When what your customers want are corduroys, sweaters, and the occasional work-appropriate dress, maybe trying to expand and attract more fashion-conscious customers was never going to work. Less than two years ago, Lands’ End, the retailer of preppy clothing and canvas tote bags that is not L.L. Bean, hired Federica Marchionni, the president of Dolce & Gabbana USA, to be its CEO with the goal of creating a “global lifestyle brand.” [More]
Sears may be closing stores faster than we can keep up, but the once-great retailer is apparently not ready to throw up its hands and give up. The department store chain has embarked on yet another tactic it hopes will finally be able to drum up some sales, righting the sinking ship. The plan this time? Showcase foreign apparel brands with a store-within-a-store concept.
A few years ago, Gap realized that telling its customers to “Dress Normal” wasn’t such a great idea: customers were turned off, and sales plummeted. That air of normalcy is still plaguing the company. [More]
Over the past year, a number of onetime mall behemoths — Macy’s, Sears, and other retailers — have suffered slipping sales that have led to store closures. While these mid-range department stores have working for years to increase sales and meet customer demand, many high-end retailers – like Nordstrom — have avoided that fate, at least until now. [More]
As if retail chains aren’t already having a rough time of it lately, a new report says Amazon’s clothing business could prove to make things even worse in the future. [More]
Even as Abercrombie & Fitch was struggling to bring American customers back into it stores, there was always one group the retailer good count on: European tourists who flock to the stores, waiting in long lines to purchase A&F-branded clothing. Abercrombie might not be able to count on that foreign bread and butter forever, however. [More]
In yet another effort to completely and totally dominate the shopping world, Amazon has apparently started a few private label clothing brands and has been quietly shilling apparel and accessories under those trademarked names with nary a press release to let anyone know. [More]
The racks of clothing available at Target will look a bit different in two years, as the retailer announced this week that it won’t renew a decades-long contract with apparel retailer Cherokee. [More]
Amazon appears to be on the cusp of its largest purchase ever with the potential purchase of luxury online retailer Net-a-Porter. [More]
While major European retailers have moved to sign a legally binding accord aimed at improving working conditions and factory safety in Bangladesh, the large American retailers have yet to join. Now, amid reports that some of its products had been made at the Rana Plaza facility that collapsed in April, taking the lives of more than 1,100 people, Walmart is creating its own program to inspect these facilities. [More]
Parent Co. Of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger Is First U.S. Apparel Maker To Join Bangladesh Factory Safety Accord
Weeks after a garment factory outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapse, injuring thousands and taking the lives of more than 1,100, a number of large, global apparel and retail companies have signed on to an accord aimed at improving conditions for garment workers in the area and preventing future tragedies. [More]
Women’s Wear Daily says that Madonna is in talks with Macy’s to launch an exclusive women’s collection that would include apparel, accessories, intimates, and footwear. “Label names under serious consideration for the product lines include Material Girl for the apparel and Truth or Dare for the lingerie and underwear.” I’m crossing my fingers there’s a “Papa Don’t Preach” maternity line in the works as well.
Last week, news broke that a sweatshop in Queens, NYC was producing clothing for several large U.S. retailers, while overworking its mainly Chinese immigrant employees and cheating them out of wages. At the time, Macy’s announced it was cooperating with New York’s Department of Labor and investigating the matter internally. Now the company has confirmed that it never did business with the sweatshop—in fact, it investigated it twice in 2007 while evaluating potential suppliers and rejected it for shoddy record keeping. Use your crazy Macy’s coupons all you want, readers.
Sweatshop In Queens Produced Clothes For Macy's, the Gap, Banana Republic, Urban Apparel, and Victoria's Secret
New York state labor officials are bringing one of their largest cases ever against Jin Shun, a clothing factory in Queens, New York that employed Chinese immigrants. Inspectors say the company
- cheated its workers out of more than $5 million in pay;
- instructed workers to lie to state inspectors;
- required 6 and 7-day workweeks, sometimes for up to 120 days at a time;
- didn’t pay overtime or minimum wage;
- kept two sets of timecards to fake-out inspectors.
Macy’s says they’re “very concerned” about the case and are investigating it, the Gap says they’re cooperating with authorities, and Victoria’s Secret says they have a “zero tolerance policy” for factories that are unwilling to work with them to achieve compliance—all of which makes us wonder whether any of these companies ever investigated the factory personally. (It’s not like it was in some remote part of China.)
I wanted to praise an online company that I happened to order custom printed apparel from. Spreadshirt Inc.or spreadshirt.com is one of many online services that customize shirts for a low price. I have used many of these sites because I graphic design on the side and enjoy putting some of my work on the clothes I wear. I want to let you know of the numerous sites I have used Spreadshirt has shown the greatest consideration of their customers. I made a mistake of getting one of my designs in a “silver” flex print which really ended up being a glittery reflective print. It made my fraternity letters look, lets say less manly. It was at my bad judgment but they were more than willing to redo it for me at no charge. I called them and left a message the night before and I am happy they were willing to call me back the next day. Hopefully, someone would recognize this great company too.
Nice work Spreadshirt! As for Alvin, we think his frat’s pledge class would look just fab in the original sweatshirts.