Retailers, consumers and prices
That staple in women’s fashion just turned 75!
Levi Strauss & Co created the first 701 denims for women in 1934 (the iconic 501 for men came long before) as ranchwear. But the company’s women’s jeans are now as much a favorite with the hip and chic as with the more casual wearer.
The company is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its women’s jeans by arranging store events in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago — showing off women’s jeans and memorabilia from bygone eras as well as offering special discounts.
“The Levi’s brand has a rich heritage of making jeans for fiercely independent and original women – from the pioneering women of the American West who first adopted men’s jeans and inspired the creation of a women’s jeans range, to today’s movie icons,” said You Nguyen, senior vice president and creative director of the Levi’s brand, in a statement.
Though jeans have been the one salvation for apparel retailers in the tough selling climate, San Francisco-based Levi Strauss swung into the red in its second quarter on global currency fluctuations and soft global sales.
As retailers tried to attract consumers for some post-Labor Day shopping, apparel retailers Aeropostale and Charlotte Russe beat Gap Inc’s Old Navy chain in the pricing war this month, according to Eric Beder, associate director of research for Brean Murray Carret & Co.
While Aeropostale has “never looked better” with its combination of good merchandise and prices, Arden B owner Wet Seal remains the “low price leader,” Beder said.
Check out the latest news on U.S. retail sales.
The trend was pretty much the same as it has been lately — most chains posted declines in August sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales.
However, many declines were not all that bad and there were a handful of increases, which could be a sign that consumers are really back to shopping.
Check out what’s hot in fall fashion.
Lazard Capital Markets looked at 10 September fashion magazines and identified these trends:
Boots, with Jones Apparel getting seven call-outs in the magazines.
Skinny denim and leggings, both getting play with looser, less form-fitting tops.
Motorcycle jackets, military jackets, trench coats, sheath dresses and one-shoulder tops.
Also, “studs appear everywhere in clothing and accessories, including handbags, belts, shoes, dresses.”
Companies best capitalizing on the various trends include Jones, Gap, American Eagle and Guess, among others, Lazard said in a research note.
We were going to toss in a kicker of some fashion trend that is never coming back. But face it, they all seem to come back at some point. We expect to pull out our Members Only jackets any day now.
Also in the basket:
Tween Brands Q2 loss narrower than expected
BJ’s Wholsesale profit beats Street, raises FY view
Popcorn, a hidden source of antioxidants, study says (ABC News)
(Reuters photo from 2004, because leggings always come back)
U.S. retailers reported disappointing sales declines for July, suggesting shoppers are still searching for bargains and basics in the downturn.
July’s results mark the 11th consecutive month of falling sales at stores open for at least one year, a measure known as same-store sales.
Waiting for your star power to be discovered? Retailer Banana Republic and cable network AMC are joining up to promote the third season of “Mad Men,” the Emmy Award-winning early 60s-era drama set in a Madison Avenue ad agency.
A lucky customer may even win the chance for a walk-on role in an upcoming episode and a $1,000 gift card from Banana Republic, which is owned by Gap Inc.
To get you ready for your close-up, Banana Republic is promoting the show in all its North American stores leading up to its August 16 premiere, with mannequins dressed in classic early ’60s styles and even a “Mad Men” style guide.
Think sharp suits, wide skirts, form-fitting sheath dresses, fedoras and pearls.
“The Banana Republic partnership is testament to the broad influence the series has had on the world of design,” said AMC President and General Manager Charlie Collier.
Check out the ten largest U.S. retailers.
The National Retail Federation’s STORES magazine is out with its annual ranking of the top 100 retailers.
The list shows that U.S. consumers have been focused on bargains and basic necessities, such as food and medicine. Wal-Mart tops the lineup, followed by Kroger and Costco. Home Depot fell from No. 2 in 2007 to the fourth spot in 2008 as many shoppers decided to cut back on costly home-improvement projects.
The latest example of this new reality is Home Depot’s revised profit outlook.
The world’s biggest home improvement retailer said this year’s earnings from continuing operations could be flat to down 7 percent. That compares with its earlier call for a fall of 7 percent.
A new accessories store from Gap Inc chain Banana Republic is set to open in San Francisco in May. The boutique, Edition by Banana Republic, is a test for the apparel giant, and an opportunity to explore merchandising and design ideas for the accessories sold in Banana Republic stores.
The boutique in downtown’s Westfield San Francisco Centre will feature limited-edition jewelry, as well as handbags and other accessories, such as sunglasses and personal care items.
Most items will be priced below $100, Gap said.
Sales of accessories have been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal retail landscape since last year. With their lower price points — and higher profit margins — accessories have managed to maintain their luster with many women, who are jazzing up existing wardrobes while giving a cold shoulder to new apparel purchases.
The items available in Edition by Banana Republic will be unique to the store and won’t be available online or in the retailers’ other chains — even Banana Republic.
Check out the not-so-chipper news in the retail world.
Restaurant chain Burger King reported lower profits and cut its full-year forecast due to the currency fluctuations, while cosmetics and perfume companies Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden rang up lower, albeit better-than-expected, profits and said they would cut jobs.
Indeed, retailers overall posted the second weakest monthly same-store sales performance since Thomson Reuters began tracking the data in 2000 as heavy job losses, weakness in the U.S. housing sector and the still-tight credit markets have many consumers closing their wallets.