IPO Climate Warming for Some Retailers

With the S&P Retail Index around 388, more than a 70 percent gain since March, some firms eyeing the capital markets believe “green shoots” may begin sprouting in the recently dormant market for initial public offerings. That’s especially true for value-oriented retailers that have weathered the recession better than their upscale counterparts.

Retail Apparel Prices Up Slightly

Retail apparel prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in September compared with August and advanced 1.1 percent against a year earlier, the U.S. Labor Department said this week. September meant a worse-than-expected dip in sales from established stores for Swedish fast-fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz AB.

Brands Pick Consumers’ Brains — and Scan Them

Brain-scanning is being used to help predict how shoppers will respond to products and shopping environments. And firms ranging from teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. to The Walt Disney Co. want to encourage the impulse to purchase, partly by stimulating the senses through smells, sound and light.

P&G Chief Targets Emerging Markets

Bob McDonald, Procter & Gamble Co.’s president and chief executive officer, said emerging markets are a key future growth driver for the firm during his first meeting of shareholders as ceo. He identified markets such as China, India and Mexico and reaching “underserved consumers around the world” as focus areas. Gap Inc. also announced this week that it will enter China next year with company-owned units, as well as return to TV advertising for the upcoming holidays after a two-year absence.

Fergie Adds Sparkle to Avon’s Celebrity Portfolio

Avon Products Inc. has turned up the volume in the rising din of the celebrity fragrance fray by signing one of hip-hop’s hottest acts —Black Eyed Peas frontwoman Fergie. Another high-profile deal unveiled this week was Sarah Jessica Parker’s newest fragrance, SJP NYC, which includes a large dollop of her “Sex and the City” alter ego, Carrie Bradshaw.

Retailers Discovering Heavy Traffic From Facebook

Some fashion brands are getting 10 percent or more of their site traffic from Facebook, according to ad agencies and brands. Topshop, for example, was getting 20 percent of its traffic from its Facebook widget and an unofficial page before it put up a real one. Meanwhile, Gucci turned to social media for its latest viral ad campaign.

The Age of Exposure: Is Fashion’s Mystique Gone?

Has the mystique been driven out of fashion? It’s a question on the minds of many after the six-week slog of runway shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris. Marc Jacobs shares his own perspective on the topic in an exclusive interview with WWD.

Disney Star Selena Gomez Launching Fashion Brand

In her latest role as fashion designer, Selena Gomez is dreaming loud. The 17-year-old star, best known for her leading role on the Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” is getting into some new territory with the fall 2010 launch of her first fashion brand, called Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez. (Click to see some of the looks.) Also, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are launching an eyewear collection for spring under their luxury label The Row, produced in licensed partnership with Linda Farrow Eyewear.

Louboutin Fetes Barbie at 50

In her 50 years, Barbie managed to accumulate a billion pairs of shoes. When it came to picking her next pair, the iconic doll wanted to go to one of the hottest shoe designers around, so she chose Christian Louboutin. (Click to see all the images.)

WWD Back in Time: Emanuel Ungaro and Lindsay Lohan

Despite the overwhelmingly negative response to the spring Emanuel Ungaro show, the house’s new guard — Lindsay Lohan and her partner-in-(fashion)-crime Estrella Archs — may actually have more in common than you’d suspect with the early years of the French couturier. Well, design acumen aside. (Click to see all the images.)

Click to read the previous WWD Week In Review (10/9/09).

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