MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Gen X, Millennials seek product transparency

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Retailers and manufacturers targeting Gen X and Y shoppers this holiday season should introduce more transparency into their product labels and identify fair trade, conflict-free and environmentally friendly practices. Results of a new survey by KPMG LLP reveal that nearly 70% of consumers younger than age 30 consider social issues such as sustainability, human rights and fair trade before making a purchase. This outpaces the less than 50% of consumers overall who feel the same way.

The survey reveals that young consumers focused more on social issues when considering big ticket purchases such as automobiles, computers, consumer electronics and jewelry versus everyday items such as gasoline, toys and food. Thirty-four percent of consumers younger than 30 always or frequently consider social issues when buying everyday goods, compared to 41% when buying big ticket items.

“Many regulations are accelerating trends that would take place anyway,” said Jim Low, audit partner, KPMG LLP. “Retailers are increasingly asking their suppliers to assess their environmental and social sustainability. Several of the leading retail and grocery chains have recently introduced ranking systems to help consumers identify sustainable products. Consumers and investors continue to increase pressure on companies to adopt more sustainable practices.”

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News

NSC taps Agilence Retail to reduce shrink

BY Dan Berthiaume

West Hempstead, N.Y. – Liquidation retailer NSC Wholesale Holdings has selected Agilence Retail 20/20 to reduce shrink and improve in-store operations. NSC plans to use the cloud-based exception reporting solution to obtain visibility into daily store operations to increase efficiency and reduce fraud.

"As NSC expands we need a tool that can grow with us and provide us visibility into our operations," said CFO Michael Gold, NSC Holdings, LLC. "Retail 20/20 enables to that while providing us with a solution that enables us to see all of our data in a single solution and to reduce losses and improve profit."

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FINANCE

Fifth & Pacific sells Lucky Brand Jeans; will focus on Kate Spade

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Fifth & Pacific Companies will sell its Lucky Brand Jeans division to an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners for $225 million as it focuses on its fast-growing Kate Spade brand.

"We believe that by focusing all of our resources on the huge opportunity at Kate Spade, we can deliver the strongest value creation opportunity for our shareholders,” said William L. McComb, CEO of Fifth & Pacific (formerly known as Liz Claiborne). “This is all about bringing Kate Spade to its full potential.”

The deal, which calls for $140 million of the sale price to be paid in cash at closing and the remaining $85 million to be financed in the form of a three year seller note, is expected to close in first quarter 2014.

“It is truly an historic day at Fifth & Pacific Companies — a return to our roots as a mono-brand company,” said McComb.

Fifth & Pacific said that Lucky Brand Jeans will assume the proportionate share of its sourcing contract with Li & Fung as well as some of its other obligations.

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