CIT Peril Puts Industry at Risk
The industry is facing potential turmoil
after CIT Group Inc., which provides basic financing for thousands of small- and midsized apparel retailers and vendors, said it probably won’t be rescued by a federal bailout. After days of intense negotiations, the New York-based commercial lender said there was “no appreciable likelihood of additional government support being provided in the near term.” The company said it was “evaluating alternatives” with its advisers. The disclosure raised the possibility of a bankruptcy filing by the financial giant and left many vendors and retailers in limbo about how they’ll finance their fall shipments and finance their businesses. The crisis adds another nightmarish facet to California’s economic woes
. (Click for more CIT history and facts
Romancing the Shopper: Retailers Get Personal
Battling the recession, designers and retailers are wooing customers at intimate gatherings
that range from informal fashion presentations in private homes or hotels to in-store events after business hours. The goal: to inspire shopping by offering an exclusive experience and interaction with fashion arbiters. Independent specialty stores
are moderating price points, tightening inventories, negotiating harder with vendors and working to cultivate relationships with their customers. Meanwhile, Fashion’s Night Out, an effort to bring shopping back in style
, is gaining more participants. And key department and specialty stores held weekend promotions in which spring and summer merchandise was reduced 40 to 80 percent
Wal-Mart to Launch Green Product ‘Index’
Unveiling plans for a worldwide sustainable product index
, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. president and chief executive officer Mike Duke said consumers are demanding more accountability on how products affect the environment. “It is estimated that the global population will reach 9 billion by 2050,” he said. “Natural resources for everything we grow, eat, drink, make, package, buy, transport and throw away is outpacing the earth’s capacity to sustain it.” Meanwhile, the world’s largest retailer stands to gain considerable ground in its public image and labor relations for its support for affortable health care
, the centerpiece of President Obama’s domestic agenda.
Golden Gate to Acquire Eddie Bauer
Private equity firm Golden Gate Capital has emerged as the winner in the race to snatch up Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc.
with a $286 million cash bid. The offer will be presented for bankruptcy court approval on Wednesday and the deal is expected to close early next month.
Appeals Court Hears Tiffany Appeal of eBay Case
The five-year legal battle between Tiffany & Co. and eBay Inc. moved to a federal appeals court
Thursday. The two sides agree on at least one thing: There are counterfeits for sale at the online auction house. But they differ on whose duty it is to prevent those knockoffs from being sold.
Chicago Plans Streamlined Fashion Week
Chicago’s annual Fashion Focus will be condensed to a long weekend
Oct. 22 to 25 on the theory that a shorter event packed with runway shows, shopping and industry seminars will attract more buyers, tourists and national press.
Kylie Minogue to Launch Inverse for Men Fragrance
Industry Betting on Denim for Back to School
In a landscape pockmarked with liquidations, reduced inventories and discounting, retailers and brands are targeting denim as the vehicle to drive sales
in the year’s second most important selling season. Gap Inc. and Guess Inc. are going back to their heritage for fall and stressing denim in their merchandise plans, and Levi Strauss & Co. thinks an uptick in denim interest will help turn around lagging volume. A shift toward more affordable prices in many lines should also prove attractive to shoppers who have pulled back on spending because of the recession.
Haute Couture Fashion Trend: Jacket Club
Men’s Fashion Trend: Boys of Summer
For spring, men’s designers at the Collective and MRket are dreaming of an endless summer
using ethereal thin fabrics, summer linens and buttery leathers. Key looks of the season incorporate cropped pants, sleeveless jackets, unconstructed blazers and weightless trenches to provide a new youthful approach to traditional men’s wear heritage pieces. (Click to see all the looks
and the Men’s New York Market Preview
WWD Back in Time: Cirque du Soviet
In 1972, six months after President Nixon’s historic trip to Moscow, the Soviets sent an envoy of their own to America. The Moscow Circus, a one-ring affair
featuring all manner of weight lifters, jugglers, acrobats and tightrope walkers, performed in November at Madison Square Garden in a theater then known as the Felt Forum. (Click to see full-size images
Click to see the previous WWD Week in Review (7/10/09).