OPERATIONS

Top 10 emerging markets for apparel retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — China ranks as the most attractive emerging market for apparel retailers, according to global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney’s 2011 Global Retail Development Index for Apparel. The research analyzes retail markets worldwide, and ranks those countries that present the best opportunity for apparel retail expansion.

China’s first place standing is driven by the country’s large population and also by the growing disposable income of the middle class and the Chinese consumers’ developing fashion sense, according to the report. With its compound annual growth rate of more than 20% in recent years, apparel retail in China has grown at a rapid pace, and this trend is expected to continue for the next five years.

Two Middle East nations, U.A.E. and Kuwait follow China in the rankings. Here is a list of the Top 10 emerging nations for apparel retailers:

  1. China
  2. U.A.E.
  3. Kuwait
  4. Russia
  5. Saudi Arabia
  6. India
  7. Brazil
  8. Turkey
  9. Vietnam
  10. Chile

For a full copy of the report, go to grdi.atkearney.com.

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Chain Store Age webinar with Best Buy

BY Marianne Wilson

New York CityChain Store Age will hold a Webinar on Tuesday, June 14, at 2 p.m., ET (11 am PT) on how Best Buy has streamlined its business with the help of a master data management solution from IBM. Register today and take a chance to win a free iPad.

Learn from Best Buy how the company has realized several advantages, including ensuring that data is accurate and consistent across all selling channels and improved the customer experience across the same, by deploying the IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management (MDM) solution.

To register for the Webinar, click here.

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OPERATIONS

Macy’s workers in four New York stores vote to strike

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Local 1-S of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union announced that more than 4,000 union workers at Macy’s Manhattan flagship and three other New York locations have voted to strike if a new contract is not reached by midnight on Wednesday.

The other stores are in the Bronx, Queens and Westchester County.

According to the union, Macy’s wants to reduce paid time off, eliminate pension benefits for new employees and raise health care costs. The company is proposing a 35-cent wage increase for starting positions, as well as five-cent hourly raise for workers with outstanding job reviews — boosts that union officials said are inadequate, according to Bloomberg.

The company is also seeking to put restrictions on paid sick leave, union officials said.

“No one wants to strike, we all want to secure a new contract, said Ken Bordieri, president of Local 1-S of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, in a statement. “But our workers are prepared to strike and to stand up for fair wages, benefits, and hours.”

Macy’s said it is "available 24/7 to bargain in good faith until an agreement is reached."

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