Richemont disappoints, UK retail plunges, J Crew beats Street, Zara’s Indian move, DIY design blogs

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Van Cleef & Arpels Midsummer night's dream | Source: Van Cleef & Arpels

Richemont downbeat over sector prospects (FT)
“Richemont’s restraint, along with lower than expected net profits, disappointed some analysts. Sales fell by 4 per cent to €5.18bn ($6.4bn), while net profits from continuing operations dropped 18 per cent to €603m. The closely watched margin fell to 16 per cent from 17.9 per cent.”

Falling retail sales dampen recovery hopes (Times)
“Retail sales plunged to a 14-month low in the early part of this month after unusually cold weather and the biggest price rises in two years deterred shoppers. The news confounded expectations by retailers and economists that sales would go up again, and dealt a blow to hopes that the economic recovery was gaining traction.”

J Crew profit tops Street on fewer discounts (Reuters)
“Apparel retailer J Crew Group Inc (JCG.N) posted a quarterly profit on Thursday that topped Wall Street estimates and raised its full-year outlook. The company, which caters to urban professionals willing to pay extra to make subtle fashion statements, boosted its full-year earnings forecast to $2.35 to $2.45 per share from $2.20 to $2.30 per share previously.”

Inditex takes its first Indian steps (FT)
“Zara, the flagship fashion brand of Spain’s Inditex group, opens its first Indian shop in the Saket area of Delhi tomorrow. Covering 1,500 square metres in the CityWalk shopping centre, the store will open its doors after a day of festivities involving a celebrity fashion parade and appearances by Bollywood stars.”

The Rise of DIY Fashion Design Blogs (Black Book)
“A number of online platforms are hoping to facilitate entry into an even more exclusive fashion club: designers. Sites like UsTrendy.com, Threadless.com, Infectious.com, and the soon-to-launch FashionStake.com, are some of the many online outlets putting a new spin on the usual fashion career blueprint by making it easier and cheaper for young designers to tap into customer needs, reach buyers, and market and promote their collections..”