Former Blockbuster Exec Named Acting President of American Apparel
As a follow-up to last week’s story on the fate of American Apparel, the vertically integrated retailer announced today, October 11, 2010 that it has named Tom Casey, the former Executive Vice President of Blockbuster, as the new President of American Apparel, reporting to CEO, Dov Charney.

“I am excited that Tom is joining American Apparel,” said Charney, in American Apparel’s press release. “Tom’s team building skills, strategic perspective and senior management experience will help us build a great future for the Company. We believe Tom will be instrumental in our efforts to continue to build our management team and bring additional operating disciplines to the business.”

“American Apparel presents a very special opportunity” said Casey. “I admire American Apparel’s commitment to creative thinking and fair treatment of its textile and apparel workers. I am intrigued by the international appeal of the brand and the company’s vertically integrated and Made in USA business model. I see American Apparel in the early stages of its development and I believe that my experience can help shape the company’s future.

As a brand that’s greatly admired by youth culture globally, let’s hope the change will be effective.

Uniqlo Lowers Forecast
Fast Retailing, owners of Uniqlo out of Japan, has lowered its forecast for the second part of the year due to tight buying patterns among young Japanese, and unseasonably hot weather later in the year, which the company believes effected sales of their fall collections. In the first half of the year, due to strong sales of their hit HEATTECH line, operating income had increased. However in the second half, same-store sales and gross margin tipped lower.

This was due to a number of factors, including unseasonably cool temperatures in early spring, delayed demand for fall clothing resulting from an August heat wave and shortages in inventory of staple Uniqlo core items.

For the year ending August 2011, Uniqlo Japan, the mainstay, estimates it will expand 2.1%, but with operating income decreasing 17.4%. They also predict a 9.8% year-on-year fall in same store sales during the first 6 months.

However things look better for the fast-fashion retailer in the U.S. and Europe. According to their latest financials, profitability improved at UNIQLO operations in these locations. In the U.S., sales remain extremely buoyant at the Soho, New York global flagship store. The retailer plans to open another on Fifth Avenue. In Europe, the Paris flagship continues to perform well, especially with the launch of the J collection from designer Jil Sander.

Uniqlo opened their first store in Russia in April, 2010, which is performing well also.

Masstige Collaboration: Lanvin for H&M
The hype surrounding the masstige collaboration with Lanvin and H&M has hit almost fever pitch. The concept of getting Lanvin at an affordable price has created great anticipation among many young consumers who are aware of the designer and fast fashion retailer.

Here’s the trailer teaser of the making of Lanvin [hearts] H&M. Stay tuned on November 2, 2010 for the H&M fashion runway show featuring the Lanvin collaboration which will be aired online at their site.