Traditional apparel retailers continued to turn in lackluster sales growth in October.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s advance monthly report released last week, total retail sales, which include gasoline, groceries and automobiles, were $465.9 billion last month—an impressive 4.3% increase over October 2015’s $446.7 billion. On a 12-month smoothed basis, sales rose 5.4%.
Automobile sales were a key driver, so to speak. Sales at automobile dealers and parts stores increased 8.4% on a smoothed basis, to $96.8 billion.
Traditional apparel channels failed to participate in the uptick, however. Although clothing and accessories store sales edged ahead by 2.3% to $21.6 billion, those at department, chain and discount stores fell by a dramatic 7.3% to $12.7 billion, bringing down the collective channel total, a reliable barometer of apparel retail sales, by 1.5% to $34.2 billion from $34.7 billion a year ago. Unseasonably warm weather in key parts of the country and unease over the polarizing election season shared part of the blame.
Non-store retail sales, most of which is e-commerce, rose a staggering 12.9% over the same month last year, to $48.2 billion. Though growth has slowed in the sector in the past few months, most industry pundits expect e-commerce to continue to grab share from brick-and-mortar.
The National Retail Federation expects 2016 Holiday sales to rise 3.6% to $655.8 billion, which could be encouraging news for apparel retailers, whose November and December sales typically represent between 21 percent and 24 percent of their annual business.
In sports, the saying is “You can’t teach speed.” In global sourcing, “speed to market” can be realized with the right sourcing strategy.Read more
Global shipping giant UPS is putting a little fun and funding in a competition aimed at helping companies export their products.Read more
Topshop's creative chiefs announced their departure, while Carolina Herrera hired two new executives to helm its retail and merchandising divisions.Read more
Another party has stepped forward for a possible bid for beleaguered Sears Canada, while legal the wranglings around the company’s bankruptcy status continue.Read more
Cotton Made in Africa made strides in 2016 in its mission to make cotton growing in Sub-Saharan Africa more sustainable year after year, while improving the lives of smallholders and their families.Read more
Though the deal has been in place just five years, the U.S. and South Korea will meet in Seoul next week to discuss renegotiations, and President Trump has already said he would either go that route or terminate the agreement.Read more
New Zealand wants to go ahead with a TPP 11 and the deal could be reached before the end of the year.Read more