Today’s Fashion Headlines: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013 • Fashion, Fashion News



H&M Aiming to Catch Zara With Delayed American Web Push

H&M began selling cheap-chic clothes online in Sweden about the same time Google. Inc started crunching its first search results. Fifteen years later, H&M’s American fans are still waiting for Web shopping. If the hype is to be believed this time around – the Stockholm-based retailer has postponed twice before – in August H&M will enter the world’s biggest online apparel market, allowing American shoppers to click to buy $12.95 zebra-striped ballet flats and $59.95 trench coats. With the delay, the retailer has missed out on revenue as it tries to make up ground lost to rival Inditex SA, owner of the Zara brand. Inditex, which overtook H&M in 2006 as Europe’s biggest apparel seller, has topped the Swedish company’s sales growth for the past three years.

Since 2011, when Zara began selling online in the U.S., the American market for apparel and accessories online has grown 44 percent to $54 billion, researcher EMarketer estimates. Inditex shares had gained 69 percent since its U.S. Web shop opened Sept. 7, 2011 before today’s trading, more than double the gain for H&M shares in that time. Despite its relatively late start — Zara first sold clothes online in 2010 –Inditex now offers Internet sales in 23 markets while H&M does so in eight. H&M rose 1.1 percent in Stockholm today, bringing this year’s advance to 7.4 percent. The shares closed at their highest level in 10 months as Deutsche Bank AG upgraded its rating on the stock to buy from hold and said revenue growth will accelerate, partly due to the online rollout.

Calvin Klein Collection Show Moving to TriBeCa

The Calvin Klein Collection show is on the move this September. After holding runway shows at its 205 West 39th Street headquarters for five years, Calvin Klein Inc. is staging the spring Collection show at the new, as-yet-unopened Spring Studios in TriBeCa. It will take place in its regular time slot on Sept. 12 at 2 p.m., although there will only be one show this season. Calvin Klein will be the first and only fashion house to show at Spring Studios during fashion week. According to CKI, the space’s modern, minimalist environs, which will open at 50 Varick Street in TriBeCa this fall, lend themselves nicely to the house’s ethos. “Sharing our brand’s modern and innovative approach, Spring Studios was a natural choice to hold this special event commemorating Francisco’s decade as Calvin Klein Collection’s fearless women’s creative director,” said Malcolm Carfrae, CKI’s executive vice president and chief communications officer.

Richard Baker’s Play: HBC Makes $2.9 Billion Bid for Saks

On Monday morning, Baker, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Toronto-based Hudson’s Bay Co., disclosed a definitive deal for HBC to buy Saks for $2.9 billion, including debt. If the deal goes through, it would create a $7.3 billion North American, coast-to-coast department store operation linking three of the continent’s oldest, most venerable retail nameplates: Saks, Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay. More specifically, the deal would shake up New York’s retail scene by putting two of the city’s biggest flagships just 10 blocks from each other, under a single owner. Baker’s bid for Saks ends years of speculation over a possible takeover of the retailer, but generates its own fair share of questions. It remains unclear what will happen in the future to Saks’ management team, led by chairman and ceo Stephen I. Sadove; what cuts Baker might make to generate synergies and savings, and most importantly, how he can close the productivity gap between Saks and its major competitors, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom which has long challenged different store regimes. While Saks under Sadove has improved profitability, it’s still well below the competition, and productivity is more of an issue now since Neiman’s owners are eyeing an initial public offering for the Dallas-based retailer and because Nordstrom is due to enter HBC’s home turf, Canada.

-Mehar Singh

Source: WWD and Bloomberg

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