BANGLADESH DENIED: The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements on Monday denied a request from Bangladesh for category mergers and a special 15 percent shift in quota into the cotton trousers category, which filled July 31. David Spooner, special textile negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, sent a letter to a Bangladeshi trade official turning down the request. Bangladesh asked the U.S. for a “special shift” in quota from such categories as women’s man-made fiber blouses and men’s and women’s man-made fiber trousers, according to Ross Arnold, an international trade specialist at the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel. The officials also requested a merger of those categories, which would allow for more quota flexibility. Three large retailers cannot get a combined total of 80,000 dozen cotton trousers into the U.S. due to the embargo, according to Arnold, who declined to name the retailers. He said Bangladesh embassy officials claim about 150,000 dozens are either waiting in U.S. ports, on the water or ready to be shipped from the country.
MALDEN FILES REORGANIZATION: After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November, Malden Mills Industries Inc. filed a reorganization plan Monday with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Worcester, Mass. Under the plan, Aaron Feuerstein — who owns the company along with his family — will maintain his role as president and chief executive officer at the Lawrence, Mass.-based knitter, known for its Polartec polyester fleece. The company said the plan will allow it to exit bankruptcy protection by year’s end. Malden said it was forced to file for Chapter 11 after it continued to pay workers following a 1995 fire that destroyed three buildings at the mill’s main factory complex.
EAGLE EYE: American Eagle Outfitters has promoted Susan P. Miller to executive vice president of merchandising for the American Eagle Brand. She will report to Roger Markfield, president and chief merchandising officer, and oversee the merchandising function for all categories of the brand. She joined AEO in June 1994 as a buyer in women’s, rose to divisional merchandise manager of women’s, and was last general merchandise manager. Under her watch, women’s has grown to 54 percent from 20 percent of total sales and accessories, underwear, dormwear and personal care products were introduced.