Latest International News - Inside Retail Asia

Esprit warns of profit decline

Apparel chain Esprit has wanted shareholders its half year profit to December 31 is likely to be between HK$40 million and $50 million – half the $95 million of the same period a year earlier. The company said based on preliminary accounting figures, the expected lower net profit is based on falling turnover. This was due to a combination of prolonged unusually warm weather in Europe for majority part of the period, resulting in much lower than expected sales of its autumn and winter products…

H&M extends Beckham deal

H&M has extended its global branding collaboration with football star David Beckham, with a whole new menswear collection for Spring 2015. Beckham will choose his favourite menswear pieces from the Modern Essentials collection at H&M, to create ‘Modern Essentials selected by David Beckham’. This new collaboration is a natural evolution of David’s relationship with H&M, following the unprecedented success of David Beckham Bodywear, and will allow men around the world to share…

Giordano makes African inroads

Giordano has become the first major international fast fashion brand to enter the African market of Zambia. The company will open its first store in Lusaka’s East Mall at the end of this month. “Most clothing brands operating in Zambia are from South Africa and can claim to have a Pan-African presence at best. I think Giordano will be the first genuine global clothing brand to come to Zambia with a global footprint of over 40 countries in four Continents with Africa now being the fifth…

Wedgwood plans China expansion

Wedgwood, one of the world’s best known china brands, is now betting big on China. As news broke that Wedgwood’s parent company WWRD was being put on the market by its private equity owners, it emerged that the business is planning a “major” retail expansion in Hong Kong. WWRD owns Waterford (crystal), Wedgwood and Royal Doulton china brands. It has 35 stores in China including two flagships in Shanghai. Subsidiary Waterford Wedgwood Hong Kong is to buy the assets of its distrib…

Chinese miss out on Phase Eight

Just days after news broke of a Chinese bid for British fashion chain Phase Eight, its sale to a South African rival bidder has been confirmed. Foschini Group will buy the brand from private equity owner TowerBrook in a deal valuing the business at £238 million. Phase Eight was founded in 1979 by Patsy Seddon in South London with the mission to offer fashionable clothing to sophisticated young mothers living in suburbs. It designs its clothes in-house and also sells bridalwear and accesso…

Shop Tesco with Google Glasses

Tesco has become the first retailer to launch a Google Glass enabled service with a basic version of its shopping app now available for users of the wearable device. The Glassware has been developed by Tesco Labs, which experiments with disruptive technologies that have the potential to change the way customers shop. The Tesco Grocery Glassware lets customers browse goods, view nutritional information and add items to their shopping basket hands-free. Initially the service is only availabl…

Asia drives Tiffany & Co holiday season

Tiffany & Co says its global sales fell one per cent in the recent holiday season, despite a strong performance in Asia. Total sales in the Asia-Pacific region on a constant-exchange-rate basis rose 10 per cent and comparable store sales increased six per cent, led by strong growth in China and Singapore. In US dollars, total sales increased seven per cent to $210 million. But in Japan, total sales on a constant-exchange-rate basis fell three per cent and comparable store sales by eigh…

Uniqlo global sales soar

Uniqlo has reported a stellar quarter with international sales soaring 47 per cent. And its operating profit outside its home market of Japan rose even further in the three months to November 30 – by 57.2 per cent year on year to ¥24.3 billion, (US$203 million). Uniqlo, in a statement, said the international division performed “extremely well” with revenue and profit higher than expected. On the domestic market, Uniqlo also achieved higher than expected increases in revenue and profit…

Tesco mum on Asia

Tesco investors have been left none the wiser on the retail giant’s plans for its Asian operations after the much anticipated quarterly briefing Thursday. But the news was not great overall for the Asian business in the 19 weeks to January 3. In Asia, total sales declined by 1.5 per cent at constant rates, with like-for-like sales declining by 4.6 per cent. Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said in a statement that market conditions across the region “remain challenging”. “In Thailand, sa…

A&F boosts Asian online presence

US fashion apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has launched 10 new transactional websites in Asia as it banks on eCommerce to build its regional market share. The sites are for its Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister brands, serving China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. All of the sites are mobile-optimised through responsive web design, implemented by online partner Demandware Inc, a provider of enterprise cloud commerce solutions. Abercrombie & Fitch operates nearly 1…

Kodak makes comeback

Kodak – the famous photography brand almost killed off by the digital revolution – has made a comeback. In a digital form, of course. Kodak has unveiled a new smartphone at this week’s CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, the product of a joint venture with specialist mobile device maker Bullitt Group. Called the Kodak IM5 smartphone it’s a 5″ high definition Android-based smartphone its makers describe as being “as easy to use as it is smart”. Not surprisingly, photog…

US pet chain pulls China products

One of the US’ largest pet supplies retailers has removed all Chinese made cat and dog treats from its shelves, citing safety reasons. Petco has 1300 stores across the US and sells online. While it was not specific about any cases of pet poisoning or unsafe products from Chinese products, it was clear the move was prompted by concerns for the wellbeing of pets. “What we feed our pets matters, and this milestone supports the company’s steadfast commitment to putting our customers, partner…

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