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Full text issue week 31-2015

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ISSN 1994-2419

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Issue Week 31-2015

Summary of news published during week 30-2015

 

jpa4Sibil220AS ONE of this week’s news items shows, some imported pieces of bodywear continue to be found to contain potentially harmful chemicals. This despite all the lip service paid over many years to the need to make textiles safer. There can only be one reason for this continuing disregard for the textile safety regulations of major markets: transgressors believe that they can get away with it, and most do. For reasons of cost and time, customs officials control only a tiny fraction of imported textiles. Cases of chemical contamination are found mostly by NGOs that do random testing but, for fear of litigation, are reluctant to name and shame guilty importers. Over the past two or three years, a number of major international brands “cleaned up” their supply chains in response to a Greenpeace initiative, but that leaves too many private labels and brands that merely provide product specifications but do little to ensure these are adhered to by their suppliers. To make textiles really safe, it might be necessary for governments to provide modest subsidies for random testing by NGOs and to provide some degree of protection against litigation for those that attempt to name and shame transgressors. The problem could then be solved by consumers voting with their purses.

 

Jean-Pierre Adeline

ANNOUNCEMENT

 Publication of this issue marks the start of the summer break and the next issue of the SIBIL newsletter will be published 

Monday 31 August

 We shall continue to watch the news for you during the coming weeks, however, and will post the latest news on our home page: to access, just scroll down to “Latest Posts”.

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BACKGROUND – developments to bear in mind

 

BODYWEAR: Invista proposes trends for S/S 2016

GERMANY: chemicals found in children’s swimwear

SPAIN: economic prospects said to be best in Europe

FRANCE: clothing consumption revived in June

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SUPPLIERS – information from the upstream sector

 

DOGI: capital increase oversubscribed

LAUMA FABRICS: lower sales slashed 2014 profit

MAGL. RIPA: fabric product range expanded

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THE APPAREL SCENE – news of brands and labels

 

WOLFORD: modest earnings mark move into black

DELTA GALIL: further move made into branded sector

MAS HOLDINGS: Amante brand expands into retail

MAXIM: magazine to market swimwear line

TORTZ: new type of panties proposed  

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DISTRIBUTION: evolution of chains and channels

 

ETAM: first half sales gather strength

CORTEFIEL: part owner considers exit, and more

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PEOPLE: corporate personalities

 

JOHN DIXON: resigns from key post at M&S

TERDEMA USSERY: to helm Under Armour sports

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EXHIBITIONS – what to see and where to trade

 

MARE D’AMARE: attendance rises by 3 per cent

CURVEXPO: registration opened for next editions

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FINISHING TOUCH – the smile for this week

 

INFLATION: VR knickers show growth trends

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BACKGROUND – developments to bear in mind

 

BODYWEAR: Invista proposes trends for S/S 2016

 

AS PART of its support for the Mare d’Amare swimwear salon that was staged in Florence, Italy, from 18 to 20 July, Invista revealed details of its Lycra swimwear and innerwear trends for S/S 2016. Click here to access details of the seven themes proposed.

 

Lycra Trends

Lycra Trends

To see all bodywear trends for S/S 2016 published by SIBILintimates, click here.

 

GERMANY: chemicals found in children’s swimwear

 

ACCORDING to environmental group Friends of the Earth Germany, only one in nine of the swimwear pieces for children it tested were found free of potentially harmful chemicals. The group claimed that supervision by official bodies was insufficient to ensure total safety of products. The relevant trade association said that the group applied its own test standards, which were more stringent than the official standards that were being met by importers and brands.

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Everywhere in Europe, there is some evidence that the lobbies of volume distributors have succeeded in prompting governments to adopt less than totally effective standards, or less effective implementation of regulations.

 

SPAIN: economic prospects said to be best in Europe

 

A RECENTLY published survey by consultancy Gfk names Spain as the country with the highest level of consumer expectations in Europe. Against the beginning of 2015, the indicator of economic expectations at the end of the first half had risen by 3 points and was 13 points ahead on a year-to-year basis. As for income expectations, the indicator had risen by 18 points at the end of the first half, ranking the country fourth in Europe after Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. Despite these positive developments, however, consumers have expressed a continuing reluctance to raise their spending, for the fourth year in succession.

 

Selmark

Selmark

Yet, several international retail chains have announced in the past year plans to maintain, or even raise, their investments in the Spanish market. This suggests that other surveys have shown a more positive trend in consumer spending.

 

FRANCE: clothing consumption revived in June

 

POSSIBLY as a result of the summer clearance sales that began in the last week of the month, French clothing consumption in June rose by 1.7 per cent against the same month in 2014, when it had risen by only 0.2 per cent. The statistics published by the Ifm showed that department stores benefited most from the upturn in demand as their sale rose by 7.6 per cent, albeit partly as a result of the tourist trade. Hypermarket sales dipped by 2.9 per cent, however. Despite the positive June results, first half consumption still lagged by 0.8 per cent the same period a year earlier.

Rosy

Rosy

 

To date, there are no clear signs of improved consumer confidence in France and consumption figures may well continue to disappoint for some time yet.

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SUPPLIERS – information from the upstream sector

 

DOGI: capital increase oversubscribed

 

SPAIN-based international supplier of bodywear fabrics Dogi announced that its recent capital increase led to the subscription of 4.9m shares, representing 117.4 per cent of the planned increase. The cash raised will allow the company, now owned by Sherpa Capital, to proceed with the ambitious expansion plans described here in earlier issues.

 

Dogi

Dogi

More importantly, the success of the increase suggests that investors now have full confidence in the future prospects of the company.

 

LAUMA FABRICS: lower sales slashed 2014 profit

 

LATVIAN supplier Lauma Fabrics published 2014 results that showed sales down by 3 per cent against 2013, to EUR 38.32m and profit down almost four-fold to EUR 1.026m. Investment in new equipment and technologies reached EUR 1.69m. In 2015, the company aims to boost sales to EUR 42.35m and plans to invest a further EUR 3.04m. The company that employs 530 people cites Belarus, the Baltic States, Ukraine, Poland, Russia and France as its major markets.

 

Lauma Fabrics

Lauma Fabrics

Since 2013, the company has lost some highly experienced members of its top management and has made at least one strategic decision that we believe will hamper its efforts to boost international sales. Consequently, it is by no means certain that it can improve its performance significantly this year and in 2016.

 

MAGL. RIPA: fabric product range expanded

 

FOLLOWING 60 years of specialization in the field of bodywear fabrics, Maglificio Ripa is broadening its product range to include fabrics for fashion outerwear. The diversified collection is to be launched at the next edition of the Première Vision salon in September. CEO Luca Bianco commented: “We have come to this decision over the last few years. It is a choice that has required a careful and dedicated business planning along with a distinct corporate structuring that has led to the implementation of a design department with first-level professional skills.” Referring to the collection, he added: “Hands are soft and warm, confidential and cocooning; the indigo effects on light textiles are amazing as well as the super-technical and the vibrant- and scathing-looking jacquards. Coated textiles seem to absorb the world colours on technical or natural fabrics and the delicate geometrical effects impressed by the calenders stand out with never-too-ordinary patterns. Great expectations are for the cutting-edge mélange tones, the mercerized printed and denim as well as the double knits and the kaleidoscopic jacquards”.

Maglificio Ripa

Maglificio Ripa

 

The expanded product range promises to inspire the company’s designers to create even more interesting and innovative bodywear fabrics.

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THE APPAREL SCENE news of brands and labels

 

WOLFORD: modest earnings mark move into black

 

LUXURY hosiery and intimate wear brand Wolford announced a modest EUR 1.3m profit for its fiscal year 2014/15, which marked a return into the black after a loss of EUR 2.8m in the preceding year. Despite the closure of 20 under-performing stores during the year, sales rose by 0.9 per cent against 2013/14, to EUR 157.4m. Online business rose by 24 per cent and owned store sales by 1 per cent. CEO Ashish Sensarma commented: “The transformation process of Wolford is not yet completed, but the strategy of refocusing on core competences of the group and systematic optimisation of own retail locations is showing the first results.” For 2015/16, the company targets a 10 per cent EBIT margin at mid-year.

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It seems that the new management policies are set to make a lasting return to expansion of sales and profit.

 

DELTA GALIL: further move made into branded sector

 

FORMER private label production specialist Delta Galil took a further step into branded business as it acquired the P.J. Salvage sleepwear and loungewear brand together with all other assets of Loomworks Apparel in California. The price of the transaction was not revealed. The purchased business will be integrated into the US subsidiary of Delta Galil when the deal is closed, probably at the end of July 2015. Delta Galil CEO Isaac Dabah said: “P.J. Salvage is one of the leading brands of fashionable pajamas, loungewear and intimates, with a style that transitions easily from nightwear to everyday wear, and is popular in key markets around the world. The acquisition of this respected brand is a further step in the growth of our branded business, and we plan to build on this opportunity to expand P.J. Salvage in upper end retailers in the U.S. and globally.”

 

P.J. Salvage

P.J. Salvage

The acquisition positions Delta Galil even more solidly among major international players in the field of branded bodywear.

 

MAS HOLDINGS: Amante brand expands into retail

 

THE LINGERIE brand Amanté that was first launched in India by MAS Holdings is expanding its operations from wholesale into retail. Following a four-fold increase in sales through independent e-tailers the brand has launched its own e-commerce platform. Further, the brand announced plans to open up to 30 dedicated physical stores within the coming three years. Amanté sales in India are said to be growing at an annual rate of over 50 per cent and are expected to reach the equivalent of USD 100m in the current fiscal year.

 

Amanté by MAS Holdings

Amanté by MAS Holdings

This is an impressive success story and indicates that the skills of MAS Holdings in design and marketing are at least equal to those of its production operations.

 

MAXIM: magazine to market swimwear line

 

US MEN’S lifestyle magazine Maxim is launching a range of swimwear under its label. Designed by journalist Kate Lanphear, the new collection inspired by the Brigitte Bardot look of the past century was launched at the Miami Swim Week earlier this month. The launch was prompted by the magazine’s intention to change its image, presenting a more subtle approach to sensuality, with greater emphasis on fashion. Retail prices range from USD 70 to USD 293.

Maxim

Maxim

 

With the magazine’s claimed readership of some 2m, its new collection can hope to make a significant contribution to the bottom line, but it is unlikely to have a disrupting effect on the swimwear market.

 

TORTZ: new type of panties proposed

 

LAUNCHED in the UK earlier this summer, a new type of panty is conceived to prevent chafing of thighs when they rub against each other in the absence of pantyhose or pants. British lingerie company Tortz, founded by Melanie Southan, proposes the lace-trimmed panties that resemble bike shorts. The panties are conceived to be worn either hidden under a dress or exposed, showing the lace trim, under shorter styles. The founder of Tortz claims that the response from the UK and elsewhere has been strong, with new orders coming in daily from its online shop where they are priced at GBP 7.50.

Tortz

Tortz

 

While the brand name, which to us is redolent of legal proceedings, appears questionable, the concept seems very valid, especially when temperatures exceed the comfort zone.

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DISTRIBUTION: evolution of chains and channels

 

ETAM: first half sales gather strength

 

AFTER a strong second quarter, when sales rose by 10 per cent year-on-year, first half sales of French distributor Etam reached EUR 645.3m, up by 7.8 per cent against the same period a year earlier. The strength of the Yuan had contributed EUR 38.8m of exchange gains to the half year figures. In Europe, half year sales reached EUR 428.2m, up by 4 per cent against the same period a year earlier. In like-for-like terms, European sales rose by 2.8 per cent. In China, sales rose by16.3 per cent to EUR 217.1m but, in like-for-like terms, the advance was limited to 0.9 per cent.

 

Etam

Etam

Although the like-for-like advance in China is modest, it suggests that former marketing problems there are being overcome.

 

CORTEFIEL: part owner considers exit, and more

 

PRIVATE equity fund Permira is reported to be considering the sale of the around 30 per cent stake it has in the Cortefiel distribution group that operates the Women’Secret lingerie chain among others. According to an estimate provided by Bloomberg, the sale could generate a cash income of around EUR 1.2bn to 1.5bn. Meanwhile, the chain continues its expansion, with the latest opening taking place in Saint Petersburg. Cortefiel also announced a deal with King Features that will allow it to market a range of bodywear under the Betty Boop label. In 2014, the Cortefiel group declared sales of over EUR 1bn, up by 4.9 per cent against the preceding year.

Women'Secret by Cortefiel

Women’Secret by Cortefiel

 

If a sale is decided upon, it is likely that the buyer will be another investment firm rather than a distribution concern.

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PEOPLE: corporate personalities

 

JOHN DIXON: resigns from key post at M&S

 

BRITISH retail giant Marks & Spencer announced that John Dixon has resigned as executive director of General Merchandise to pursue a career opportunity outside the company. Dixon steps down from the Board immediately and will leave the company on a date to be agreed. His responsibilities are to be assumed by Steve Rowe, currently trading director Food.

 

John Dixon

John Dixon

TERDEMA USSERY: to helm Under Armour sports

 

US SPORTS equipment, including functional underwear, distributor Under Armour said that Terdema Ussery had been appointed to the newly created position of President of Global Sports Categories. For the past 18 years, Ussery has been President and CEO of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.

Terdema Ussery

Terdema Ussery

 

EXHIBITIONSwhat to see and where to trade

 

MARE D’AMARE: attendance rises by 3 per cent

 

THE EIGHTH edition of Italian swimwear salon Mare d’Amare, which closed on 20 July, is said to have attracted some 9’000 trade visitors, boosting attendance by 3 per cent year-on-year. Thanks to an online version of the salon, however, exhibitors and trade buyers continue to do business until December 2015 when wholesale ordering for S/S 2016 deliveries comes to a close. The digital version of the salon is said by exhibitors as well as by the organizers to be proving particularly effective in generating sales. Cited as an example, Maryan Melhorn country manager Enzo Tatti said that, thanks to the boost it has provided for follow-up orders, the online facility accounts for around half of the brand’s sales in Italy.

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The success of the digital version of the salon should incite other bodywear trade fairs also to provide exhibitors with an opportunity to sell online to trade buyers unable to visit their events.

 

CURVEXPO: registration opened for next editions

 

US LINGERIE trade fair organizers Curvexpo announced that registration is now open for their next two events: CurveNY in New York from 2 to 4 August 2015 and CurveNV@Magic in Las Vegas from 17 to 19 August. As usual, exhibits at both shows will include swimwear as well as lingerie collections of high quality, including major imported brands.

Curvexpo

Curvexpo

 

The two shows are now well established as the major US events where leading collections can be seen and wholesale orders placed.

 

FINISHING TOUCH – the smile for this week

 

INFLATION: VR knickers show growth trends

 

ONLY a year ago, a pair of knickers worn by Queen Victoria of the UK in the 19th Century was sold at auction for GBP 6’200. Earlier in July 2015, a similar pair of cotton knickers, also embroidered with the VR insignia, was sold at another auction for GBP 12’000. This last pair was dated to the late 1890s by the auctioneer, who explained that the good photographic record of the Queen made it possible to calculate her waist measurement over time.

 

Queen Victoria's secret

Queen Victoria’s secret

 It is clear that the term Victoria’s Secret no longer applies to the former British Queen’s size of knickers.

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