Retailers Praise Pitti Uomo’s Good Vibrations

FLORENCE — Pitti Uomo: an increasingly influential men’s wear platform with good vibrations. That was the consensus of retailers attending the 94th edition of the fair, which wraps today.
But they were also in town for an appetizing lineup of shows, including Paul Surridge’s debut effort for Roberto Cavalli Men’s; the launch of Comme des Garçons offspring Fumito Ganryu’s namesake brand, and Craig Green who on Thursday night staged his first show outside the British capital, as the headlining guest designer. Tom Kalenderian, Barneys New York’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager, hailed the choice as “emblematic of the importance to focus on new ideas for the future of young men who will become our core consumers.”
Green himself on the morning of his show described the event as an “incredible” platform for designers. “There are buyers who have been buying my collections, but who have never yet been to one of my shows because they don’t come to London,” he said. “The reach of Pitti is so much bigger than anything we’ve done before.”
Among the reigning trends at Pitti Uomo, retailers said streetwear and fluro are both still very apparent, as is sustainability and outdoor-inspired activewear.
“The overall message is a stronger

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Retailers Praise Pitti Uomo’s Good Vibrations

FLORENCE — Pitti Uomo: an increasingly influential men’s wear platform with good vibrations. That was the consensus of retailers attending the 94th edition of the fair, which wraps today.
But they were also in town for an appetizing lineup of shows, including Paul Surridge’s debut effort for Roberto Cavalli Men’s; the launch of Comme des Garçons offspring Fumito Ganryu’s namesake brand, and Craig Green who on Thursday night staged his first show outside the British capital, as the headlining guest designer. Tom Kalenderian, Barneys New York’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager, hailed the choice as “emblematic of the importance to focus on new ideas for the future of young men who will become our core consumers.”
Green himself on the morning of his show described the event as an “incredible” platform for designers. “There are buyers who have been buying my collections, but who have never yet been to one of my shows because they don’t come to London,” he said. “The reach of Pitti is so much bigger than anything we’ve done before.”
Among the reigning trends at Pitti Uomo, retailers said streetwear and fluro are both still very apparent, as is sustainability and outdoor-inspired activewear.
“The overall message is a stronger

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Case Studies: Men’s Retailers on Adapting to the Changing Climate

Soto Store
It’s all about street cred, which is not surprising in this city that lives and breathes streetwear. But what’s made Berlin’s Soto Store stand out from the start was its “accessible mix of street culture and fashion. Getting high-end labels such as Raf Simon, Dries Van Noten, Thom Browne or Acne into this mix was new. And in today’s high-fashion world, that’s what everyone now wants to do,” commented Andreas Koschnike, chief executive officer of Caliroots Group, the Stockholm-based streetwear and sneaker group that bought Soto two years ago.
Koschnike is “friends from way back” with Highsnobiety’s David Fischer, who together with fashion and media movers Philip Gaedicke and Omer Ben Michael opened Soto in 2010 on Torstrasse, still a somewhat off the beaten shopping path in Mitte. “Since I took over, and with 15 years of Caliroots experience under our belts, we’re primarily trying to strengthen operations,” he said. This involves logistics, the buying process and running the online store, “which has surpassed the physical store, though the store remains a big part of our story,” he said.
What he’s not out to change is Soto’s DNA, often described as a blend of tradition and new invention, and which he sums

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Can Retailers Keep Pace With Shoppers?

After strong holiday season, retail executives gather at the Shoptalk conference in search of new strategies.
WSJ.com: US Business

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British High Street Retailers Named in ‘Dirty Fashion’ Report

DIRTY FASHION: British High Street retailers Next, Asda and Tesco are among the companies that continue to source their viscose from dirty and dangerous factories, according to Changing Markets Foundation, a group that exposes irresponsible corporate practices.
Last June, the foundation issued a report called “Dirty Fashion revisited: Spotlight on a polluting viscose giant,” following an investigation into two factories owned by the Mumbai-based Aditya Birla Group.
The latest statement from Changing Markets, set to be issued late Tuesday, said air and water pollution from the factories is among the causes of ongoing health and environmental issues, and that Next, Asda and Tesco continue to work with them despite the claim.
“Our investigation suggests that Aditya Birla Group is failing to live up to its sustainability claims,” said Natasha Hurley, campaign manager at Changing Markets Foundation. “Brands buying from the company should understand what is really happening on the ground, where local residents’ and workers’ lives are blighted by pollution on a daily basis.”
Located in India and Indonesia, the factories produce 20 percent of the world’s viscose fabric. Viscose is made from plants and is biodegradable, but creating the fabric involves the use of hazardous chemicals, which can be harmful if not monitored

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Retailers Bet Big at the Vegas Men’s Shows

LAS VEGAS — There are a lot of opportunities to capitalize on in the men’s market this year. While the industry tends to move more slowly than women’s, the continuing popularity of streetwear, heritage influences and technical fabrications are all understandable trends for the men’s shopper and are buoying the spirits of stores attending the Project, Liberty Fairs, Capsule and Agenda trade shows here this week.
Most men’s retailers are coming off a solid 2017 and believe that the fashion trends in the market will help them continue the momentum into this year.
As James Starke, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s for J.C. Penney, put it: “We had a good fourth quarter and are off to a good start in Q1. There’s a lot of newness in men’s and kids and we have a lot of new brands coming in, so we feel good for spring.”
Looking ahead to fall, Starke has similar optimism — albeit tempered with some caution.
“These shows have become a touch point for us and our suppliers,” he said. “They help validate what we’re doing for fall.”
Tom Ott, chief merchant for Saks Off 5th and Gilt, said he appreciated the shows, particularly Agenda and Liberty, for all the

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Retailers Seek Best-in-Class Brands at Pitti Uomo

Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus
What specifically are you looking for at Pitti?
Literally everything. Absolutely anything can catch my eye if it is well conceived and crafted, unique in presentation, best of class and, therefore, perfect for our very discerning customer. The great thing about Pitti Uomo is that there is such a vast variety of compelling clothing, sportswear, accessories, leather goods, knitwear that it is incredibly inspiring season after season. It’s a show meant for discovery. The fall edition is especially rich, with beautiful, luxe outerwear and sweaters.
Which brands are you most excited to see?
I always love to see the Brunello Cucinelli collection. It’s beautifully presented and merchandised and walk-throughs with the team — always impeccably turned out in the new collection — and Mr. Cucinelli are inspiring and thoughtful. The Classico Italia section is always compelling and filled with Made in Italy product that is beautifully crafted and presented. I also just really enjoy walking each of the exhibition buildings, scouting booths and looking for anything that may be eye-catching to me and, consequently, our customer. I am always inspired by the special guest designer runway shows and presentations produced during Pitti where they make

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U.K. Shoppers Shun Brick-and-Mortar Retailers on Boxing Day

LONDON — Selfridges and Harrods may have seen record numbers of shoppers gathering outside their stores ahead of the annual Boxing Day sales on Dec. 26, but many British brick-and-mortar retailers suffered on the first day of the post-Christmas sales season, due partly to the impact of Black Friday.
According to Springboard, which gathers footfall and consumer data, Britain’s High Street retailers witnessed “challenging trading” conditions on Dec. 26, with footfall decreasing 4.5 percent year-over-year. “This was one of the most challenging Boxing Days that brick-and-mortar stores have seen since Springboard first published Boxing Day activity in 2012,” the company said.
“This undoubtedly reflects the extent of discounting that has already occurred, particularly over Black Friday, and also the growth in online trade this year,” said Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard.
“In addition to this, Black Friday now rivals Boxing Day in terms of the volume of footfall generated and so its influence as a key trading day in the retail calendar has been diluted. The extent of discounting, together with the fact that stores still account for around 80 percent of total spend, and that activity in brick-and-mortar stores declined, suggests that sales will be lower this year on what was traditionally

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Retailers Feel Shoppers’ Christmas Cheer

Shoppers of all income levels spent more this holiday season, prompting some Yuletide joy among retailers that struggled through a difficult year.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Retailers’ Emails Are Misfires for Many Holiday Shoppers

Many retailers that were once data pioneers, with mailing lists and catalogs, now have fallen behind in the race to personalize digital messaging to consumers using purchase and browsing history.
WSJ.com: WSJD

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Retailers Kick Off the Holiday Season on Firmer Footing

Attention shoppers: Prices may not be as low this time around. Nevertheless, even as this year has proved one of the most challenging for retailers, analysts are predicting robust holiday sales.
WSJ.com: US Business

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7 Online Beauty Retailers You Didn’t Know Existed

ESC: Online Beauty PicksWe all know and love Sephora for supplying us with all of our beauty needs, but what if we told you there was more.
Now you very likely already have your staple makeup products on lock,…

E! Online (US) – Top Stories

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Retailers Divided Over Milan’s Shorter Length, but Praise Collections

MILAN — Retailers were divided about the shorter fashion week in Milan, but they agreed that creativity was strong and that designers generally delivered.
Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman, said “despite the fact there are fewer shows here, it is still a schedule packed with appointments, showroom walk-throughs and certainly runway shows. Milan Fashion Week is incredibly important and fruitful for us at Goodman’s, always.”
Retro sports looks, including track suits; oversized silhouettes and baggy pants; layering; strong outerwear; a fresh summer color palette that included shades of pale pink; fluid shapes and fabrics, and streetwear references were some of the main trends praised by retailers.
Maud Tarena, director of men’s fashion at Le Bon Marché, said brands are “mixing up lighter and warmer outerwear together” in a seasonless way. “Thom Browne, for example, offered down jackets and swimwear in the same show [Moncler Gamme Bleu]. Even the weight of fabrics is very versatile,” said Tarena, whose favorite show was Prada. It was “energetic and exciting,” she said. Tarena, however, was frustrated by the limited number of shows in Milan and said there were “no strong discoveries, no surprises.” The store’s budget remained stable compared to last year, she said.
Tom Kalenderian,

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Gladson Selects Retailers for Italian Bespoke Tour

Gladson, the custom fabric division of HMS International and one of the largest producers of men’s fabrics in the U.S., has selected seven retailers for its Tour d’Italia prize.
The stores, who were chosen for their excellence in custom tailoring, will receive a trip to Italy to tour the country’s mills, bespoke tailoring houses and men’s luxury stores. The trip will include tours of Biella’s textile mills, a visit to Lake Como and Orta and a stop in Milan.
“Custom is the hottest category in men’s wear today,” said HMS International’s chief executive officer Michael “Mickey” Solomon. “By rewarding some of the most successful custom tailoring professionals in the U.S. with our unique Tour d’Italia we hope to foster an even greater appreciation of fine Italian fabrics, design, creativity and sustainability. Each of these aligns perfectly with our mission and our values.”
The winners are Ryan Douglas Hammonds of R. Douglas Custom Clothier, in Sacramento, Calif.; Nicholas Hansen of Nicholas Joseph Custom Tailors and Albert Karoll of Richard Bennett, both in Chicago; Leonard Logsdail of Leonard Logsdail in New York; Manuel Martinez of Martinez Custom Clothiers in Baton Rouge, La.; David Welch of B.Spoke, in Orange County, Calif., and Tyler McCoy, Ali Ryan and

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Skies Slowly Brightening for Retailers Shopping Las Vegas Men’s Shows

LAS VEGAS — The fourth quarter wasn’t pretty for most retailers. Pre- and post-election angst, unrelenting price promotions, pressure from aggressive online players and a distracted consumer all contributed to a rough end to 2016.
But retailers aren’t about to roll over. To fight back, they’re scouring the market for new brands and hot trends that will move the needle. They’ve also learned that it’s not just about offering men the latest in ath-leisure or technical tailored clothing. Today’s customer is seeking unique experiences and merchandise with an authentic story that will allow them to create their own unique style — and make a statement.
Trade show operators are also shifting their focus in the face of this new reality.
Case in point: Aaron Levant, founder of Agenda, upped the ante on experiences at his trade show this season by featuring more cash-and-carry than ever before — Generation Cool, a vintage store based in Tucson, Ariz., set up a lively booth for shoppers. Levant also created an area where brands, some that don’t wholesale, were able to design their own booth. The space felt more like an art fair than a trade show.
“It’s about experiences and community,” said Levant, who last year helped

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Retailers Urged to Innovate, Educate in Order to Survive

NEW YORK — Break the mold, create excitement and establish relationships to lure Millennials. That’s what it’s going to take to survive in this new world.
“We are confronted with a tsunami,” said Robin Lewis, founder and chief executive officer of The Robin Report, during a retail seminar at MRket and Project on Tuesday afternoon. “It will wipe out every Old World retailer who doesn’t fundamentally transform their business model.”
To compete with the online players and the off-price community, merchants must create “experiences” that speak to the young customer so their stores look cool and desirable. “You’re really in the entertainment business,” he said.
Tom Ott, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s wear for Saks Fifth Avenue, agreed. Noting that today’s climate represents the largest change he’s seen in his two decades at the store, Ott said Saks is moving to appeal to the Millennial shopper, who will outnumber the Baby Boomers by 22 million people by 2030.
This reality impacts everything about shopping experience. Since 62 percent of Millennials respond to mobile offers, Saks is moving its efforts from print to digital advertising, he said, and counting on word-of-mouth to get its message out.
And while heritage brands will continue

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Amazon is now worth more than America's 8 largest retailers combined

Amazon is now worth more than America's 8 largest retailers combinedIn the case of Amazon (AMZN), they simply grow even bigger and more formidable. With a current market cap of $ 390 billion, the Seattle-based retail giant is now worth more than the top eight traditional brick-and-mortar retailers combined, as Credit Suisse analysts led by Eugene Klerk mentioned in a recent note. For the record, that roster includes Best Buy (BBY), Macy’s (M), Target (TGT), JCPenney (JCP), Nordstrom (JWN), Walmart (WMT), Kohl’s (KSS) and Sears (SHLD).



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U.S. Retailers on Pace for Best Holiday Season in Years

Surging online orders and last-minute shoppers helped retailers make up for a slow start to the holiday-shopping season, fueling hopes that higher wages, the rising stock market, and lower food and gas prices prompted Americans to spend more.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Retailers Make Final Push to Lure Last-Minute Shoppers

Traditional retailers are pulling out all the stops to attract last-minute holiday shoppers in the final days before Christmas, even as Amazon.com steps up its own efforts to appeal to procrastinators.
WSJ.com: WSJD

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Retailers Make Final Push to Lure Last-Minute Shoppers

Traditional retailers are pulling out all the stops to attract last-minute holiday shoppers in the final days before Christmas, even as Amazon.com steps up its own efforts to appeal to procrastinators.
WSJ.com: US Business

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FedEx Plays Hardball With Retailers as Profits Get Squeezed

FedEx is playing hardball with some e-commerce shippers as the package delivery giant strains to manage the surge in holiday shopping packages.
WSJ.com: US Business

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8 Online Retailers You Should Never Order From

Even the savviest among us can be swindled from time to time.

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Retailers Vie for Black Friday Dollars

Retailers dangled hefty discounts—on their websites Thursday and in their stores early Friday—as they waged a high-stakes battle with Amazon.com and other rivals to capture as much spending as they could during the Black Friday shopping spree.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Higher SG&A Costs Hitting Retailers

It’s time for retailers to trim payroll, turn the lights down and eliminate supply-chain inefficiencies.
Retailers are getting pummeled by higher selling, general and administrative costs, according to an analysis by WWD of publicly traded mass, off-price and specialty apparel companies. Of the 33 retailers analyzed, 18 posted higher SG&A-to-sales ratios in the most recent quarter over the prior year. By channel, 10 of those companies were specialty retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, New York & Company Inc., Urban Outfitters and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.
Within the 18 retailers that showed higher SG&A to sales costs, nine posted changes of more than 100 basis points, which is a red flag to investors who prefer not to see triple-digit changes. More tolerable increases would be between 10 and 50 basis points.
SG&A line items include things such as employee payroll and pensions as well as commissions. Other items include utilities, rent and insurance as well as general maintenance costs. Marketing costs are also included in SG&A line items. All of these items differ from “cost of goods sold,” which are the direct, attributable costs related to selling (or making) a product.
From an investor’s perspective, SG&A-to-sales ratios reveal how effectively a retailer uses

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Retailers Remain Upbeat About Fall

Optimism reigned as the activewear trend continued to dominate, while tailoring and casualwear also starred.

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