Armani profits drop, PPR focuses, Puma restructures, Uniqlo thrives, Fashion embraces activism

Armani's 5th Ave. store, courtesy of Armani

Armani's 5th Ave. store, courtesy of Armani

Armani profits drop 14% in ‘difficult’ year (FT)
Giorgio Armani, the trend-setting Italian fashion group, reported a 14.6 per cent fall in profits in 2008 in spite of a slight rise in revenues and the opening of 50 new stores, as its owner reflected on a ‘difficult’ year for the industry.”

PPR says to focus on cash and cost-cutting (Reuters)
“French retail and luxury group PPR on Thursday pledged to focus on cutting costs and generating cash to emerge stronger from the current consumer downturn.”

Puma Profit Falls on Expenses of Restructuring Plan (Bloomberg)
“Puma AG, the German sporting-goods company controlled by PPR SA, reported first-quarter profit plunged 94 percent, hurt by one-time expenses, and said market conditions are expected to “remain difficult” in 2009.”

Japan’s Uniqlo thrives in recession, April sales up (Reuters)
“Same-store sales at Uniqlo rose 19.2 percent in April as warm weather early in the month helped lift sales of summer items. Like-for-like sales at g.u. rose 70 percent in April, having spiked by that much in March.”

A protest against ‘protest chic’ (The Guardian)
“The fashion industry has co-opted the imagery and emotion of activism in order to shore up its dwindling profits.”