovery.
Record unemployment and shrinking disposable incomes over the past few years have kept the brake on consumer spending, which generates about two thirds of gross domestic product. But retailers are drawing confidence from signs of improving shopper sentiment as they negotiate the key Christmas period.
BERLIN/DUESSELDORF (Reuters) – Hundreds of Amazon.com Inc workers in Germany went on strike on Monday, just as pre-Christmas sales were set to peak, in a dispute over pay and conditions that has raged for months.
Germany is Amazon’s second-biggest market behind the United States and sales there grew almost 21 percent in 2012 to $8.7 billion, a third of its overseas total. Amazon took its most daily orders in Germany last December 16, when almost 4 million articles were bought, with shipments peaking on December 17.