Inside these posts: Clothing

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Prices of cotton goods could jump 10%

Cotton prices have soared to record highs following a global supply shortage. (Reuters/Stringer/Files)

This summer, shoppers will be paying 10 percent to 15 percent more on all cotton products, according to a new industry survey.

“I can’t recall a time when we’ve seen this type of retail price [ increase ] on cotton products,“ said Andrew Tananbaum, CEO of Capital Business Credit, which provides financing to clothing and home furnishing suppliers. Get the full story »

American Apparel says it’s not looking for buyer

American Apparel denied a report by a private equity and deals news website that the clothing chain was looking for a buyer. Get the full story »

American Eagle sues S. Side furniture company

Teen clothing giant American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is suing a South Side Chicago furniture company for trademark infringement. Get the full story »

Abercrombie retreats on push-up bikini for girls

Abercrombie's Ashley padded bikini top. (Abercrombie)

Abercrombie & Fitch retreated on marketing a push-up bikini top to girls as young as age 7 after a rash of criticism from parents and bloggers.

The clothing retailer changed the online description of the bikini tops at its Abercrombie Kids website from “push up triangle” to “lightly lined triangle.”

The company also posted a statement on its Abercrombie Kids Facebook page saying, “We agree with those who say it is best ‘suited’ for girls age 12 and older.” Get the full story »

Nike price hike drives shares down

Nike shares took a drubbing in early trading Friday after the athletic wear maker’s executives said they would raise prices across the board in response to increased costs. Get the full story »

Record cotton prices mean thinner Ts, blends

With cotton prices hitting all-time high Thursday, clothing sellers are challenged to do everything they can to avoid passing the cost on to shoppers.

“T-shirts may get thinner,“ said Chris Callieri, principal with A.T. Kearney’s retail and consumer practice. Callieri said some of his clients are playing around with the “density“ of cotton fabric, to see how they can use less of it. “But you have to be careful with that approach so that it doesn’t affect the quality of the garment,“ he said. Get the full story »

Clothing prices to rise 10% starting in spring

Shoppers on Chicago's Michigan Avenue in December of 2010. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)

Clothing prices are expected to rise about 10 percent in coming months, with the biggest increases coming in the second half of the year, said Burt Flickinger III, president of Strategic Resource Group.

Clothing prices have dropped for a decade as tame inflation and cheap overseas labor helped hold down costs. Retailers and clothing makers cut frills and experimented with fabric blends to cut prices during the recession.

But as the world economy recovers and demand for goods rises, a surge in labor and raw materials costs is squeezing retailers and manufacturers who have run out of ways to pare costs. Get the full story »

Kenneth Cole missteps with Egypt tweet

Designer Kenneth Cole. (Reuters)

Fashion house Kenneth Cole Productions became the target of the Internet’s collective wrath after the company’s namesake chairman tweeted a promotion that joked about this week’s escalating protests in Egypt.

The controversy began after the official Kenneth Cole company twitter account posted the tweet at around 10:30 a.m. ET, Thursday: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online… -KC.“ The post included a link to the company’s online store. Get the full story »

Isaac Mizrahi in talks for Rush St. boutique

Isaac Mizrahi during New York Fashion Week 2011. (Donna Ward/MCT)

Isaac Mizrahi is in final talks to open a boutique on Rush Street in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, a move that would give the celebrity designer his first store outside of Manhattan and his second outpost nationwide, according to people familiar with negotiations.

The deal, if finalized, would bolster Rush Street’s budding reputation as a luxury strip. The thoroughfare, once known as a back alley to the glitzier North Michigan Avenue, has been attracting designer retailers in the past year from Marc Jacobs Collection to Ted Baker.
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Sears passes on bid for J. Crew

From Bloomberg News | Sears Holdings Corp. opted not to rival a $3 billion bid for clother J. Crew Group Inc. from TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners LP, said two people familiar with the matter. Get the full story>>

Teen retailer Five Below plans Chicago-area stores

From the Chicago Sun-Times | Philadelphia-based retailer Five Below, which sells everything for $5 or less, has signed leases for 10 locations in the Chicago area with openings planned in the spring. The chain, which calls itself a “five-and-dime for the Facebook generation,” sells merchandise geared to teenagers and pre-teens, with an emphasis on combining the cheap with the trendy.  Get the full story »

Sears considering bid for J. Crew

Sears Holdings Corp. and Urban Outfitters Inc. are examining the financial books of J. Crew Group Inc. in consideration of possible bids for the clothing retailer, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday.

J. Crew, which also operates a website and catalog, has already agreed to be acquired by TPG Capital LP and Leonard Green & Partners LP for $2.86 billion. It can solicit other bids until Jan. 15.

Neither Sears nor Urban Outfitters has indicated whether it would submit a bid to compete with TPG and Leonard Green’s $43.50 per share offer, the source said. Get the full story »

Holiday retail sales up more than 5%, reports show

Shopping is back in style, at least for the holiday season.

Retail sales for the holidays soared more than 5 percent, according to two reports released Monday, led by online and clothing purchases. The preliminary reports, among the first tallies of the holiday shopping season, beat the estimates of most retail economists. Get the full story »

Adidas strives to overtake Nike

German sporting goods company Adidas aims to grow sales to $24 billion by 2015 as it strives to overtake market leader Nike. “Our aspirations are to outperform total market growth … to outgrow our major competitor and have the bottom line grow faster than the top line,” Chief Executive Herbert Hainer said on Monday in a presentation to analysts at the company’s headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Get the full story »

Girl Scouts uniforms to keep Made in USA label

The Girl Scouts of the USA announced Monday its uniforms will continue to be made in America following a public uproar over reports it was considering bids from overseas manufacturers.

The owners of a family run Passaic, N.J., factory that has been the main supplier of Girl Scout uniforms and sashes for years were told recently that the organization would be seeking bids for the job — including from a company in China. Get the full story »