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H&M First Half 2020 Loss Results, Store Closures

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Companies ranging from Nike to the Chuck E. Cheese parent have suffered tremendous losses in the wake of coronavirus, and Swedish fast fashion behemoth The H&M Group is no different. Following a 3.06 billion Swedish Kroner loss (approximately $328 million USD), the massive chain has announced restructuring plans that will see stores across the globe shuttered, WWD reports.

Though The H&M Group did cite “a faster [financial] recovery rate in recently reopened stores,” the company has elected to close 170 stores it owns across the globe, though it didn’t specify whether it’d fold eponymous H&M stores or those that house its other brands, including Cos, Weekday and & Other Stories. Like the Inditex-owned Zara, which is shuttering over 1,200 stores in favor of digital expansion, H&M’s executives have signaled a shift towards online shopping, which has boomed in light of coronavirus quarantines.

“We can already see that the pandemic has caused changes in customer behavior that will accelerate the digitalization of our industry,” H&M Group CEO Helena Helmersson told analysts in a conference call this week. “We have increased our customer base online and many of our customers — in-store customers — are now multichannel customers,” noting that more male shoppers have begun shopping online. “It is encouraging to see that sales are starting to pick up even though market conditions are still challenging, there is no question about that, our sales recovery so far has been better than was expected.”

H&M reported that in second quarter 2020, its online sales swelled by 32 percent in local currencies. These encouraging financials have pushed the Swedish giant to expedite integration of its online channels, made easier by speedy supply chain initiatives that allowed the company to ensure a constant flow of timely product in and out of its stores.

Brick and mortar stores of all stripes have taken a hit in light of the global pandemic, with tech companies like AT&T and Apple electing to close various locations in response.

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Fashion & Style

Lady Gaga is the face of Valentino Beauty’s new fragrance

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Lady Gaga is set to star in Valentino Beauty’s latest fragrance campaign. The Italian fashion house announced Gaga as the new face of Voce Viva, a perfume created by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli.

“Imagined as a voice to spread a message around the world, Valentino Voce Viva invites everyone to touch hearts, inspire others and live their dreams,” the brand said in a press release. “Expressing the Maison’s values of inclusivity and individuality, Voce Viva celebrates one of the women’s most intimate sense.”

To spread this messaging, Valentino selected Gaga for her Italian roots, inclusivity, and individuality. “Lady Gaga means freedom, self-consciousness, pure heart,” Piccioli said in a statement. “Her participation in this campaign elevates the symbolic power of the project to the highest level. She is the icon of a generation. Her message of freedom, passion for art, self-consciousness and equality is the same our Valentino community stands for. I am so proud for having her in.”

Gaga’s campaign will debut this September, in accordance with the worldwide launch of Voce Viva. The singer has long been a fan of Valentino, having worn the brand’s pieces multiples times on the red carpet when promoting A Star is Born.

Perhaps most memorably, she attended the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards and accepted the award for Best Original song in a periwinkle Valentino gown. She also wore a dramatic Valentino feather gown at the Venice Film festival in 2018.

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Homme Plissé Issey Miyake Spring 2021 Menswear Collection

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“For a future that is healthy, bright, and full of hope.” So read the closing caption at the end of an engagingly filmed and attractive collection from Homme Plissé Issey Miyake. That it was worth sticking around until the end of the credits to read said caption is down to the phone-shot footage of Plissé enthusiasts out and about, enjoying their clothes. Before that we saw three dancer models, one of whom was partnered with a basketball, demonstrate the ease the pieces afford by moving enthusiastically. A very nice touch was the suggestion that these were not only clothes you choose to put on in the morning, but also clothes that implore to be worn: They attracted the attention of the models by quivering on the rail with the same pent-up urgency my reproachfully unwalked dog demonstrated all day one of this digital Paris Fashion Week.

Among the highlights were a tracksuit in an irregular, multicolor, cityscape inspired check; robe-like coats in polyester printed in soft-toned bleach puckerings originally rendered on denim; and pieces in a mesh fabric developed to resemble a hologram. Plissé jackets included new three-quarter sleeves which Miyake’s typically comprehensive notes explained were designed to transition between the formal and casual. Two looks in top-to-toe stone tones, with low hemmed shirts, were perhaps a little cult member / spa employee, but evidently deeply relaxing to wear. Plissé pieces can be classed as both activewear and tools for attainment of serenity.

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Lululemon is having its first major sale in 3 years after coronavirus crushed business

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Popular athletic apparel retailer Lululemon, known for its leggings and other workout gear, is holding its first major warehouse sale since 2017 due to the coronavirus putting a strain on business, according to a report by Business Insider.

The sale is online only, and new deals will appear each day through Monday.

Although you can snag Lululemon’s popular items like leggings starting at $49 and shorts starting at $29, the rare sale makes it clear just how much most of the retail industry is struggling.

Lululemon’s first-quarter earnings report shows that its net revenue dropped by 17% compared to 2019 as it was forced to temporarily shut its stores due to the pandemic.

Some of the noteworthy deals that are part of the sale:

25″ High-Rise Tights for $69, instead of $98

Medium Support Sports Bra for $29, instead of $78

Cropped Pants for $59, instead of $98

Down Jacket for $79, instead of $198

Cycling Jacket for $59, instead of $168

There are currently 14 Lululemon stores in New Jersey and all have since reopened, except for the Jersey Garden Mills location in Elizabeth.

You can browse the entire Lululemon online sale here.

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Nicolette Accardi can be reached at naccardi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter: @N_Accardi. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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