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OUTLOOK 2012
11/17/2011
In wrapping up 2011 and looking forward to — or perhaps bracing for — 2012, Apparel turned to its esteemed Editorial Advisory Board, along with a few other industry executives, to gain the perspective of their views on the coming year. Specifically, we asked about challenges and opportunities, the role technology will play and expectations for the year vs. the past 12 months. Here’s what they had to say.

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Unified ERP: The Backbone of The Modern Apparel Company
10/25/2011
In a break from the past, many apparel companies today are opting for a more unified and modern ERP solution, one that incorporates much of the traditional PLM functionality as well as some supply chain management capabilities.

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RFID: Opening the Door to Omni-Channel Retailing
9/29/2011
Apparel’s 5th RFID Report examines the state of retail adoption of RFID and makes the case that RFID is the only technology that can ensure the inventory accuracy and transparency required for retailers to be able to quickly, accurately and efficiently fulfill orders emanating from any channel, from any location.


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PLM-Plus: The New Standard of Competitiveness
9/28/2011
Next-generation PLM systems, often web-based and known as extended PLM or PLM-plus, are giving apparel firms a leg up in successfully combining traditional product lifecycle management capabilities with functionality more typically associated with global sourcing and supply chain management tools. The result is increased efficiency and cost savings and dramatic improvements in speed to market.


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Merchandising Today: Using Technology to Give Customers Exactly What They Want
9/1/2011
To achieve high-tech, hyper-local and uber-specific consumer-centric merchandising, apparel companies are relying on a veritable arsenal of technology to deliver precise and measurable results.

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2011 Guide to Software and IT Solutions
9/1/2011
This special issue is a guide to suppliers of software and related IT solutions to the apparel marketplace, including vendor contact information, operating system requirements and a round-up of functions and services.

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Excellence in Global Sourcing: What a Difference Five Years Makes
7/25/2011
While diversification, control and visibility remain as tenets for sourcing executives, today’s landscape has changed significantly, the stakes are higher and the need for technology is more critical than ever.

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The Apparel Top 50: Rankings by Social Media Popularity
7/21/2011
Apparel’s second annual ranking finds apparel companies gathering Facebook fans and Twitter followers at a rapid pace, and seeking to monetize social media as the stakes grow higher. 

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Marrying Your Physical and Financial Supply Chains To Create End-to-End Benefits
7/5/2011
By working closely with suppliers and finance partners on innovative financing methods, and utilizing new web technologies to connect the physical and financial supply chains, apparel companies can keep costs at bay and continue to do what they do best: make the garments that consumers love.

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The Apparel Top 50 for 2011
6/30/2011
After several years of cost-cutting and right-sizing, apparel companies are expanding internationally, building better flagship stores, and investing in their strongest brands. Read up on the 50 leading publically-traded firms, ranked according to profit margins.

#1 lululemon athletica
It turns out that namaste means “really big profits.” Who knew? While its customers rest comfortably in shivasana (that’s the final yoga pose), lululemon is achieving bliss of a different sort. To put its profit margin of 17.11 percent in perspective: in the 20 years that Apparel has published its Top 50 report, no company has ever broken the 17 percent threshold, and just two (Wet Seal and True Religion) came even close, breaking the 16 percent threshold in FY2009, and both FY2008 and FY2007, respectively. So, what is the secret to financial nirvana?  While lululemon’s soaring profits reflect an uneven economic recovery that saw high-income consumers ready to splurge on luxury items — such as $100 yoga pants — as others proceeded with caution, the company’s success also stems from its relentless focus on customer and product. Yoga instructors offer in-store classes (and drive brand awareness) while behind the scenes the company has grown its men’s clothing business and rapidly expanded into running wear and other new categories such as bags, underwear and outerwear, while not losing sight of its core yoga business. Last year it introduced Silverescent, a line of yoga performance wear with silver-thread odor-fighting technology for easy transitioning from the gym to Starbucks.

#2 The Buckle
Buckle up for another great ride, as this denim destination turns in another fantastic performance, with net sales up 5.7 percent to a record $949.8 million and net income up 5.8 percent to $134.7 million. 2010 also marked the 4th consecutive year of positive comp-store sales, which were up 1.2 percent. Buckle’s private-label brands continued to flourish, growing from 29 percent to 33 percent of the business, and expanded to include new offerings and several brand extensions, including the expansion of bestselling brand BKE across all product categories. Building on its reputation for exceptional customer service, the company expanded its loyalty program by partnering with key brands to offer one-of-a-kind promotions, and enhanced its personalized shopping program, Get Fitted, with the addition of call-ahead shopping appointments. Buckle completed its new 240,000-square-foot DC in Kearney, Neb., opened 21 new stores and completed 25 full remodels, while also focusing on the online experience, helping to grow buckle.com sales by 19.3 percent to $62.4 million, or 6.6 percent of net sales.

To read about all of the Top 50 companies, download the report now.


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Discover How To Keep Up With More of Your Mobile Customers
6/24/2014 11:00:00 AM (EST)
Moderator:
Susan Nichols, Publisher, Apparel Magazine
Panelists:
Ron Klein, "Total Retail" Service Leader, PwC Advisory
Annabelle Hoover, Director of Customer Service, North America, BROOKS SPORTS, INC.
Marie-Pascale Authie, Solution Consultant, Infor Fashion
Bob McKee, Industry Strategy Director, Infor Fashion
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Planning in the Omnichannel World with a Single View of Inventory
5/13/2014 11:00:00 AM (EST)
Moderator:
Susan Nichols, Publisher, Apparel Magazine
Panelists:
Rich Pedott, Partner, Columbus Consulting
Peter Charness, SVP America’s & CMO, TXT MAPLE LAKE
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How product lifecycle management fuels the momentum of fashion How product lifecycle management fuels the momentum of fashion
8/1/2014
Leading fashion companies generate a special kind of momentum, a phenomenon where recent success fuels current success, which in turn sparks future success. The ability to rapidly turn today’s hit product into tomorrow’s durable brand is no accident—it’s a specific set of practices that companies can identify and repeat to achieve lasting competitive advantage. Read this White Paper – authored by Bob McKee, Infor, Industry Strategy Director to learn how fashion companies need to strive for better responsiveness to consumer trends, more efficient design and production, smarter sourcing, and improved capabilities for monitoring compliance and sustainability requirements.

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Virtual Fitting - What is Possible? Virtual Fitting - What is Possible?
8/1/2014
Customer and market-driven products are the main objective for success. The route taken to achieve that objective must be constantly shortened, making processes faster and more cost-efficient. This specifically requires using the right processes and technologies, for example, increasing the effectiveness of prototyping through virtual 3D. We invite you to learn more about the capabilities of today's virtual fitting technology.
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