During a time of industry consolidation and fierce competition, diversity is paying off for firms such as Liz Claiborne, VF Corp. and Kellwood, which is going after a variety of demographics and ethnic markets. Manufacturers also are looking to diversify their distribution networks, and thereby lessen their dependency on one particular retail channel. Meanwhile, the appetite for acquisitions is still voracious.
- QUIKSILVER INC.
Percent change: 38.4; Revenues trailing 12 months ending May 5: $1.03 billion; Prior-period revenues: $750.6 million
Quiksilver’s chairman and ceo Robert McKnight Jr. likes the way the word “billion” sounds when it rolls off his tongue. In March, McKnight said the company’s Quiksilver global men’s business could be a billion-dollar business, as could Roxy. DC shoes, the skate brand Quiksilver acquired in March, is being primed to compete with Nike and Adidas-Salomon AG. And talk about room for growth – Quiksilver hasn’t scratched the surface in terms of international distribution.
- COACH INC.
Percent change: 36; Revenues trailing 12 months: $1.2 billion; Prior-period revenues: $893.1 million
Coach has accomplished the enviable task of keeping its longtime customers happy with traditional designs while tapping a new, young audience with colorful, trendier products. The company also manages to be aspirational and affordable at the same time. Analysts talk of growth opportunities in the U.S. and Japan,Coach’s two main markets.
- OXFORD INDUSTRIES INC.
Percent change: 28.6; Revenues trailing 12 months: $975.5 million; Prior-period revenues: $758.2 million
The Atlanta-based private label manufacturer counts Target, Wal-Mart and Sears’ Lands End subsidiary among its clients.Oxford Industries’ purchase in April of Viewpoint International Inc., the owner of the Tommy Bahama brand, is paying off. It contributed $103 million in sales in the third quarter.
- COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR CO.
Percent change: 17.5; Revenues trailing 12 months: $989.6 million; Prior-period revenues: $841.9 million
“Lifestyle” and “multifunctional” are the buzzwords of the athletic and outdoor apparel industries, and Columbia Sportswear is capitalizing on these trends. Multipurpose garments can be worn for several seasons, and many feature SPF 30+ sun protection, mosquito mesh and quick-drying fabrics. Outerwear fabric is waterproof and breathable. The company also is focusing on design. For example, Convert, a collection for street, skate and surf, has been updated with a vintage-inspired look.
- POLO RALPH LAUREN CORP.
Percent change: 12.5; Revenues trailing 12 months: $2.52 billion; Prior-period revenues: $2.38 billion Since getting back the Lauren by Ralph Lauren license from Jones New York, Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. has been creating a more expansive brand with everything from better sportswear and accessories to home furnishings and fragrance. Another initiative is growing the company’s retail network, where the firm is able to maintain full-price selling with exclusive or limited-distribution products. (Note: Revenues differ from Polo Ralph Lauren’s results reported in the article “Polo Steams Ahead, Bullish for ’05” today, due to the list’s May 5 cut-off.)
- LIZ CLAIBORNE INC.
Percent change: 9.4; Revenues trailing 12 months: $4.26 billion; Prior-period revenues: $3.9 billion
Diversity is Liz Claiborne’s middle name. Mexx, the company’s second-largest business unit, is the conduit for Claiborne’s entry into Europe as its stores become the launching pad for other Claiborne brands. Lucky and Ellen Tracy also are going overseas, opening their first European stores. Meanwhile, at home, Realities is fighting for market share in the crowded better zone of department stores.
Percent change: 8.3; Revenues trailing 12 months: $2.34 billion; Prior-period revenues: $2.16 billion
Kellwood is producing O Oscar, the new moderate-priced line from Oscar de la Renta Ltd. When O Oscar hits the stores in the fall, it will be the most affordable line ever for the designer. Kellwood produces Izod women’s sportswear exclusively for May Department Stores and Lucy Pereda solely for Sears. In a continuing effort to diversify, Kellwood recently signed an agreemen to buy Phat Fashions from founder and ceo Russell Simmons.
- VF CORP.
Percent change: 5.2; Revenues trailing 12 months: $5.39 billion; Prior-period revenues: $5.12 billion
VF’s Nautica acquisition is paying off, and the company wants to exploit it from every angle. To wit, a Nautica Kids concept is being tested in some of the brand’s freestanding stores. VF also is expanding its licensing program and pushing forward in the women’s category. Earl Jean, which was part of the Nautica purchase, is being folded into VF’s overall Jeanswear Coalition to facilitate its growth, as reported Wednesday.
- PHILLIPS-VAN HEUSEN CORP.
Percent change: 3.3; Revenues trailing 12 months: $1.43 billion; Prior-period revenues: $1.39 billion Phillips-Van Heusen last year closed 200 factory outlet stores and sold its wholesale footwear business, as part of its shift toward higher-margin brands. Its biggest move upmarket was last year’s purchase of Calvin Klein Inc., which is the company’s crown jewel. Klein’s better women’s sportswear line had a strong launch for spring, and a comeback of the CK Calvin Klein bridge line is planned. Most importantly, CKI contributed to the top and bottom lines in the fourth quarter.
- RUSSELL CORP.
Percent change: 3; Revenues trailing 12 months: $1.21 billion; Prior-period revenues: $1.17 billion Russell Athletic is expanding its programs with Target and Dollar General and is supplying athletic apparel, team uniforms, balls and sports equipment for the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It has exclusive licenses for the logos of the schools in both conferences. Last year the company acquired Spalding Sports Worldwide for $65 million. The company unveiled a new look for its logo last week. The logo, now slanted and with a richer blue color, is the company’s first significant logo change since 1984.
- TOMMY HILFIGER CORP.
Percent change: -1.4; Revnues trailing 12 months: $1.86 billion; Prior-period revenues: $1.88 billion
Ceo David Dyer said Hilfiger’s misses’ sportswear has become the company’s largest and most successful U.S. wholesale business and that the company has expanded the category. H Hilfiger, the premium collection that launched for spring, is being sold exclusively at Federated Department Stores for the first year. The company, which has been shopping for acquisitions, is said to be looking at Marc Ecko Enterprises.
- JONES APPAREL GROUP INC.
Percent change: -2.3; Revenues trailing 12 months: $4.31 billion; Prior-period revenues: $4.41 billion
Jones New York Signature is helping to replace lost sales from a licensing dispute with Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., which caused the Lauren by Ralph Lauren line to revert back to Polo. Signature is expected to do $200 million in sales for the year as compared with Lauren’s $500 million. The company’s better brands are trending upward, but the moderate business has been challenging.
SOURCE: COMPANY REPORTS. CALCULATIONS BY WWD. NOTES: PERCENT CHANGE FROM PRIOR FOUR-QUARTER PERIOD, ending as of may 5. RESULTS INCLUDE SPECIAL ITEMS AND CHARGES.