I hope you had a pleasant weekend. A lot has happened since our last edition. After delaying numerous times on Friday, Sports Direct finally released its annual financial report at the end of the day and let's just say the extra time didn't buy it any favors. Giorgio Armani also reported some problems while Columbia Sportswear's business is white-hot. There are staff changes at Trussardi and Pinko and the rumor has been verified: Meghan Markle has been moonlighting. Enjoy the read. Best, Christopher


"Utter Shambles." On Friday British retail group Sports Direct finally released its already delayed financial results – they were originally supposed to be seen July 18 – ten hours late and after the London stock exchange had closed for the day, a delay that one analyst called "utter shambles." All in all, the report was rather disastrous. Thanks to problems at House of Fraser, which CEO Mike Ashley described as "terminal," underlying profits for the year were down by 6 percent to £287.8 million and Ashely added that he now regretted acquiring House of Fraser last year. In addition, Sports Direct now faces a £606 million tax bill in Belgium, which it only learned about on Thursday.

Sizing down. H&M is reducing (paywall; translated by Google) its physical footprint in Germany. In the first part of this year it shuttered four stores in the country and it will close six more – three of which are in Berlin where it has 19 locations – in the second half. The move is part of its plan to close more stores in Europe than it opens this year, which means it will shed 50 European locations by year's end.


Three in a row. Giorgio Armani's sales fell for the third consecutive year and revenue in 2018 dropped 6 percent the company announced on Friday. Predicting improvement next year, it is still forging ahead (paywall) with its previously announced restructuring that will phase out the lower priced Armani Jeans and Armani Collezioni and focus on Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and Armani Exchange. Giorgio Armani, who recently turned 85, remains as the company's sole shareholder.

Record-breaker. Columbia Sportswear had an excellent Q2. The outdoor label said (press release) late last week that it had a record revenue of $526.2 million, a 9 percent jump from last year's Q2. The number beat estimates by $19 million. Columbia-owned brand Sorel did particularly well thanks to its decision to offer more than winter styles; its sales grew 32 percent in the quarter.


On top at Trussardi. Italian luxury brand Trussardi, which finalized its majority-stake sale to private equity firm QuattroR in February and recently released it latest collaborative capsule for its ongoing Archive+Now project, has a new chief executive. The company has hired (paywall) Maela Mandelli, who previously served as a regional managing director at PVH Corporation and as a sales director at Diesel and Nike. Also coming aboard is Giuseppe Pinto, a veteran of Sergio Rossi, who will be COO.

Meghan's magazine. For the first time in its 103-year-old existence, the September issue of British Vogue, which drops on Friday, will have a guest editor. In a true "get," editor-in-chief Edward Enninful tapped Meghan Markle for the role. The Duchess of Sussex says she worked seven months on the project. The theme of the issue is "Forces for Change" and Markle personally chose the 15 famous women who will appear on its cover. She also interviewed Michelle Obama for it.

Pinko positions. Italian women's brand Pinko has taken on three new executives. It has named (paywall) Federico Bonelli to the newly created role of managing director, Coccinelle and Diesel vet Emanuele Bianchi as head of marketing and communication and Caterina Salvador (formerly of Giorgio Armani and Coin) as product director. The company, which had €210 million in revenues in 2018, will keep co-founder Pietro Negra as its president.


More than it can chew? If the European Parliament approves the recently signed free trade agreement between the European Union and Vietnam, clothing production in the latter is sure to increase. But some Vietnamese factory owners say that they are having a hard time keeping up with the growing demand and that it is increasingly difficult to find skilled workers there. The country's textile and garment exports have already jumped 8.61 percent in the first six months of this year.


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