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E-Commerce on the Rise

February 13, 2012

E-commerce spending rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter over last year, according to Reston, Va.–based research firm ComScore Inc., which said spending reached $49.7 billion.


The increase represents the ninth consecutive quarter of growth and the fifth of double-digit growth in online spending, ComScore said.



Overall, U.S. online spending reached $161.5 billion, marking a 13 percent increase over 2010. Among the top five performing categories were jewelry and watches. (The other four were digital content and subscriptions, consumer electronics, toys and hobbies, and computer software.)

 


“The fourth quarter of 2011 capped off what was yet another strong year for online retail, one in which every quarter achieved double-digit increases versus the prior year,” said ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. “In the face of continuing uncertainty regarding the U.S. economy, consumers increasingly went online for their shopping needs. Price and convenience continue to be the critical value drivers for e-commerce, and unless those conditions change, we can expect to see more channel shifting to online in 2012 and, perhaps, even an acceleration in the current growth trend.”


According to ComScore, 52 percent of online transactions included free shipping. (In 2010, 49 percent of all transaction included free shipping.)

 

For more information: http://www.apparelnews.net/news/retailing/020912-E-Commerce-Spending-Hits-161-5-Billion-According-to-ComScore 


E-Commerce on the Rise

February 13, 2012

E-commerce spending rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter over last year, according to Reston, Va.–based research firm ComScore Inc., which said spending reached $49.7 billion.


The increase represents the ninth consecutive quarter of growth and the fifth of double-digit growth in online spending, ComScore said.


Overall, U.S. online spending reached $161.5 billion, marking a 13 percent increase over 2010. Among the top five performing categories were jewelry and watches. (The other four were digital content and subscriptions, consumer electronics, toys and hobbies, and computer software.)


“The fourth quarter of 2011 capped off what was yet another strong year for online retail, one in which every quarter achieved double-digit increases versus the prior year,” said ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. “In the face of continuing uncertainty regarding the U.S. economy, consumers increasingly went online for their shopping needs. Price and convenience continue to be the critical value drivers for e-commerce, and unless those conditions change, we can expect to see more channel shifting to online in 2012 and, perhaps, even an acceleration in the current growth trend.”


According to ComScore, 52 percent of online transactions included free shipping. (In 2010, 49 percent of all transaction included free shipping.)

 

For more information: http://www.apparelnews.net/news/retailing/020912-E-Commerce-Spending-Hits-161-5-Billion-According-to-ComScore 


E-Commerce on the Rise

February 13, 2012

E-commerce spending rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter over last year, according to Reston, Va.–based research firm ComScore Inc., which said spending reached $49.7 billion.

The increase represents the ninth consecutive quarter of growth and the fifth of double-digit growth in online spending, ComScore said.

Overall, U.S. online spending reached $161.5 billion, marking a 13 percent increase over 2010. Among the top five performing categories were jewelry and watches. (The other four were digital content and subscriptions, consumer electronics, toys and hobbies, and computer software.)
“The fourth quarter of 2011 capped off what was yet another strong year for online retail, one in which every quarter achieved double-digit increases versus the prior year,” said ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. “In the face of continuing uncertainty regarding the U.S. economy, consumers increasingly went online for their shopping needs. Price and convenience continue to be the critical value drivers for e-commerce, and unless those conditions change, we can expect to see more channel shifting to online in 2012 and, perhaps, even an acceleration in the current growth trend.”

According to ComScore, 52 percent of online transactions included free shipping. (In 2010, 49 percent of all transaction included free shipping.)

For more information: http://www.apparelnews.net/news/retailing/020912-E-Commerce-Spending-Hits-161-5-Billion-According-to-ComScore


How Some Dutch Children Go To School

February 7, 2012

The Dutch are bicycle fanatics. Almost half of daily travel in the Netherlands is by bicycle, while the country’s bike fleet comfortably outnumbers its 16 million people. Devotees of the national obsession have taken the next logical step by launching what is likely the first bicycle school bus.

 

Built by Tolkamp Metaalspecials, and sold by the De Cafe Racer company, the bicycle school bus (BCO in Dutch) is powered entirely by children and the one adult driver (although there is an electric motor for tough hills). Its simple design has eight sets of pedals for the kids (ages 4 to 12), a driver seat for the adult, and three bench seats for freeloaders. The top speed is about 10 miles per hour, and features a sound system and canvas awning to ward off rainy days.

 

Co.Exist spoke with Thomas Tolkamp who built the BCO about its origins and how the idea is catching on around the world for the sets of 11 lucky kids who get to arrive in school pedaling their own school bus. 

 

Co.Exist: What was the inspiration for the bus?

Tolkamp: I had already made other big bikes (like the Beerbikes) and a few years ago someone mailed me with the question if I could develop a bike especially for transporting kids. So for that other company (a child care) I made the first bicycle. Some other companies were also interested, so I began to produce more bicycles and have improved the bike. 

 

How many of these have been sold? How many are in use?

We’ve sold around 25 bikes. They are still all in use, except for the very first one, which was a prototype.
   

 

Does it only come in yellow?

No, we’ve sold bicycles in green, blue, purple, grey, red, yellow, but all [standard] colors are available.

 

How much does it cost?

Around $15,000, so less than a taxi or normal bus.
   

 

Can the kids alone make it go?

It’s possible to ride the bike without the motor when most seats are in use, but it wouldn’t be safe to ride without an adult.
    

 

Do you have plans to export it?

We have already exported some bikes to Belgium and Germany, but not this kind of bike. We have gotten frequent requests for information about the bike from all around the world (North America, South America, Europe) but we’ve never sold a bike outside of Europe.
   

 

Do you think it will work well in other countries, or is it something special about the Dutch culture?

I don’t know really, but what I do know is that people from all around the world like the idea. We have gotten interest from the press all over the world and all people are positive.

I hope I can sell the bike in the near future to a foreign country and see how people at other countries react on the bike. I think it will work well in other countries, because as more and more people [are] becoming fat and "green living" becomes more important, ideas like this get more popular.

 

For more information: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679248/dutch-kids-pedal-their-own-bus-to-school


Who was Chester Greenwood?

February 7, 2012

Each December, the residents of Farmington, Me., hold a parade for their favorite son, a boy who they believe invented earmuffs. According to town legend, Chester Greenwood was a 15-year-old with large and sensitive ears. “So,” writes Nancy Porter, in the book “Chester . . . More Than Earmuffs,” “he bent wires into circles with a connecting wire over his head.” Greenwood had his grandmother sew fabric onto the part that covered the ear. “Let it be known,” began his 1877 patent application, “that I, Chester Greenwood, . . . have invented certain new and certain useful Improvements for Ear-Mufflers.”

 

He may not have been the first person to ever put a so-called muffler over an ear, but he made a fortune off it. By 1882, Chester Greenwood & Company was making 50,000 pairs a year. By the start of World War I, Greenwood, who would go on to also patent the spring-toothed rake, landed a lucrative contract with the armed forces. (“Everyone in the service really jumped on the bandwagon,” says Vasilios Christofilakos, chairman of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s accessories-design department.) In 1938, a year after Greenwood’s death, Life magazine likened his simple innovation to “the Model T Ford” of earmuffs. Five years later, Miss New York appeared on Life’s cover resplendent in earmuffs. Inside, it hailed the ascendancy of the accessory to “the top rung of the fashion ladder.”

 

Alas, the earmuff could not maintain its cachet. After playing a supporting role in the fashion tragedy that was the 1980s (“You would spend the $50 for a pair of mink earmuffs, and you were hot,” Christofilakos says), it lost market share to head gear like 180s, a fleece headband-cum-earmuff commonplace among teenagers, suburban dads and even sports fans in inclement cities. There are, however, signs of a renaissance. Louis Vuitton has since sold earmuffs for $985; Gucci for $390. A couple years ago, Ivanka Trump bought 20 faux-chinchilla earmuffs for her closest friends. “I cleared them out,” she says.

 

GOING GREENWOOD 

For the last 25 years, Clyde Ross, a retired social-studies teacher, has portrayed Chester Greenwood in the annual Farmington parade. Here, he explains:

How did you assume this role?

I was elected by popular vote. 

 

Do you bear much resemblance to him?

If I put on a mustache and a bowler hat, and you stood us side by side, it would be quite similar. 

 

Is the parade the only time of year that people refer to you as Chester Greenwood?

Well, this morning I was in the pie restaurant, and someone said, ‘‘There’s Chester Greenwood.’’ I go to public schools and talk about Chester Greenwood and some of his activities from time to time. And there are some of my friends that refer to me as Chester Greenwood. 

 

What do you find most fascinating about Greenwood?

He was a man of practicality. He would try to fashion devices that would help to make the work easier and give farmersand lumber people an opportunity to move along. He was also a man who did not use what you and I refer to today as vices: tobacco and alcohol.

 

Any special preparation involved in your role?

I have to go to the local barber and have my mysterious mustache put on. I have some theatrical materials that I use.

 

Do you own earmuffs?

I have some originals that were sold right here in Farmington. The lady said, ‘‘If you’re going to be Chester Greenwood, you gotta have originals.’’

 

For more information: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/magazine/the-revival-of-the-earmuff.html?_r=1&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/F/Fashion%20and%20Apparel?ref=fashionandapparel


Steve Madden Gives Back to Two Ten

February 7, 2012

Steve Madden is giving back.

The creative director and design head of Steven Madden Ltd. has made, along with his wife Wendy, an unrestricted $1 million gift to the Two Ten Footwear Foundation. The nonprofit called it one of the largest personal donations in its history.

“I’ve met so many great people and been lucky that I love what I do,” Madden said. “I’ve been given this lucky break, and we’ve done very well — better than I should have — and I just want to give back.”

“Steve and Wendy’s gift to Two Ten is their personal expression of compassion for the work we do and for the shoe industry they love,” Two Ten President Neal Newman said in a statement.

There are no stipulations on the gift, Madden said.

“I’ve worked with them over the years, and it’s a fantastic organization. I trust them to do what’s best,” he said. “I’m just grateful I’m in the position to do it.”

 

For more information: http://www.wwd.com/footwear-news/people/steve-madden-gives-1m-to-two-ten-5593982?src=nl/FN/20120201


Steve Madden Gives Back to Two Ten

February 7, 2012

Steve Madden is giving back.

The creative director and design head of Steven Madden Ltd. has made, along with his wife Wendy, an unrestricted $1 million gift to the Two Ten Footwear Foundation. The nonprofit called it one of the largest personal donations in its history.

“I’ve met so many great people and been lucky that I love what I do,” Madden said. “I’ve been given this lucky break, and we’ve done very well — better than I should have — and I just want to give back.”

“Steve and Wendy’s gift to Two Ten is their personal expression of compassion for the work we do and for the shoe industry they love,” Two Ten President Neal Newman said in a statement.

There are no stipulations on the gift, Madden said.

“I’ve worked with them over the years, and it’s a fantastic organization. I trust them to do what’s best,” he said. “I’m just grateful I’m in the position to do it.”

 

For more information: http://www.wwd.com/footwear-news/people/steve-madden-gives-1m-to-two-ten-5593982?src=nl/FN/20120201


Apparel deals Launches Website Appareldeals.com for Wholesale Customers

January 20, 2012

Apparel Deals announced this week the launch of its new wholesale clothing website – ApparelDeals.com.

 

Apparel Deals has been providing quality goods and competitive pricing to hundreds of thousands of customers for nine years and decided it was time to create an online presence.

 

"Our executive team has more than 20 years of experience in the industry," says Jonathan Kremerman of ApparelDeals.com. "We know our market."

 

On a daily basis, Apparel Deals provides new arrivals on wholesale clothing for the most up-to-date merchandise available. It offers same-day shipments and returns are allowed within seven days – no questions asked.

 

Wholesale clothing prices range from 30 to 80 percent below other wholesale competitors.

 

"Our goal is to provide high-quality products coupled with superior customer service," says Kremerman. "We want our clients to have a positive online shopping experience and strive for 100 percent customer satisfaction."

 

Dedicated technical support and customer service is available 24 hours via e-mail and there is also a toll-free customer support number.

 

The site offers a wide selection of fashion products and includes not only clothing, but wholesale fashion accessories, cosmetic and perfumes too.  

 

"When you combine more than competitive prices with a multitude of choices, it's a win-win situation," adds Kremerman.

 

One wholesale customer said: "I started purchasing from Apparel Deals and my customers love the clothes. I love it too as I am able to keep my customers happy and my profits are good."

 

For more information: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/apparel-deals-launches-wholesale-clothing-website-137710058.html


H&M Cutting Costs By Using Digital Bodies

December 28, 2011

IT wasn’t the first time the fashion industry was slammed for extreme Photoshopping. But an entirely fake body?

 

That was the collective clucking earlier this month when it was exposed by Aftonbladet, the Swedish newspaper, that H&M had superimposed the heads of real models onto computer-generated mannequins for an online swimwear campaign.

 

“In the future, even models’ faces won’t be considered perfect enough for online fast fashion, and we’ll buy all of our clothing from cyborgs,” said a writer for the style blog Jezebel. The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation blasted the retailer for “creating unrealistic physical ideals.”

 

But the practice is unlikely to end. Putting aside the technological advances that make digitally altered photographs harder to detect, the boom in fashion e-commerce means that radical retouching is here to stay and will probably go further.

 

It can be cheaper to superimpose a model’s face on a virtual body than it is to photograph a model in multiple outfits, said Ashley Mears, an assistant sociology professor at Boston University and former model, whose book, “Pricing Beauty,” explores the harsh economic realities of modeling.

 

For working models, it represents an existential threat. Models are generally paid whenever their faces are used. But they’re also paid for their time, and using a virtual mannequin means money taken out of their already-skinny pockets. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median wage for models in the United States was $13.18 an hour in 2008.)

 

“If H&M just shot her head smiling at different angles, they’d have to pay for hair and makeup, plus the time to prepare her, but would not have to pay for the time it would take her to change in and out of multiple outfits,” Dr. Mears said. “That can be costly indeed.”

 

In a way, the H&M models should be glad they were included at all. To keep costs low, many online retailers crop out models’ heads entirely to avoid multiple-use fees. That is why so many sites, including low-end Wal-Mart and high-end Net-a-Porter, display page after page of headless dresses and sweaters.

 

(In one creative work-around, Alexander Wang, for his new e-commerce site last spring, partnered with the artist Terence Koh to obscure models’ faces with halo-shaped fluorescent bulbs: visually striking, but still a bag over the models’ heads.)

 

If there is any good modeling news in the H&M situation, it’s that a pretty face remains a bankable asset. H&M might have gotten away with a virtual body, but it did not dare create a virtual face. Consumers would have been turned off.

 

Scientists call it the “uncanny valley” theory, which holds that people will tolerate only so much artificial human likeness before attraction turns into revulsion. Think lifelike sex dolls or Michael Jackson’s nose.

 

“There is a very striking uncanny effect for faces” but less for nonmoving bodies, said Nancy Etcoff, an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School. “If they added a super-realistic but not-real face, they’d become uncanny, and therefore frightening, eerie and creepy.”

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/fashion/hm-puts-real-heads-on-digital-bodies.html?_r=1&ref=fashionandapparel


Staying Warm This Winter!

December 27, 2011

A new direction in staying warm: Inspired by a chair lift ride in the bitter cold, Toast Heated Clothes makes heated long underwear for people who work and play in the outdoors.


The patented new system of heated base layer integrates heat packs to keep your core warm. The tops have heat packs in the neck and lower back, and the pants have a heat pack just below the waistband.


Like large handwarmers, the heat packs are air activated and last 10 hours each. One or two is typically enough on mildly cold days; choose 3 or more for really cold weather. Once you try it, you’ll wear them all winter!


Designed by a former professional snowboarder, the Toast collection currently includes heated tops and bottoms for men and women. “They were inspired by snowboarding, but you can wear them walking the dog or shoveling snow” says designer Julia Aiken. "


“We have customers who wear them running, working outside and watching football. They’re also great for lounging on the couch in cold weather.”


All Toast styles are are made in North America using Polartec fabrics. Famous for inventing polar fleece, Polartec fabrics are the gold standard in warmth and wicking performance. "We deliberately source fabrics that are made in the USA" says Aiken.

 

 

Toast Heated Clothes

 

http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=106419