Joseph Abboud flagship store opens in Manhattan; first under Men’s Wearhouse umbrella
New York — Joseph Abboud has opened a flagship, the first under the umbrella of Men's Wearhouse, on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Men’s Wearhouse acquired the Abboud brand in 2013.
The 4,300-sq.-ft. location was designed and styled collaboratively by Jeffrey Hutchison & Associates and Joseph Abboud, and is reminiscent of London's Savile Row.
The store encompasses the full breadth of Abboud's designer collection including tailored clothing made of fine Italian fabrics, sportswear, outerwear, dress furnishings, footwear, Joseph Abboud Custom, and the new Joseph Abboud fragrance.
The store features architectural details that complement the luxurious quality of the merchandise. Mixtures of menswear textile patterns in shades of sepia have been used throughout the store to complement Abboud's collections.
Decorative elements are eclectic with a mixture of vintage, classic and modern pieces such as original hand-drawn charcoal fashion illustrations by renowned artist Bill Rancitelli and a vintage terracotta bust, found by Abboud in a local antique shop in Connecticut.
An iron staircase leads up to the Joseph Abboud Custom clothing experience, one of the highlights of the store. At the top of the mezzanine level, customers encounter a wall of over 250 of the finest Italian fabrics on oversized swatches displayed on specially-made bronze hooks. A custom specialist will help customers choose from options including suit silhouette, fabric, lining, pick stitching and functioning button holes.
Designer Joseph Abboud joined Men's Wearhouse as its chief creative director in December 2012. Abboud was reunited with his namesake brand in August 2013 when Men's Wearhouse acquired JA Holding Inc., the parent company of the Abboud clothing brand.
GameStop to expand technology brands segment with 350 to 550 stores
Grapevine, Texas — GameStop on Thursday said it plans to open between 350 to 550 stores in its technology brands segment (whose banners include Simply Mac, Cricket and Spring Mobile, which sells post-paid AT&T services and wireless products through its 358 AT&T branded stores) while closing about 3%, some 200, of its 6,000 GameStop video locations in 2015.
The news came as the chain posted mixed results for the fourth quarter. Net earnings on an adjusted basis were $235.5 million compared to adjusted net earnings of $222.4 million in year-ago period.
Total global sales for the quarter declined 5.6% to $3.48 billion. Mobile, consumer electronics and new software all had gains, but the increases were offset by a decrease in new hardware sales. Same-store sales fell 1.8%.
However, digital sales rose 41.4% to $368.8 million during the quarter, fueled by downloadable content and mobile digital sales.
“In our core video game business, we achieved our highest market share in history with 28% share of next-generation hardware, 46% share of next-generation software and an estimated 42% share of downloadable content,” said GameStop CEO Paul Raines. “Meanwhile, our Technology Brands segment exceeded expectations, contributing 5% to our operating income and to our highest-ever annual gross margin of 29.9%, as we rapidly expanded the footprint of our AT&T wireless and Apple retail businesses.”
For the full year, GameStop sales were $9.3 billion, compared to $9.04 billion last year. Consolidated comparable store rose 3.4%. Total net earnings for the year were $393.1 million, compared to $354.2 million last year.
Lululemon bounces back as Q4 tops estimates
Vancouver — Lululemon Athletica Inc. is apparently back on track, reporting better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter amid increased traffic. On the company’s quarterly conference call, executives said the retailer hopes to post double-digit square footage growth for the United States and Canada in its current fiscal year, in addition to continuing to grow its brand overseas.
Lululemon’s profit for the quarter was $110.9 million, up from $109.7 million a year ago. Net revenue increased 16% to $602.5 million from $521 million in year-ago period.
Same-store sales, including online sales, increased by 8% for the fourth quarter. Web sales now account for 19% of company revenue.
Lululemon has been working to recover from its highly-publicized 2013 debacle regarding its signature black yoga pants. Customers said the product was too sheer.
"Our solid performance in the fourth quarter builds on the momentum that began in the third quarter and reflects improved traffic and a strong guest response," said Laurent Potdevin, Lululemon's CEO. "2014 was a critical year when we strengthened our leadership team and made important investments in our product pipeline, guest experience, brand and community engagement. In 2015, we expect to substantially complete this foundational work and accelerate our investments in innovation to drive sustainable global growth as we continue to lead the market that we created."
Income from operations for the quarter increased by 2% to $157.2 million, and as a percentage of net revenue was 26.1% compared to 29.6% of net revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2015, Lululemon expects net revenue to be in the range of $413 million to $418 million based on a total comparable sales increase in the low single digits on a constant dollar basis.
Lululemon operates 201 stores worldwide.