Europe Watch: Back in Black … Endangered Species … Booted Out
BACK IN BLACK: C&A, Germany’s third largest apparel retailer, has turned the corner. Two years ago, the chain, which operates 185 C&A doors in Germany and 279 elsewhere in Europe, was mired in losses. But a concentration on moderate,...
BACK IN BLACK: C&A, Germany’s third largest apparel retailer, has turned the corner. Two years ago, the chain, which operates 185 C&A doors in Germany and 279 elsewhere in Europe, was mired in losses. But a concentration on moderate, value-for-money apparel and a fresh, new, easy-to-shop retail environment seem to have paid off. Net earnings in Germany for the fiscal year ended Feb. 28 tripled to $125 million, and German sales were up 2 percent to about $3.3 billion. Dollar figures are converted from euros at current exchange rates. Once derided as “Cheap & Awful” in Germany by the very youth its trendy ads tried to attract, C&A switched to a more mainstream ad style, upping the German ad budget 10 percent to $117 million. While modernizing the last 40 old-style units, C&A also is expanding its C&A Kids chain, and a C&A Woman concept is being tested in Bremen and Lindau, with three new German doors to follow. — Melissa Drier
ENDANGERED SPECIES: French shoppers on the hunt for great fakes should take heed. The French luxury goods trade association, Comité Colbert, has launched an anticounterfeiting campaign designed to discourage travelers from bringing back bogus watches, handbags and apparel. More than 10,000 posters depicting fake Lacoste, Hermès, Chanel, Dior and Cartier products are going up at 200 customs borders in France. The accompanying text aims to deter shoppers by reminding them that the purchase of counterfeit products is considered a major infraction, contributing to forced child labor and illegal drug and arms trafficking. The posters also underline that importing counterfeit products is punishable by fines of up to $300,000 and up to three years in jail. Five of the top six brands that suffer from forgeries in the European Union are French, according to the Comité Colbert. More than 100 million fakes were confiscated in the E.U. last year, including 1.2 million in France. The campaign is scheduled to last until the end of October. — Emilie Marsh
BOOTED OUT: The Boots Group plc said it will ax 500 jobs from its Nottingham, England, head office over the next six months. John McGrath, chairman, warned that there would be more job losses to come, although he declined to give numbers. The losses, mainly from IT, human resources and finance departments, are part of a $167 million cost-saving program called “Getting in Shape” that was introduced last November. The announcement came as Boots reported a 25 percent loss in net income for the year ended March 31, to $493 million. — E.M.WESTON STEPS CLOSER TO SELFRIDGES: Canadian billionaire Galen Weston has boosted his stake in Selfridges to 25.71 percent as part of his bid to take over the London-based department store chain. Weston’s company, Oxford Acquisitions Limited, said in a statement Friday that since mid-May, it had purchased more than 24 million shares — or 15.61 percent of the company — from shareholders. As reported, the Selfridges board has recommended Weston’s bid, which is valued at approximately $1.14 billion. His offer went out to shareholders last month, and the first closing date was Thursday. Shareholders have until June 19 to sell their shares. — Samantha Conti
TOM-TOM CLUB: The German retail market may be in the dumps, but that hasn’t stopped Tommy Hilfiger from opening three stores there in the last nine months, bringing the total to five. A Hilfiger flagship bowed in Düsseldorf last August, Hamburg followed in March and last month, the designer added a 7,900-square-foot flagship in Berlin. Housed in a former cinema on the city’s key shopping street, Kurfürstendamm, the store retained the balconies for displays and part of the screen above a jeans wall for projecting rock videos. Tommy Hilfiger Europe operates 83 stores in Europe and the Middle East, including ones in London, Manchester, Saint-Tropez, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Athens, Rotterdam, Vienna and Kitzbühel. Openings in Barcelona and a second door in Antwerp are set for this year. While acknowledging the challenging economy in Germany, Avery Baker, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Tommy Hilfiger Europe, characterized it as “our strongest market in Europe,” accounting for a fifth of its turnover. Hilfiger’s European sales reached $275.8 million in fiscal 2002, up 44.2 percent. Sales growth of more than 20 percent in Europe is forecast for fiscal 2004. — M.D.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)