Niall Campbell, the chief executive of the British Footwear Association, has resigned after 12 years at the organisation. He has been replaced temporarily by finance and accounting expert John Hawksfield. A permanent boss will be appointed in the new year. The BFA said it was “business as usual” and that attendance and support for next season’s shows would not be affected.
Tesco is now the third largest menswear retailer by volume, according to TNS Worldpanel Fashion. Tesco now has 7% of the overall menswear market, compared with 5.7% this time last year. The menswear market is worth £9.8 billion a year.
Inditex, which owns Zara and Massimo Dutti, said operating profits rose 27% to €1.1 billion (£801 million) for the nine months to October 31, while net income increased 30% to €825m (£593.2m). Inditex attributed the growth to an increase in selling space and strong like-for-like sales.
Vince has hired DKNY’s Simon Whitehouse to lead the premium US brand’s push into Europe. Whitehouse will become vice-president of international business development and starts the new role in January. Meanwhile, DKNY has hired Suzie Aronin from Maharishi for the new role of UK sales manager.
John Lewis Partnership chairman Charlie Mayfield has been appointed a commissioner for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Mayfield, who has been a patron of Skillsmart Retail since April, will be one of 20 inaugural commissioners appointed by the government to promote more investment in workforce skills.
Maus Frères, the Swiss retailer that owns Lacoste, has launched a hostile takeover bid for Swedish brand Gant. The SKR5.2bn (£396m) bid follows Maus Frères’ acquisition of a 12.5% stake in the brand. The retailer announced a cash bid of SKR310 (£23.60) per share.
Speciality Retail Group, which runs Suits You and Young’s, said pre-tax losses increased to £2.27 million for the year to January 28, compared with £1.17m the previous year. Sales dropped 9.5% to £65.4m. SRG was refinanced by private equity owner Gresham in September, and appointed Steve Gipson as chief executive in June.
Stephen Robertson, the former Woolworths marketing director, has been appointed director-general of the British Retail Consortium, replacing Kevin Hawkins. Robertson was marketing director at B&Q for seven years before leading the acquisition of Screwfix Direct, which he then chaired.
Shoppers spent a record £767,500 online in a single minute on Monday, according to payment processing company Retail Decisions. It said the surge in spending was expected to make Monday the UK’s biggest ever online spending day, with shoppers spending £370 million during the day – 106% more than on the same day last year.
Hobbs has appointed former Jaeger design head Sandy Verdon as creative director. Verdon spent eight years at Jaeger and replaces Karl Henry, who is retiring early next year after 18 years with Hobbs.
Triumph opened its third store on Wednesday at The Heart shopping centre in Walton-on-Thames. The store, part of a planned chain of UK shops, will carry nearly all of the lingerie group’s collections, including the Sloggi and Valisere brands.
Alhokair, the fashion retail division of Saudi-owned Fawaz Alhokair Group, is to open five Gap stores in Saudi Arabia within the next fortnight. The openings will include two stores in the capital Riyadh, two shops in Jeddah and another store in Damman. Alhokair is the exclusive distributor for Gap in Saudi Arabia.
Reliance Brands, part of India’s largest private sector group Reliance Industries, will form a joint venture with Italian branded fashion house Sixty Group to take its Miss Sixty, Energie, Killah and Murphy & Nye retail concepts to India. Sixty Group is expected to retain 51% of the equity of the joint venture company.
Neiman Marcus reported an 8.7% rise in sales to US$360 million (£175.9m) for the four weeks to November 24. Like-for-like sales rose 5.8% over the period. The US department store group said first-quarter revenues were US$1.13 billion (£552m), up from US$1.04bn (£508m). Operating profits soared to US$189.7m (£92.7m) against US$154.3m (£75.4m).
Ten suspects were charged in a US$200 million (£97.7m) counterfeit clothing case in the US last week. It is one of the largest ever counterfeit busts and included fake jeans, trainers and handbags with brand names such as Nike, Chanel, Burberry, Polo Ralph Lauren and Baby Phat. The defendants were accused of smuggling fake branded goods into the US from China.
Calvin Klein is understood to be in talks with Warnaco Group to take its licensed Collection business back in-house. This would give Calvin Klein complete control over its top-end labels, and mark a significant shift in strategy for the fashion house, which pursued the licensing route when it was bought by Philips-Van Heusen in 2003.
APT Collections has acquired the UK distribution rights for German womenswear brand Gelco. Known for co-ordinated separates, Gelco has 230 UK accounts. The autumn 08 range will be on show from January at APT’s new showroom at 36 Great Titchfield Street in London, with prices from £10 for jerseys to £50 for coats. Call 020 7580 3202 for information.
Viktor & Rolf are to develop a luxury collection of leather travel bags and accessories with Samsonite under the travel company’s premium Black Label brand. The range will launch worldwide for autumn 08 and will be available in-store for spring 09. It will be distributed through Samsonite Black Label stores and premium department stores.
Ellipse, the Colombian lingerie and swimwear brand, is launching in the UK for autumn 08. It offers three lingerie and sleepwear collections, including pastel basics, coloured fashion pieces and romantic lace and satin styles. It also includes a swimwear range. Prices start at £17 for a bra and £29 for corsets. For details contact 08456 170402.
Wahl Fashions has secured the first UK distribution rights for Australian label i woman. The womenswear brand features detailed cut outs on knitwear, embroidered skirts and art-inspired prints. The autumn 08 range will be available to view from February, with prices to be confirmed. Call 020 7349 5216.
Fitness expert Matt Roberts is launching a men’s and women’s sportswear line for autumn 08. The 32-piece Matt Roberts range features high-tech fabrics, non-slip rubber inside the seams and iPod pockets. Prices have yet to be confirmed. Roberts started a personal training business in 1995 and has released several fitness books. Call 020 7491 9989 for details.