A Bathing Ape (BAPE) created by popular designer, Nigo.

Reporting same store sales monthly is slowly fading among teen retailers in North America as brands move towards long-term goals rather than short-term profits. Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, and American Eagle Outfitters, all retailers that have various top places within our North American Youth Culture Studies, stated on February 2, 2011 that they would no longer be reporting their monthly sales.

Financial analysts are having a hard time with this, as it makes their jobs more difficult in terms of determining a company’s value. However if things are not necessarily going well, especially in the short term, it makes sense that reporting it would not be a favorable monthly exercise for such retailers. This decision by such top teen retailers also indicates where the state of fashion retail within this marketplace is right now, which is still struggling with the economic climate.

American Eagle told Bloomberg in an email that the “shift enables American Eagle to align its reporting schedule with the company’s long-term strategic focus,” according to Jani Strand, a spokeperson for the retailer.

The move by these three may snowball into even more retailers leaving what some believe to be an antiquated practice. In 2008, PacSun, Chico’s, and Ann Taylor all stopped reporting monthly sales -for most because they had declining sales. Even Wal-Mart stopped reporting same store monthly sales in 2009. Aeropostale and American Eagle have both reported decreases in sales in December, while Abercrombie & Fitch reported an increase in December by 15%.

BAPE Sells to Chinese I.T for $2.8 Million

Given that A Bathing Ape(BAPE) has been an incredibly influential Japanese streetwear brand, with coveted T-shirts going for $75 a pop, it’s surprising to hear that they were recently acquired for only $2.8 million by Hong-Kong-based, I.T, ltd. I.T will hold a 90% stake in the Nowhere Co. brand, which operated BAPE, from influential owner Nigo, a top-end designer known for creating various popular collaborations.

According to the Wall Street Journal, BAPE was dealing with significant losses, with a net loss in August, 2010 of 119 million yen.

In a press release, I.T said it will “promptly rationalize Nowhere Group’s capital structure to restore a healthy balance sheet and positive cashflow. It is anticipated that measures to be taken will include implementation of stringent cost controls.”

“We are delighted about this acquisition of Nowhere, which owns of some of the most sought-after brands in street wear fashion,” said Sham Kar Wai, I.T chairman and chief executive, in a statement. “We believe that this acquisition will broaden the brand portfolio of our Group and increase our market share in the street wear fashion in Greater China. It will also help position us better in tapping into the international market.”

Nigo will stay on for another 2 years as the transition takes place. BAPE was founded by Nigo in 1993 starting with a store in Harajuku, quickly became a leader in the growing subculture of streetwear, crossing over from Japanese fashionitas to American music icons such as Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Pharrell Williams.

This recent sale may also be an indicator of the health of streetwear in general. If an iconic brand such as BAPE, with an internationally known founder such as Nigo, can go for such a low sum (revealing financial trouble), it brings up the question of how much hype is behind other brands vs. true, financial stability.


Tommy Hilfiger Launches Prep World.

In what seems to be a nauseating amount of preppy-ness these days, Tommy Hilfiger along with Lisa Birnbach, the author of “The Preppy Handbook” which was once popular back in the ’80s, have created not only a new capsule collection of prep apparel and accessories, but an entire pop-up Prep World.

Oxford dresses, polo shirts, striped button downs, chinos, blazes, and chambray are all a part of this package, and with it, a world tour of the Prep World pop-up shop that looks like a cross between a Cape Cod cottage and a nautical-themed store or upscale boathouse with striped awnings.

The Gap Turmoil
Gap President Marka Hansen leaving the helm is the latest big change at the North American retailer, as it continues to struggle with sales and a bad holiday season. Hansen, who was at the Gap for 24 years, and was the President for 4 years, is the 3rd person to lead the Gap in North America in the past 9 years.

Announced today, Ground Hog Day in North America, Art Peck has been chosen to take over the role as President. More shake-ups are underway. Stay tuned for the outcome.

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