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Wal-Mart to Make Seiyu Wholly Owned

BY CSA STAFF

Tokyo Wal-Mart Stores announced Tuesday it will make Seiyu Ltd. a wholly owned unit. The world’s largest retailer said it seeks the flexibility it needs to turn around the long-unprofitable Japanese supermarket operator Seiyu, Japan’s fifth-biggest retailer by sales.

According to Wal-Mart, the move received approval at its shareholders meeting earlier Tuesday, enabling Wal-Mart to buy the remaining stake it doesn’t already own in Seiyu. The approval cleared the way for Wal-Mart to boost its stake in Seiyu to 100% from about 96%. Seiyu has struggled in the intensely competitive Japanese market since Wal-Mart first invested in it in 2002 and hasn’t made a net profit on an annual basis since then.

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The Great Indoors

BY CSA STAFF

Given environmental concerns and efforts to get consumers in the United States into the fresh air—where public health advocates hope they will get a little exercise—it is hardly surprising that natural motifs have become even more iconic.

American consumers like their home decor to reflect popular virtues, so natural looks have been moving indoors. The trend has been particularly apparent in domestics, where patterns and colors have reflected landscapes, forestscapes or desertscapes, and has become more evident in other categories that have a strong decorative element.

Gibson Overseas, at the Housewares Show, is introducing Organic Luxury, a line that incorporates these so-called eco-friendly design themes in patterns such as Stilwell, a graphic branch and leaf look (pictured), and Whisper Leaf, more abstract, yet still reliant on a natural device.

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It’S All Good in the Hoodie

BY CSA STAFF

When it comes to dressing kids, the juxtaposition between fashion and function couldn’t be more important. The apparel must fit the on-the-go lifestyle that’s filled with all sorts of acrobatics and appeal to the tastes of the youthful crowd.

The hoodie caters to both needs with perfection. A stable item for boys and girls, the new styles of hoodies go beyond the typical sweatshirt. Brands like Levi’s (pictured) and Dickies have rolled out new collections that add flair with embroidery, applique, thermal lining and details in pockets and collars. Designers found no limit in rolling out hundreds of styles that will appeal to the pickiest kid on the block.

Thanks to its year-round appeal, the hoodie can carry over from season to season, growing especially popular for the back-to-school season.

Boys’ styles feature the use of plaid in the details, like in the lining of the hood or as a base for cut-out logos. Girls prefer more delicate embroidery and silver-foiled prints on the fabric.

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