NEW YORK -- Liz Claiborne will expand its overseas retail program this year, adding 14 countries to its roster of 28.
Robert Bernard, president of Liz Claiborne International, who spoke on global trends in retailing at the National Retail Federation Convention here Tuesday, said the company's international retail ventures include in-store shops, selling to other retailers and plans for about 20 freestanding Liz Claiborne stores by the end of the year. The company now has about eight, he said.
Among the countries in which it will open, he said, are China, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Costa Rica, Mexico, Malaysia, Sweden and Indonesia.
Claiborne opened its first international freestanding store in Singapore in December 1992. It had a first-year volume of $5 million. Its international retailing began in Canada in June 1988, Bernard said. He noted that international business accounted for roughly 5 percent, or $110 million, of its estimated $2.2 billion in total sales last year.
Bernard added that other apparel companies should consider options -- whether as retailers, wholesalers, in franchises or joint ventures -- to make the most of international expansion.
Bernard was joined at the NRF seminar by Alfred F. Lynch, president and chief executive officer of J.C. Penney International, which operates in five countries and is exploring expansion in several key areas.
The executives spoke about opportunities for American companies to take their retailing concepts abroad.
"We've studied potential markets to determine a broad acceptance of American products and enough critical mass to support many locations," Lynch said.
He advised retailers to match their strengths to the needs of the market. As an example, he cited strong international awareness of Penney's private brands and its vast global sourcing abilities as ways to maximize foreign sales.
He said in many other countries there are no department stores, and mall developers abroad are looking for anchor tenants.
Lynch said he feels the biggest opportunities now exist in Latin America and Southeast Asia.
He added that Mexico is the gateway to South America, and he pinpointed Chile, Argentina and Uruguay as having strong potential for American retailing. He emphasized Chile in particular, since it has very open trade regulations and, he said, is a good example to its South American neighbors.In the Asian-Pacific Rim countries, Japan and Singapore are "very attractive," he said, noting that China is likely to develop as a powerful trading block on its own, although it still has some barriers.
"There is enormous pent-up demand in China for American products," Lynch said, "but retailing is still very restricted there. A large-scale retailer is held to one location in a single city."
Larry Katzen, a partner in Arthur Anderson & Co., who moderated the session, said it's difficult for any retailer with global aspirations to ignore China.
"Even if only 1 percent of the Chinese population is considered in the upper class, that's still 120 million people," he said.
He added that the South American markets have the potential to grow to four times the size of the Mexican market.
Australia, Katzen said, is another area of opportunity for Americans.
"Australians are looking at the successful retail concepts first developed in the U.S. 15 years ago," he said, noting that they are beginning concepts like Toys "R" Us and Home Depot.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)