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Madonna to launch juniors line at Macy’s

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Iconix Brand Group said it formed a joint venture with pop icon Madonna to launch fashion brands globally, starting with a juniors collection to be sold at Macy’s this August.

The fast-fashion juniors collection, called “Material Girl,” will be launched in about 200 Macy’s stores and online in time for the back-to-school season.

Madonna and her teenage daughter Lourdes Leon — in collaboration with Iconix’s in-house fashion department — designed the collection, the company said.

As part of the direct-to-retail license agreement, Macy’s will have the opportunity to launch additional brands in the future with the joint venture, MG Icon.

MG Icon, which will be 50% owned by Iconix and 50% by Madonna and Guy Oseary, her long-time manager, has an exclusive license and services agreement with the singer to use her name for apparel, footwear and other products.

Iconix owns and licenses brands including Candie’s, Joe Boxer and Badgley Mischka, and has licenses its products to retailers such as Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores and Kohl’s Corp.

“Our strategy is to introduce brands formed through the joint venture in multiple countries and organically expand worldwide,” Iconix CEO Neil Cole said.

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A perfect storm for shoplifters

BY CSA STAFF

Retailers are fortunate the majority of customers are honest and choose to pay for the items they need and want. However, even the most well intentioned shoppers can succumb to the allure of theft when their moral compass is exposed to the polarizing forces of a recessionary economy and a retail environment where the perceived risk of apprehension is low due to thinly staffed stores. As a result, retail theft characterized as amateur or opportunistic is on the rise, according to 78% of retailers responding to a survey conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). While amateur and opportunistic thieves are more active, all types of theft have increased, with 74% of retailers reporting seeing an increase of stolen items found in online marketplaces, and 65% reporting increased theft by organized groups.

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A rebound awaits in key categories

BY CSA STAFF

Target is the beneficiary of a perceived quality gap relative to Walmart, and that typically helps it in head-to-head comparisons where such categories as apparel and home are concerned. Unfortunately, consumer decision-making is seldom so linear, and Target has a slew of other retailers against whom it must compete, and recent sales results suggest it has work to do. Target has reported weak (flat or declining) results for its apparel and home categories and did so again in February. However, such companies as TJX, Ross and Kohl’s, which appeal to the same value-oriented shoppers as Target, produced solid gains. TJX said its February same-store sales increased 10%, Ross produced an 11% increase and Kohl’s was up 3.7%. Also producing gains were such competitors as Nordstrom, Macy’s and JCPenney, which serve customers squarely in the crosshairs of Target’s “expect more, pay less” value proposition. Macy’s reported a better-than-expected increase of 3.7%, and Nordstrom topped analysts’ views with a 10.3% increase. JCPenney’s same-store sales rose 1.2%, which was also better than expected.

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