The three articles I found are all from California Apparel News.
1. South Coast Plaza Beefs Up Store Roster by Deborah Belgum, January 21 ,2011
This article talks about the new stores that will open in South Coast Plaza this year. Five of the stores will be exclusive to the OC area. Those five stores are Brunello Cucinelli, a high-end cashmere brand; Diane von Fursternberg; Longchamp, the French luxury brand for totes and luggage; Madewell, the J.Crew subsidiary; and Omega, the Swiss watch brand. Other brands include Lululemon Athletica, the brand for yoga-inspired athletic wear; Soma Intimates, seller of intimate apparel; Lego and Microsoft. There will also be a large XXI Forever by Forever 21 store. They signed a long-term lease for 43,000 square feet of space.
I find this article interesting because South Coast Plaza is one of my favorite places in California. Although I cannot afford most of the brands there, it is a nice place to go to. I look forward to the Forever 21 store opening this year. I think it will attract even more customers to the mall, because so many people shop at Forever 21.
2. Branded Retailers Look To Real Estate For 2011 Growth by Andrew Asch, January 28, 2011
This article talks about some brands' expansion plans in 2011. The 13th Annual ICR Xchange investors' conference was held Jan.11-13. At the conference, 116 companies outlined their plans for the upcoming year. The value-driven chain store Rue 21 is planning to open 110 more stores. The Wet Seal Inc., Joe's Jeans Inc., True Religion Inc., and Guess Inc., also announced retail expansion plans. Rising raw material and sourcing costs are also concerned at the conference. There is a way that retailers can beat such challenge. The financial services firm B.Riley & Co. published a research note saying that "Newness of merchandise is driving business, and the consumer is willing to pay up for unique, authentic product." Rue 21's success key is offsetting rising costs with the right product in the right location. They seek to expand in mid-size and small towns, which are often ignored by many high-profile companies. Wet Seal is focusing on denim to help grow the business. Former Wet Seal chief executive Ed Thomas stated that "It is still an aggressively promotional environment; we still expect a lot of volatility." However, not every store plans to expand in this upcoming year. PacSun is cutting their stores from 870 to 850. Their plan is to cut stores and add staff. Seven new vice presidents were hired in the past 13 months. True Religion and Guess are planning to expand internationally.
I chose this article because it talks about a major trend in the fashion industry: brand expansion. I think it is good to know how they plan to expand, expecially that Rue 21 is opening stores in areas other companies ignored. And international expansion also seems to be a pretty important trend. More and more fashion brands are paying more attention to the overseas market.
3. Mid-Tier Apparel Retailers And Brands Winners In 2011 by Deborah Belgum, January 21, 2011
This article talks about the consumer growth in mid-tier stores in 2011. Gains of 3 to 4 percent will be seen in stores like JC Penney and Kohl's. Luxury brands will not see an obvious growth in customers, but there will still be a moderate growth. This article also talks about why mid-tier stores will do well, considering the current economy and employment issues. The Obama Administration passed a payroll tax-cut program on January 14, so the average worker will see $700 more in the bank account this year. The recovery is happening right now, so people will have more money to shop. The recovery in the job market is growing slowly. In 2010, California has added 47,900 jobs. The sectors that will most likety see growth in the upcoming year are health care, professional and business services, high-tech, retail, and leisure and hospitality.Two California counties making strong gains in job growth are Orange County and Santa Clara County.
I chose this article because it talks about the reasons behind the apparel industry growth. I don't think the content relates much to the title though, because it talks more about economy and jobs than mid-tier apparel retailers. It is good to know that the economy is getting better and better, and more people are employed. All these facts contribute to the fashion industry. Retailers will see a good growth in sales.