FashionUnited Top 100 Index mirrored positive news from the
international apparel market, hiking to 1209 points, after two days closing in red territory. Gap’s new executive board and Fast Retailing new winds had much to do with this increase.
Gap Inc named Art Peck as president of Gap North America replacing Marka Hansen, and the retailer said it would merge its outlet division with its namesake and Banana Republic brands. On Tuesday, sources had told Reuters that Gap will name Peck – who was in charge of the company's outlet unit, which operates stores under the Gap and Banana Republic brands -- as the new head of Gap North America.
Caris & Co, which backed its "buy" rating on the stock, viewed the management change as a positive. However, the brokerage cuts its price target on the stock by $3 to $27. "The departure of Gap brand president Marka Hansen did not come as a surprise, especially after December's sales disappointed, suggesting that merchandise assortments were not yet optimal," the brokerage said in a client note. Shares of Gap were down 3 percent at $19.01 in morning trade on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange and were losing by 2.07% at the moment of this edition.
Japanese Fast Retailing was the other big character Wednesday, saying that domestic same-store sales in January at its Uniqlo casual clothing chain grew 11% on year, rising for the first time in six months.
The operator of the Uniqlo casual-clothing-store chain attributed the gain to solid sales of winter clothing on lower temperatures in the latest reporting month. It also said early sales of spring clothing lines were doing well. Fast Retailing defines same-store sales as sales at stores open continuously throughout the fiscal year ended August 2010. The solid performance is good news for the company, which discouraged investors by warning that its second quarter had started badly, and cut 10 billion yen ($123 million) from its prior sales outlook for the full year ending August. The stock closed session in the FashionUnited Top 100 Index gaining by 1.3%.
Still in Asia, Chinese apparel and fashion industry is having a strong Government support. While the government emphasis on promotion of manufacturing sector has given a new dimension to the industry, presence of skilled & cheap manpower, strong production line, and favourable policy framework has provided a competitive edge to it, says our new research report “China Apparel Industry Analysis”. Total Chinese apparel market is expected to reach US$ 227 Billion by 2013, growing at a CAGR of around 22% during 2010-2013.
The report identifies that, despite unfavourable global economic conditions, Chinese apparel industry witnessed tremendous growth during the last few years, mainly on the back of strong government support. Government efforts and private domestic players’ participation have boosted the Chinese textile and apparel industry. Due to the favourable economic environment, government support in the form of tariffs and tax incentives and availability of cheap labour, Chinese textile and apparel industry has been growing at the remarkable pace compared to other Asian countries.