MARKET BASKET

G-III GAINS GROUND: Citing the results of its continuing efforts to lower costs and improve inventory controls, G-III Apparel Group reported profits of $3.4 million, or 50 cents a share, in the third quarter ended Oct. 31.
The outerwear manufacturer had a net loss of $452,000 last year, including a $3.2 million aftertax charge related to the writedown of inventory.
Sales in the quarter, reflecting a weak retail environment and warmer-than-usual weather, slipped 21.6 percent to $57.7 million from $73.6 million.
Morris Goldfarb, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that the cost cutting and lower inventory levels helped the company improve its gross margins.
The company also manufactures sportswear under its G-III, JL Colebrook, Siena and Siena Studio labels.
Year-ago results include an inventory writedown charge. Under its new accounting, certain transactions formerly recorded as sales now add only commission income. Without the new accounting, sales would have slipped 15 percent to $151 million from $177.7 million a year ago.

SKATING IN STYLE: The Rink at Rockefeller Center in New York will be home to the premiere performance of the Montreal Fashions on Ice Show, Winter Festival, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. It will feature the winter 1996 collections of some of Montreal’s most well known fashion houses.
Using the ice as a stage, skaters from the Ice Theater of New York will perform while modeling designs from women’s wear firms Hilary Radley, Irving Samuel and J. Besner; the men’s firms Turbulence, Peerless and Oggi, and children’s wear companies Layette Minimone, Deux Par Deux and La Mere Michele. The 20-to-30-minute program, organized by the Quebec Government House in New York, will feature a light show and ice dancing from international medalist skaters.
The public may view the performance from the Promenade or through the glass windows of the Sea Grill restaurant facing the rink. The Sea Grill will serve a three-course prix fixe dinner for $35, featuring seafood from Quebec.

PUSHING FUR: The Canadian fur industry is targeting 25 million North American consumers through a $740,000 (C$1 million) advertising and co-op merchandising effort.
The campaign includes eight-page supplements in such magazines as Vogue, Essence, Elle Quebec, Clin d’Oeil and Flare. The supplement, which began appearing in November issues, is a packet with a perforated edge that must be unzipped to see the contents. Robert Lemire, marketing director of Quebecor Printing, which printed and helped plan the campaign, said test-market results revealed that 92 percent of participants took the time to unzip the supplement.
“It’s not very often you can get that many magazine readers to pay attention to your ads,” he said.
The campaign also includes videos, postcards and direct-mail brochures featuring products made in Quebec and offering consumers a chance to win one of seven designer furs or two pairs of Air Canada tickets to London or Paris. The designers are Canadians Zuki, Theo, Irma Paytler, D’Arcy Moses, Pierre Lapointe, Ingrid Clahn and Dominique Uozilleau.
The Fur Council is increasing its promotional efforts in the U.S., where Canadian manufacturers currently supply 47 percent of all fur garment imports. As recently as two years ago, Hong Kong and China controlled 60 percent of the U.S. fur import market, but are now down to 23 percent.
Canadian exports of fur garments hit $61.7 million last year, an increase of 19 percent over 1993. Combined pelt and garment exports were $142 million, up 22 percent from 1993.

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