Convenience Store – Circle K


53710“What else do you need?” .. This is the slogan of the circle k

Circle K is an international chain of convenience stores, founded in 1951, in El Paso, Texas, United States. It is owned and operated by the Canadian-based Alimentation Couche-Tard.

Since the 1980s, Circle K has been the largest company-owned convenience-store chain (i.e. of non-franchised stores) in the U.S. It was second in overall number of U.S. stores to 7-Eleven. However by 1989, it faced strong competition from convenience stores owned by oil companies, and Circle K declared bankruptcy in 1990.[2] By July 2010, Circle K had dropped to fourth rank in number of stores (3,455), then behind BP (4,730 stores) and Shell (4,630 convenience stores).

Hmm.. How about the management???

Circle K has marketing and merchandising programs are strong in meeting customer needs by understanding the patterns of thought, behavior, work and shopping patterns of customers in outlets Circle K.

In addition, close cooperation with supply partners to provide attractive prices for customers franchises Circle K. In success-owned big names Circle K, the franchisor also participated in site selection by doing market analysis, site selection, sales forecasting models and market strategy planning.

Do you know about the mission and vision??

At Circle K, the mission are “Creating a pleasant shopping experience through a selection of promotional products, creative activities, and create a safe and comfortable shopping.Creating an integrated work processes among the functions of the organization and continually improve human resource capabilities.

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Management and Leading of Nestlé

With over 265,000 employees worldwide and factory locations in more than 85 countries, Nestlé is a truly multinational, multicultural company. Considering that and their ill name of being an ‘aggressive company’ Nestlé should focused on Human Resources Management. And not only on appropriate tools of recruitment and derecruitment but mostly on managing workforce diversity, compensations and training.

The urgent issue is Nestlé’s policy of employment in developing countries. Customers assume, implicitly or explicitly, that “made by Nestlé” means made by Nestlé workers in Nestlé facilities directed by Nestlé management directly accountable to Nestlé’s corporate headquarters. This assumption on the part of consumers is what justifies their faith in the brand – and their willingness to pay. But to a growing extent, Nestlé is not employing thousands of the workers making Nestlé products. For example, in the important growing Indonesian market, only 44% of the workers making Nestlé branded products in four factories and one warehouse are permanent Nestlé workers. This is typical of Nestlé in Asia and other poorer regions of the world. And in Europe over 10% of workers in Herten Germany, for instance, are agency workers making Nestlé Herten product but not working for Nestlé. In Hungary (Diosgyori) over 20%, in Portugal (Avanca) over 25% and in the UK (York) almost one in eight workers are not permanent Nestlé employees. The use of third party producers (“co-packers”) will increasingly mean that the branded product for which consumers often pay more will come out of a non-Nestlé, “non-branded” factory, often a local one with no global brand or reputation to protect, but still with recognisible logo. Nestlé should take a close look at their employment practices so they can guarantee that branded Nestlé products are made in Nestlé facilities by Nestlé workers and managers on decent and permanent Nestlé work contracts.

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An example of management which noticed the importance of diversity may be Nestlé in USA. The are using a strong Supplier Diversity Program. They claim to selecting only those suppliers who can successfully meet Nestlé’s regional and international needs, which allows them to develop a strong, flexible and competitive supply base, and pass those improvements on to the customer. Not ignoring minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses tend to hire diverse employees. In supporting these business Nestlé support a growing segment of consumer community and gain their loyalty. And by retaining qualified, diverse suppliers, they can gain a distinct competitive advantage that can significantly impact bottom line.

And this is the advertisement from Nestlé

Created by : Lisa Maritseda (group3)

About Intel

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Intel’s Vision and Global Strategy
Intel vision is to create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth, by focusing on the following key strategic objectives:
• Grow the PCnand data center business with new users and uses.
Extend Intel’s PC platform leadership and develop exciting innovations to deliver new user experiences; and lead the transformation to open data centers and cloud computing.
• Extend Intel solutions into adjacent markets.
Transform the embed- ded industry with Intel® architecture (IA) in new market segments; and launch and ramp IA solutions in smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and vehicles.
• Create a continuum of personal computing.
Expand IA differentiation with new capabilities across devices; excite leading software developers to create the best user experiences and applications on IA; and deliver new usage models with multi-communications connectivity.
• Care for our people and the planet, and inspire the next generation.
Cultivate a workplace where employees can thrive both on the job and in their communities; develop technology solutions to address major global problems while reducing our environmental impact; and accelerate educa- tion transformation worldwide through technology, program, and policy leadership.

Corporate responsibility management structure
CEO and Board-Level Oversight
The Board of Directors’ Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee receives briefings from our Corporate Responsibility Office twice a year, in addi- tion to updates on specific corporate responsibility issues as needed. Our CEO receives regular corporate responsibility updates from executive management.

Management Review Committees (MRCs)
MRCs bring together senior executives from across the company to review performance and set strat- egy in specific areas. For example, our Corporate Responsibility MRC reviews emerging issues across a range of focus areas, and our Eco-MRC reviews Intel’s approach to environmental management.

Business Group and Cross-Functional Teams
Multiple business groups have dedicated teams that address corporate responsibility issues within their organizations, helping to develop plans and set goals in support of Intel’s overall strategy and objectives. Those groups include, but are not limited to, Environ- mental Health and Safety, Eco-Technology Program Office, Ethics and Compliance Program Office, Corpo- rate Affairs, Global Public Policy, Human Resources, Corporate Diversity, Supply Chain, and Information Technology. In addition, cross-functional teams coordinate efforts that span business groups. For example, our Eco-Stakeholder Council brings together representatives from across Intel to develop clear and consistent strategies for improving our environmental performance and engaging employees.

Intel – Stories of Innovations in Technology

Created by: Catherine Pritania (Group 3)

Adidas ( Statement Management from Staff ) part 2

John-Paul O’Meara – Head of Investor Relations

Herbert Hainer – Chairman of Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer

Robin J. Stalker – Chief Financial Officer and Member of Executive Board

Analysts

Michael Kuhn – Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Matthias Eifert – MainFirst Bank AG, Research Division

Jurgen Kolb – CA Cheuvreux, Research Division

Erwan Rambourg – HSBC, Research Division

Andreas Inderst – Exane BNP Paribas, Research Division

John Guy – Berenberg Bank, Research Division

Andreas Riemann – Commerzbank AG, Research Division

Bernd George Müll – Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg, Research Division

Louise Singlehurst – Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good day, and welcome to the adidas Group conference call for 2012 full year financial results.

John-Paul O’Meara

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to our 2012 Full Year Financial Results Presentation. I’m JP O’Meara, and I head up the investor relations activities here at the adidas Group.

During today’s presentation, Herbert Hainer, adidas Group CEO; and Robin Stalker, Group CFO, will reflect on the achievement of 2012, clarify the impacts from one-off items and discuss the group’s strategic and financial outlook for 2013.

To allow for ease of comparison, there are a few things today to bear in mind during our discussions on the figures. Firstly, all sales and revenues-related growth rates will be discussed on a currency-neutral basis unless otherwise specified. And in addition, all comparisons will be based on the restated 2011 financial results and excluding impairment for 2012. Robin, in his remarks, will deal specifically with these issues.

So with that in mind, let’s begin. And as always, let’s start with a refresher of the widespread presence and success of our brands and athletes over the past 12 months.

[Presentation]

Herbert Hainer

So good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, here in Herzo, and good morning to the people who are following us out of the U.S. and the rest of the world. I’m very proud to report that 2012 has been another successful year for our group. Our dedication to create the unexpected in our product and brands once again sparked consumer excitement all around the world. And this resulted in significant market share wins in many of our key categories and markets. And I look forward to sharing some of these great achievements with you this afternoon. However, 2012 was also not without its challenges. But as you would expect, we have moved swiftly and aggressively to deal with them, meaning we have delivered on our target for the year and are ready to drive for another year of new records again in 2013.

So let me go into more details. In 2012, group sales increased by 6% or 12% in euros to EUR 14.9 billion. This means we added EUR 1.6 billion in revenues during the year. Our focus on quality growth, which is a key component of our Route 2015 strategy, also ensured our bottom line again grew significantly faster than the top line.

The group’s operating margin improved 80 basis points to 8% and earnings per share grew by 29% to EUR 3.78, also our highest result ever. Due to the strong operational performance, we finished 2012 with a net cash position of EUR 448 million, a fivefold increase compared to a year ago. And this significant cash flow generation once again underpins the trajectory and the value we are unlocking with our Route 2015 strategic business plans.

In terms of growth, despite macroeconomic headwinds, sales increased in each and every region in 2012. In terms of highlights, without any doubt, the standout performer was Greater China. Sales for the year increased 15% to a new record level of over EUR 1.5 billion with double-digit growth in every quarter. For many players in our industry, China was indeed a challenge in 2012. However, this was mainly due to the specific competitor issues and not because of any lack of interest in sporting goods on the part of the consumer.

So you might ask yourselves, what is our recipe for success? As part of a rising middle class, our consumer target group in China is maturing at a rapid pace, becoming increasingly discerning and sophisticated. Given the breadths and the depths of our product offering in performance and lifestyle, adidas fits perfectly to this consumer. And on top of our global appeal, we also infuse our brand messages and products with local flair and understanding. Additionally, we have deepened our already very close relationship with our retail partners, who now operate more than 7,500 point of sales across Greater China. By ensuring that our business remains constantly in tune with theirs, we are able to keep our product offering fresh at the point of sale. And this is a clear edge we are enjoying and will continue to enjoy. Looking forward from our market research, we can see that the adidas brand appeal has the most momentum in the Chinese market right now. And as a result, I’m very confident we will continue to take more market share and grow faster than any of our major competitors also in 2013.

Turning to another one of our strategic markets. Sales in North America grew 2% in 2012 with brand adidas increasing 9% and TaylorMade-adidas Golf are up 25%. Excluding the impact from the NFL and the NHL license, Reebok revenues declined 11% in North America while total group sales, excluding the NFL, increased by 6%. Since we began Route 2015, adidas brand sales are up more than 1/3, which is well ahead of market growth. In fact, when we look deeper into the adidas numbers, our business with our key high school kids relevant retail partners was up over 20% in 2012. Through Originals in basketball, we have created a great base to build on. And quite frankly, when I look at our plans for running, we are only just at the beginning of exploiting the tremendous opportunities this market has to offer for our group.

Speaking of markets with opportunities, in Russia/CIS, revenues were up 17% in 2012, driven by outstanding comparable store sales growth of 8%. Both adidas and Reebok sales grew at double-digit rates with adidas up 16% and Reebok increasing 20%. Equally as encouraging was our group’s resilient performances in Western Europe and other Asian markets. Revenues in our home territory were up 3%, driven by double-digit growth in the U.K. and Poland, as well as increases in Germany and in France.

In Other Asian Markets, despite our issues in India, sales in the region increased 7%. This was driven by double-digit growth in South Korea and the strong rebound in Japan, where revenues increased 11% as we extended our considerable lead over competitors in that market. And finally, in Latin America, sales increased 8% for the full year, driven by a strong adidas brand performance, where sales were up 13%. Double-digit increases in football and running, as well as over 20% growth in own-retail, were key to this development.

Turning to our brands. Two of our group’s most important values are passion and performance, both of which were at the forefront of many of our 2012 brand and category achievements. The obvious highlights from 2012 has to be the role adidas played at the year’s major sporting events, which spurred adidas brand sales up 10% or 15% in euros to over EUR 11.3 billion. In particular, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will surely count among the most memorable and inspiring sporting events of our time. The adidas brand, as the official sportswear partner of the event and of Team GB, played its role to perfection. It delivered its most comprehensive offering of high-performance products ever and contributed significantly to the emotion of the event with the highly acclaimed Take the Stage campaign.

Similarly in Poland and Ukraine, standout performances from our teams and players at the UEFA EURO 2012 was another catalyst which truly inspired consumers and fans around the world. They once again reconfirmed adidas as the #1 football brand, highlighting that our passion for innovation continues to set us apart from the competition. These are iconic [indiscernible], the official match ball and Federation jerseys, as well as our presence in the UEFA Champions League, we once again dominated the world’s favorite sport, achieving a new record level of sales of well above EUR 1.7 billion, eclipsing even our own very high expectations. However, our success was not just limited to the event-related categories. In fact, all other key adidas categories, be it running, basketball or outdoor, grew at double-digit rates in 2012.

In running, sales grew by 13% as the adizero and Clima product franchises continued to drive sales globally. adizero footwear sales increased more than 40%, driven by another year of high visibility on the world’s major marathon podiums. On the court, our basketball business altogether paced, with our sales growth rate doubling to 22% compared to 11% a year ago. And in particular, our D Rose, Crazy Light and NBA-licensed products drove growth of almost 50% for the category in the strategically important mall-based channel in the U.S. And finally, in outdoor, sales increased 14% as we continue to make strides towards our Route 2015 goal of EUR 500 million revenues. And this was driven again by the highly innovative range of Terrex footwear and apparel.

This passion for innovation leads me to another major highlight of our year, TaylorMade-adidas Golf. With sales up 48% to over EUR 1.3 billion in just 2 years, our golf business has already rocketed past its initial Route 2015 targets and is now more than double the size of its neighbors down the road in Carlsbad. Considering that the golf industry is still relatively stagnant, this is a remarkable testament to TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s relentless focus on helping golfers to perform better.

Turning now to Reebok. Sales declined 18% in 2012. Excluding the impact from the discontinuation of the NFL business and transfer of the NHL-related sales to Reebok-CCM Hockey, sales declined by 8%. The brand’s gross margin was essentially flat at 35.9%, which is not a bad performance, given we had quite some promotional activity to move all toning products during the year. While we are obviously disappointed with the Reebok results, we have seen the underlying business further stabilized as we accelerate our measures to position Reebok as a fitness brand. In fact, in the fourth quarter, Reebok sales, excluding license revenues, were up 3%, driven by 13% growth in Classics and almost 40% growth in apparel.

As we announced last April, we discovered commercial irregularities at our Reebok business in India, which brought to light a high level of criminal energy and collusion between former employees and external business partners. As promised, we have followed up vigorously and swiftly on the matter through a thorough internal and external investigation, also with police involvement. In addition, we have also taken the opportunity to comprehensively review our internal control processes and procedures of governance and compliance with the necessary external expertise at all of our locations around the world.

Robin will take you through more specific details on the matter in his presentation in a few minutes. But let me reiterate quite clearly, noncompliance with our policies has never been and will never be tolerated within our organization. And as unpleasant as the identified irregularities at Reebok India Company are, I am satisfied we have diligently completed our efforts to uncover all the wrongdoings by simultaneously laying the foundation for a healthy and profitable business for Reebok in India in the future. And here let me reiterate once again our full commitment to the Reebok brand in India.

So that, ladies and gentlemen, wraps up my review of the group’s operational performance in 2012. Despite the cosmetic offset accounting restatements and impairments in our reported figures today, I believe it is important to recognize just how successful our underlying growth and operational performance have been over the past 12 months. In addition, we have also again demonstrated our ability and longstanding credentials in tackling external and internal challenges with speed and with determination. Be it the full mitigation of considerable sourcing cost pressures, the countless hours of rigorous efforts to solve the commercial irregularities at Reebok India Company or the discipline and restraint in managing our business in a persistently uncertain global economy, I am very proud of the passion and the dedication of our employees around the world to tackle these challenges. And more importantly, all of this was achieved while continuing to stay diligent and focused on ensuring we remain fully on course to deliver our ambitious Route 2015 strategic goals.

So I will be back in a few minutes to tell you about what’s to come in 2013. But first, Robin will take you through all the financials.

Robin J. Stalker

So thank you very much, Herbert, and a very good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. So as you’ve just heard, 2012 was another successful year for our group. From an operational perspective, we again delivered a robust performance, and I will highlight how this has played out throughout the financials of our group. However, before I come to that, let me provide you with some more clarity on the one-off items contained in our financial results this morning.

Now as we announced in April 2012, we discovered commercial irregularities at our Reebok business in India, which resulted in the termination of the services of the then Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer. As Herbert said, we have followed up vigorously and swiftly on this matter. Key findings from our internal investigations include inappropriate recognition of sales, a failure to book sales returns and a failure to correctly post credit notes to accounts receivable. This resulted in a significant overstatement of net sales and accounts receivable, as well as materially incorrect accounting for inventories and provisions. During the investigation process, the new management also discovered 4 secret warehouses not disclosed in the official accounting record. The findings of the investigation suggest that the practice of inflating sales and profits had been going on for several years.

As a result of these findings, we have restated our accounts in accordance with the IAS 8, which has led to a reduction of net income attributable to shareholders of EUR 58 million for 2011 compared to what we had previously reported. In addition, shareholders’ equity in the opening balance sheet for 2011 was negatively impacted by EUR 153 million to account for the prior year period. Now for further information, we have outlined the changes in detail in Note 3 of our 2012 annual report.

The second one-off topic is goodwill impairment. As you know, impairment losses are noncash in nature and do not affect the adidas Group’s financial situation. However, let me spend a few minutes explaining to you why we have done so. So following our review of the medium-term growth prospects of specific markets and segments as part of our annual impairment test and taking into account our updated targets for Route 2015 outlined at our investor field trip in September, we came to the conclusion that a few of our cash-generating units need to be impaired. The resulting impairment of EUR 265 million means we have reduced goodwill on our balance sheet by 17%. In the overall scheme of things, the negative impact on total assets is minor at only 2%.

Looking at the specifics. Within Wholesale cash-generating units, goodwill impairment losses amounted to EUR 106 million in North America, EUR 41 million in Latin America, EUR 15 million in Brazil and EUR 11 million in Iberia. Now the impairment losses were mainly caused by adjusted growth assumptions for the Reebok brand, especially in North America, Latin America and Brazil, and an increase in the country-specific discount rates as a result of the euro crisis. Now in addition, goodwill of EUR 68 million allocated to Reebok-CCM Hockey and EUR 24 million allocated to Rockport was impaired. These impairment losses are the result of the reevaluation of future growth prospects and, with regard to Rockport, were also due to an increase in the discount rate. Again, here we have provided full transparency and clarity on this topic in Note 2 of our 2012 annual report.

But now with that, ladies and gentlemen, let me get into the financials. Without deflecting from our great top line achievements, I believe our margin development is again one of the major financial highlights. The severe pricing pressure we faced in procuring our products from record-high raw material costs and wage inflation in 2011 was a significant headwind in each quarter in 2012. In fact, the headwind after supply chain integration amounted to 3.1 percentage points for the fourth quarter and 3.8 percentage points for the full year. Therefore, the 20 basis point improvement in gross margin to 47.7% highlights not only our best-in-class supply chain activities but more importantly, the strength of our brands and product innovations to take price increases.

In terms of magnitude, the key offsetting factors were: firstly, price increases, product engineering efficiencies and a more favorable product mix; secondly, the overproportionate sales growth in our Retail segment and emerging markets, which carry higher margins; and thirdly, our hedging strategy yielded us a slight positive tailwind in 2012. However, let me point out now that this will reverse in 2013.

Moving on in terms of operating leverage. Here, we also delivered against one of our key Route 2015 objectives, achieving a reduction in our other operating expenses as a percentage of sales of 50 basis points to 41.3%. Now although marketing investments grew 6% to EUR 1.8 billion, marketing spend as a percentage of sales declined 60 basis points to 12.1%, given the strong top line development. By brand, adidas marketing investments grew 10% to EUR 1.4 billion while spending at Reebok decreased 17% to EUR 238 million. As a result, 2012 operating profit was up 24% to almost EUR 1.2 billion. This translates into an operating margin of 8%, exactly in line with our guidance. For the fourth quarter, operating profit increased 49% to EUR 26 million.

Turning now to the nonoperating items of the P&L. Net financial expenses decreased 17% for the full year. A decrease in interest expense of 9%, as well as an increase in interest income of 16%, were the main contributors to the decline. Negative exchange rate effects were similar compared to the prior year at around EUR 7 million. For the fourth quarter, net financial expenses were up 40% as exchange rate variances had a significant influence during the quarter. Excluding these effects, which amounted to a swing of EUR 9 million, net interest expenses declined 27% in the quarter. The effective tax rate for the full year was 29.3%.

And as a result of all that, net income attributable to shareholders increased 29% to EUR 791 million. For the full year, this translates into a record earnings per share of EUR 3.78, slightly better than the range we guided to in November of EUR 3.68 to EUR 3.75. For the fourth quarter, we reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of EUR 7 million compared to a net income of EUR 3 million last year. And this was due to higher income taxes in the quarter as a result of adjustments related to Reebok India.

Now let me spend a few minutes on our segmental performance, starting with Wholesale. Wholesale revenues grew 2% for the full year with sales increases in all regions except North America. In the fourth quarter, Wholesale revenues decreased 4% as growth in Greater China, Latin America and Other Asian Markets was more than offset by declines in other regions. This decline was mainly due to the issues we already highlighted in November, such as the nonrecurrence of the NFL license sales and the prior year major sporting event-related product selling. For the full year, the Wholesale gross margin increased 0.4 percentage points to 40.3% as a result of a more favorable brand sales mix.

Moving over now to the Retail segment. Currency neutral sales grew 14% to EUR 3.4 billion, representing 23% of total group sales for the year. This was driven by robust comparable store sales growth of 7%, which is impressive considering the already strong 14% comp store growth in the prior year. Both adidas and Reebok comp store sales increased 7% each.

In the fourth quarter, comparable store sales increased 1%. In particular, Russia/CIS positively contributed to this development with comp store sales advancing 4%. From a store format perspective, concept stores, factory outlets and concession corners all delivered comp store sales increases in the mid-single-digits. In addition, our sales per square meter continued to improve with store sales per square meter increasing 7% in 2012. Equally pleasing is the continuous improvement of our Retail profitability as segmental operating margin improved 20 basis points to 21.5%. Gross margin in this segment declined 1.7 percentage points during the year with 70 basis points of the decline related to the Russian ruble devaluation versus the U.S. dollar and the rest due to higher promotional activity, given weak retail conditions in many markets, particularly in Europe. However, this was completely offset by 1.9 percentage points of operating leverage, which drove retail profits for the period up 20%.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, underpins the great progress we are making on improving our Retail operations. At the end of the year, the Retail segment operated 2,446 stores, representing a net increase of 62 stores compared to December 2011. Our total selling space also grew versus the prior year and is now over 700,000 square meters.

Now moving on. Revenues in Other Businesses grew 17% in 2012 with particular strength in TaylorMade-adidas Golf up 20%, as Herbert has already mentioned. Sales at Reebok-CCM Hockey and Rockport also grew, increasing 9% and 2%, respectively. For the fourth quarter, Other Businesses grew 7%, mainly a result of the continued momentum at TaylorMade-adidas Golf, where revenues grew 15%. This was driven by almost 60% growth in the irons category as a result of the RocketBladez launch. Full year gross margin in Other Businesses decreased 80 basis points to 42.8%, driven by lower product margins at Reebok-CCM Hockey, where increased sourcing costs, as well as the NHL lockout, negatively impacted gross margin development. However, due to scale effects, segmental operating margins for Other Businesses increased 40 basis points to 27.4%.

Now moving over to the balance sheet where, ladies and gentlemen, I can again report on some impressive achievements. Despite the growth of our business in 2012, our ratio of operating working capital as a percentage of sales has reached a new record-low year-end level of 20.0%, an improvement of 40 basis points compared to the prior year. This very strong performance is better than our original expectation of even a slight increase of this ratio. At year end, inventories were up only 1% on a currency-neutral basis, reflecting the group’s strong focus on inventory management throughout 2012. Keeping our markets and channels clean and fresh has been a priority all year. This ensures our brands are well positioned for growth in the upcoming quarters.

Now in 2012, net cash flow generated from operating activities increased 17% to EUR 942 million. After cash outflows of financing and investing activities, this allowed us to improve our net cash position by EUR 358 million to EUR 448 million. This once again demonstrates the strength of our business model and puts us in a superb position to support and invest in the opportunities and growth initiatives of our Route 2015 strategic business plan.

Now in terms of priorities for the use of cash, our capital deployment policies remain unchanged. We will continue to pay down gross borrowings as they mature, of which EUR 280 million will be repaid in 2013. To further support group-wide initiatives in areas such as own-retail, infrastructure and IT in 2013, we will increase our capital expenditures to between EUR 500 million and EUR 550 million. However, at the same time, we reaffirm our commitment to advance direct shareholder returns, and the annual dividend is currently our preferred tool for this. Therefore, for 2012, we intend to pay a dividend per share of EUR 1.35, which is 35% more than 2011. This represents a payout ratio of 35.7%.

So in conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, in 2012, we have continued to execute in the right way, balancing our desire to grow with a high focus on the quality of that growth. We have again leveraged our scale and tackled our challenges with speed and with diligence.

And with that, let me now hand you back to Herbert to give you a glimpse into the strategic priorities to continue to drive success in 2013.

Herbert Hainer

Thanks very much, Robin. In the 2 years since we began our Route 2015, we have achieved quite a lot. As we reported in September, in most cases, we have even exceeded our expectations to date.

We have delivered robust underlying growth in all of our key attack markets. We have driven double-digit growth in all of our key adidas categories. We have already achieved our target for TaylorMade after just 2 years. We have accelerated swiftly with our controlled space initiatives and already achieved our goal of 45% in 2012. We have held our gross margin essentially flat and increased operating margins, while most of our competitors have not. We have grown earnings per share at a compound annual rate of 18% compared to our goal of an average of 15% per annum. And finally, we have generated EUR 1.75 billion in cash flow from operations. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a telltale sign of a group that knows where it is going. And believe me, despite the macroeconomic pressures, we will continue our upward trajectory in 2013 and for the remainder of our Route 2015 plan.

Our focus, as Robin has outlined, remains on driving quality and long-term sustainable growth for our brands. And this you will see again in 2013 through it a product pipeline packed with game-changing innovations, be it in running, be it in basketball, be it in football, in lifestyle or in fitness or golf. And I say game-changing because when you look at some of the examples I am going to share with you now, these are not just updates or tweaks. They are really revolutionary.

Take running, where all great footwear innovation starts. In 2013, we are introducing 2 breakthrough innovations, one of which launched at retail last week, the Energy Boost. In only a few days, Boost is already the talk of the trade, seeing higher levels of engagement and enthusiasm than any running product we have ever brought to market before. The sales were already outstanding with many of our own shops already sold out.

Why is Boost so special? Because together with our partner, BASF, the world’s leading chemicals company, we have created a completely new foam cushioning material that we are convinced over time will obsolete the 20-plus years materials bat ram [ph] of industry EVA foam. With its distinctive and unique midsole cell structure, Boost provides more energy return than any other foam cushioning material, combining soft comfort with responsive energy for the ultimate running experience. In the heat, in the cold and after countless kilometers, it performs more consistently and doesn’t lose its cushioning properties like standard EVA foam. So to show you what it really can, let’s take a look.

[Presentation]

Herbert Hainer

For those of you who are here in Herzo, you will get to try it live later, and we’ll see further insights from our adidas Sport Performance colleagues. Welcome, James and Eric.

Beyond running, we also have lots in store in our other categories in 2013. In basketball, we will continue to disrupt the market with great, new innovations in footwear and apparel, as well as by leveraging new assets, like John Wall or Ricky Rubio. During the summer, you will already start to see the next great innovation in football as we commence our preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with the Confederations Cup set to ignite football fever in Latin America.

We will also raise again icon building and brand activation. This year, we will build core signature collections around several of our superstars, including 4-time Ballon d’Or winner and record-breaking goalscorer Lionel Messi. This week, we launched Team Messi, a major digital initiative which you will hear more about as we go through the year. And in terms of digital innovation in general, we will be partnering with Google on an exciting project, which will show how creativity and technology can work together to provide consumers with new and innovative ways to engage with our brand.

And we have other major campaigns planned for adidas as well to drive deeper consumer connection, such as a new impactful women’s campaign, which is called #mygirls and a global Originals campaign, Unite All Originals. With Originals and Sport Style, here we will also see a new milestone in 2013.

In 2012, we broke the EUR 3 billion revenue mark for the first time with Sport Style sales increasing 16% or 21% in euro terms to over EUR 3.2 billion. Given the growth that we expect from adidas Originals and the adidas NEO label in 2013, this means our adidas Sports Style division on its own will surpass the third-largest player in the sporting goods industry in terms of size this year.

So let me move over to Reebok. As we have now stabilized the business to ensure we drive growth, we will commence a major brand and category offensive in fitness in 2013. Our new category approach, which we call The House of Fitness, allows Reebok to engage with consumers regardless of how they choose to stay fit. It focuses on 5 key areas: fitness training, fitness running, studio activities, including yoga, dance and aerobics, walking, as well as Classics. And the positive news when I look back at 2012, these categories, which now represent almost 90% of Reebok’s business, grew low single-digit with fitness training up 30% and Classics up 6%.

To accelerate this momentum, several new footwear and apparel collections will be launched throughout the year. In running, we will introduce 3 new platforms, including SubLite and ATV. And in fitness training, Reebok will introduce the Reebok Delta apparel collection, which takes design inspirations from the CrossFit community. In addition to new products, we will activate new exciting partnerships to authenticate and give credibility to Reebok in each category. Renowned yoga instructor Tara Stiles, the Spartan Race series of obstacle races and the Red Bull X-Alps adventure race are just a taste of what’s to come over the next couple of years. Bringing it all together in 2013, the Reebok brand will also speak to the consumer with one voice by launching the new global marketing campaign. The campaign, which is called Live With Fire, will be the brand’s first concerted effort to inspire the fitness consumer to live a life of passion, intent and purpose. And everything I see so far confirms that we are gaining traction for Reebok with retailers and consumers. And I fully expect a return to growth for Reebok once we have anniversary-ed the last of the NFL-related comparisons in the first quarter.

At TaylorMade-adidas Golf, our fast pace of new launches will also continue. The new RocketBladez irons have already sent our market share skywards to over 30% since launch. With new longer metalwoods like the R1 and the RocketBallz Stage 2, a major offensive in golf footwear with adizero and the potential for Adams Golf, I fully expect the distance between our sales and our nearest rivals to further widen in 2013.

As a group, we are therefore very well positioned to again achieved record sales in 2013. For the full year, we expect currency-neutral sales to increase at the mid-single-digit rate with growth across all brands, regions and channels. In terms of phasing, sales growth is expected to be weighted towards the second half of the year, mainly mirroring our product launch schedules, as well as the buildup to the FIFA World Cup in 2014.

2013 will also see a step change in the pace of gross margin and operating margin expansion. We expect our gross margin to increase to a level between 48% and 48.5%. Our operating margin will improve considerably in line with our previously announced guidance of approaching 9%. And this, in turn, will lead to another year of double-digit earnings growth with earnings per share increasing at a rate of 12% to 16% to a level between EUR 4.25 and EUR 4.40.

So in summary, ladies and gentlemen, it is certainly not by chance that I started my presentation today with the motto, Pushing Boundaries. Along from our extraordinary product innovations and great designs, our group’s ability to push boundaries has helped athletes to go faster, hit further and achieve their impossible at the pinnacle of sport for decades. However, pushing boundaries at our group definitely goes far beyond this definition. It lives in every aspect of our business. Every day, we collectively strive to bring a culture of pushing boundaries to life by constantly motivating and challenging each other to improve. Adi Dassler is often quoted as saying, “Strive for perfection. There is always something you can improve.” And this is exactly the spirit you will see from our group over the next 12 months. And this is the edge that will ensure our group’s continued success along Route 2015.

So thank you very much for your attention. And now Robin and myself will be happy to answer all your questions.

John-Paul O’Meara

Thank you, Herbert. [Operator Instructions] Just want to announce one other thing today. We have today launched our iPhone app as well for investor relations. So now it’s not just the iPad anymore, we’re fully onboard.

Question-and-Answer Session

John-Paul O’Meara

And so I’d like to take the first 3 sets of questions here in the room. So who would like to ask the first question? So just come over here, Michael Kuhn. And if you could announce the name of your firm and your own name for your first set of questions, that would also help us out.

Michael Kuhn – Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Okay. Michael Kuhn from Deutsche Bank. Two questions from my side. Firstly, on Q4 and some of the effects mentioned, is the 200 bps gross margin improvement a clean development? Or are there any special factors that we should consider? And on like-for-like and OpEx in Q4, you saw plus 1% performance like-for-like sales in Retail and you mentioned NFL and the tough comps. So what would be like a clean number? Could you help us here? OpEx, on the other hand, up quite substantially. Were there any special effects? Or what should we expect in terms of OpEx dynamics going forward? And secondly, you mentioned your CapEx plans of EUR 500 million to EUR 550 million for the upcoming year, which is quite a considerable increase. Is there any special project included in that? Or is it just investments on a broad scale?

Robin J. Stalker

Okay, Michael. Our fourth quarter is always a little bit difficult to extrapolate because it’s a fairly small quarter compared to the other quarters, obviously. So no, you can’t extrapolate the gross margin, unfortunately. 200 basis points is very nice. But there’s nothing really significant in one-offs in there. There’s about a 40 basis point impact from the Reebok India and there’s a few million, single-digit million impact in the cost also because of that. But Mike, I think here the best guidance is to look at what we’re saying for 2013 that we have a pretty good window of margin of 48% to 48.5%. And we’ve also given clear guidance on our operating margin now going up again to approaching the 9 percentage points — 9.0%. Second point was about CapEx. It tends to be in our CapEx about 1/3 to Retail, 1/3 to some of the infrastructure and 1/3 to the IT. You’ve seen here as you came to Herzo, you’ve seen a few buildings up outside there. We’ve also got a major warehouse initiative in Northern Germany, also costing some amount [ph] in 2013. But there’s nothing particular that I would highlight that’s different to what we’ve had in the past.

Michael Kuhn – Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

[indiscernible]

Robin J. Stalker

Well, we’re not a very big CapEx company. Actually, I mean, EUR 500 million for our sort of size of business, I don’t believe, is very large. And I think our cash flow allows us to keep it at this sort of level. We’re definitely not planning on anything significantly different in the future. So I would say that’s a good reasonable guidance for the next couple of years.

John-Paul O’Meara

Well, let’s come here to Matthias, and then Jurgen.

Matthias Eifert – MainFirst Bank AG, Research Division

Matthias Eifert from MainFirst. First question to you, Herbert. I mean, you said that China overall market is not that bad. But if I look into it, how bad competitors are doing, I think there are some difficulties. Can you give us some of your insights, when you think these difficulties are worked through, and then we might be even seeing acceleration from your side? But I would be happy if you maintain the double-digit growth. And second question would be, you mentioned a second innovation on running this year. Is it another product platform similar to Boost or extension of some of the existing ones? And my third question would be about basketball. Is there any other player showing potential to launch a signature shoe besides Rose 3? I think injury of him has also shown that you probably need to broaden the bases of players, not to be too dependent on one guy. Can you give us a bit more insight on that, please?

Herbert Hainer

Yes, Matthias. Let me start with China. As most of you who follow us already quite some time, you might remember that in 2009 when, after the Olympics in Beijing, we’re running into problems in the Chinese market. We had a lot of overinventories. I told you already at that time that we will use this opportunity to clean up the market and to build our relationship with the Chinese consumer in the retail on a complete, new platform. We invested into our retail partners. We put infrastructure in that we could exchange data much faster, which I also told you because then we can read the sell-throughs, we can refill the products, we can steer our inventory much better. And today, I think it’s fair to say when you ask the key retailers in China, we have the best sell-through rates; therefore, they achieve the best margin with our products and they have the lowest inventory. Of course, we have done a lot of marketing activities to stimulate the consumer, as I have said in my presentation. And I definitely do believe that we are doing a better job than many others in the Chinese market in the moment. And you will definitely see continued growth from us in the years ahead, there is no doubt. Second point was the second innovation in footwear. This is an exciting product, which is called SpringBlade. And as you have marketing gurus, especially Eric Liedtke, who is running our Sport Performance division on the adidas side, later with you on the Boost side, he definitely can explain to you what SpringBlade is. But it is a complete, new technology on the footwear side as well. And last question was basketball. Yes, you are right. We will further broaden our base with players. It’s not only about players but also with players. And as I have said, we have transferred John Wall from Reebok to adidas. We have Ricky Rubio onboard. And we are still looking for some more players, which we bring onboard. Obviously, we want to have the best one, the young rookies, the stars. This is not as easy. But we definitely strengthen our portfolio. Don’t forget, we strengthened our relationship with the NBA into the basketball game with key retailers in the U.S. for basketball. And last but not least, we are bring out permanently new products, as you have seen with the adizero, Crazy Light, the D Rose. Even if he didn’t play now for I think it’s 8 to 9 months, we activated him permanently. And you have seen the numbers on basketball for 2012. I mean, there is no doubt we need basketball to be successful for our success in the U.S., and this is what we will start to drive. Be not surprised if we will have positive numbers next year again. I am sure, so…

John-Paul O’Meara

Jurgen?

Jurgen Kolb – CA Cheuvreux, Research Division

Jurgen Kolb from Cheuvreux. Three questions. First, on Reebok. The Vulcabras situation in Latin America, is that — or can you update us on that situation? Is there anything negative that might pop up in this year or next year? Maybe an update here. Secondly, what’s your expectation in terms of ethics in terms of currencies? Because obviously, some currencies are playing a little bit of a hiccup here. So what’s your expectation there? And how much can you control that? And thirdly, on Boost again. Energy Boost, maybe a little bit of your additional plans in terms of rollouts. When will it come to a broader retail format, your expectations and hopes for additional categories, maybe? And also, as the product is probably not yet fully available, the TPU, in terms of profitability, is that shoe more attractive for you? I mean, the retail price is significantly higher. But is that something where you can also squeeze in some extra 10, 20, 50 basis points?

Herbert Hainer

So let me start with the first one with Vulcabras. Yes, you know that we have our joint venture partner in Brazil and in Argentina. And this is not always an easy relationship because Vulcabras has definitely some challenges with their own brands and with their own business on the market. Nevertheless, we try to work as good as we can. We are quite successful in Argentina. Brazil is more under pressure. In addition to that, our contract is running out in 2015. So we have a few challenges, but I don’t expect any big negative impact in 2013. Let me just answer the third as well before Robin goes through the FX question. Boost, in terms of availability, don’t worry, we have a few pairs out for you guys. But don’t underestimate it. We want to sell around 1 million pairs of Boost this year. And obviously, we have started at our own stores, as I said. And the rollout will be during the whole year. And our plan is over the next couple of years to bring Boost, more or less, the Boost technology in all of our shoes. So it will not be the running category, it will be basketball, it will be training. And you will see this category because this is such an advantage to that what is existing on the market. We would be stupid not to further roll it out into other product categories as well.

Robin J. Stalker

A very good question, Jurgen, in terms of currencies. I mean, this is the world we live in. There’s considerable movement in the currency pairs. Reporting euros, obviously we had some tailwind in 2012 through the appreciation, Jurgen, in some of our trading currencies. But in 2013, I think it may be going a little bit the other way. The biggest callout here is, obviously, the Japanese yen. There’s been significant pressure on that. But I think at this stage, it’s a bit early to suggest exactly what the development is going to be. We keep an eye on it, obviously. There’s little we can do about the translations where our business is. In terms of, however, the dollar-euro, we continue to hedge that in terms of our purchasing. And here, we’ve got a hedge rate at the moment for 2013, when we’re pretty much fully hedged, which just above the 1.32, which is inferior to what we had obviously in 2012, which was about 1.37 to 1.38. And so that will give us a little bit of a headwind also. And but that is obviously in our guidance now reflected.

Herbert Hainer

So Jurgen just reminded me that I didn’t answer the question on the margin of Boost. We are here to make profit. And to get to our 9% operating margin, we have to earn money with every shoe.

John-Paul O’Meara

So next, we’ll take 2 sets of questions from the telephone, please.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] We will now take our next question from Erwan Rambourg of HSBC.

Erwan Rambourg – HSBC, Research Division

Erwan Rambourg from HSBC. A few questions, if I may. Herbert, I think you mentioned to the press that you were expecting TaylorMade to have single-digit growth in 2013. I’m just wondering if this is down to the fact that the basis of comparison in terms of growth is tough. Or is the market overall for golf have toughened? And related to that, given all the moving parts on Reebok last year and the good performance of adidas, if you had to rank, in your view, brands in the portfolio for this year in terms of growth, could you give us a sense of what that ranking would be? Secondly, I was just wondering if you can help us understand when the end of the U.S. pain will happen, i.e., when the sort of one-offs on Reebok will stop weighing. I believe this might be Q2, but I just want to guess. I just want you to confirm when growth rates will normalize in the U.S. And then thirdly, I think you mentioned also to the press that you didn’t have in mind any acquisitions in the near future. So I was wondering if we could expect in the future, again all things being equal, the dividend payout to increase. It’s already at the sort of high end of your range of 20% to 40%. Can it go beyond that?

Herbert Hainer

So let me start with your first question, TMaG. Yes, the single-digit growth is definitely a reflection of the fast growth, which we had over the last several years. And as I also said in my presentation, we definitely want to make sure that we have a quality growth. So we don’t want to overheat the market. But we definitely do believe with all the new products which we are bringing in, we will further grow in top line and, of course, driving our profit within TMaG to a higher level. The second one was the ranking of the brands. In terms of growth perspective, we want to grow with all the 3 brands, and this year is easy calculating when we grow in TMaG, single-digit. And overall, we said that we want to grow mid-single-digits. Obviously, then the adidas brand has to grow as well because this is the biggest part. But we also have made a commitment that we want to grow the Reebok business in 2013. So you will definitely see all the 3 brands are growing in 2013. And then about the question on acquisition. No, we don’t have any plans for acquisition because I definitely do believe that we have still enough work to do with our Reebok brand and we also do believe that we have enough potential with all our 3 brands, be it adidas, Reebok or TMaG, to further grow to the level what we have given out for our Route 2015 plans. And as Robin has said already in his presentation, we want to give the money back to the shareholders. And within our guidance of 20% to 40%, we are now at 35.7%, and this is definitely what we want to continue, to give the money back. I think there was…

Erwan Rambourg – HSBC, Research Division

I just have a question on normalization of growth rates in the U.S.

Herbert Hainer

Yes. Yes, we know. But I’ll just hand over to my peer finance colleague. He is definitely better suited to answer that.

Robin J. Stalker

Okay. And I think you were asking about the normalization of the Reebok business in America, and that’s basically because of the NFL contract. And that, you’ll still see some impact in the first quarter. So your assumption is correct. From the second quarter on, it should be normalized.

Operator

We will now take our next question from Andreas Inderst of Exane BNP Paribas.

Andreas Inderst – Exane BNP Paribas, Research Division

I have 3 questions. The first one on Reebok India. Up to the third quarter, you have guided up to EUR 70 million one-offs to clean up the market. And I just want to calculate a real clean EBIT margin for full year 2012. Maybe you can help. How much did you spend overall? Was it more than EUR 70 million, given that you had also — or that you cut roughly 2% the workforce at Reebok? That’s my first question. The second question relates to your working capital. Nice improvements on the inventory side. Robin, what can we expect going forward from inventory management? What kind of potential do you see to further improve your turns? And maybe you can quantify the impact maybe for the mid-term. And my third question relates to the lifestyle segment, a very nice development in the fourth quarter and also the full year. I believe you guide high single-digits, low double-digits for 2013. And on adidas NEO, how is it going here? You have already introduced the collection broadly to the market in emerging markets and in North America. How is the store rollout or the test stores going in Germany? And what can we expect in terms of rollout in Continental Europe?

Robin J. Stalker

Okay, Andreas. I’ll take the first 2 questions, and then Herbert will answer the third one. So I know you’d love to get it as clean as possible. And I can repeat that the Reebok India impact in 2012 is about that EUR 70 million. It’s almost exactly on the EUR 70 million. We were just a little bit under that by the third quarter. There was limited impact in the fourth quarter. But let me make it clear that this EUR 70 million is the difference between what our initial expectations were for the business as a contribution 2012 in India. And then what actually has happened because of our, as you correctly said, cleanup efforts in India, we’ve closed factory shops, and we closed about 400 shops. We’ve paid our minimum guarantees. But we’ve also had obviously a loss of sales and margin on that period. So that was a mixture of many things that clearly impacted our profit loss in 2012. In terms of the second question, working capital. Now I guided last year that our operating working capital as a percentage of sales was probably likely to slightly deteriorate or increase in 2012, where we’re actually able to do better. I guide again with a little bit of caution that it’s getting difficult to further improve this because as we grow our Retail business, we do carry inventory a little bit longer obviously. And so I’m optimistic that we will continue to manage our working capital extremely diligently. But I think at the level of working capital as it is that the moment, 20.0%, that’s a pretty good level to just try and maintain. What I would say, however, it’s in the inventory specifically. And we talked about stock turns. And although we carry more inventory, I think there is some opportunity in improving our stock turns, particularly when I look at some of our large Retail operations, and here I’m referring specifically to Russia. There are opportunities in our supply chain to further improve the speed of delivery to market, shorten the lead times, presumably keep less inventory on hand. So I’m not giving up on it. I think there’s still opportunities to improve. But I think I can’t promise too much on this area over the next year.

Herbert Hainer

And answering your third question, Andreas, on NEO. Obviously, we are quite happy with the performance of NEO, as you have seen, 14% growth in 2012 and especially because we are targeting new consumer group, as you know. So therefore, we are quite happy. This is mainly driven by China and by Russia. But also you asked about the test stores in Germany, which we all have opened in summer last year. And we said we will do a test phase of around 12 months. This will end in summer this year, then we will fully review our analysis in all we have seen and defined the next steps. I can tell you that, overall, we are very pleased with the learnings and the performance of the 10 test stores. And it definitely wouldn’t be a surprise if we decide to further roll out NEO stores in Europe starting in the second half of 2012.

Andreas Inderst – Exane BNP Paribas, Research Division

Yes. Okay. Maybe coming back to India, the EUR 70 million. Let’s ask the question differently because you said there’s a difference between initial expectations and what in the end came out. How much of the EUR 70 million will you recoup, let’s say, in 2013, in 2014?

Robin J. Stalker

I knew you’d be looking at that. So the figure, it’s difficult to say exactly how much that would be. What I obviously will not be repeating in 2013 are the closure of franchisee costs and the restructuring that we did. And we will get some sales back, so some of that EUR 70 million presumably will come back. I don’t believe, however, it will be a tremendous amount because the sales volume of the sales expectations that we have for Reebok into 2013 are still a lot lower than what our initial expectations were for Reebok India 2012. So you get a little bit of that EUR 70 million back definitely, but not all of it.

John-Paul O’Meara

Thanks, Andreas. Let’s move back to the room. And John, you’re up next.

John Guy – Berenberg Bank, Research Division

It’s John Guy from Berenberg. Just a few questions, please. The first one with regards to the stock, up 1% on an FX-neutral basis. When you’re looking at that well-managed stock, are there any specific areas where you think the stock is maybe slightly too high? Or is that evenly balanced across all the regions? It’s the first question. The second question, with regards to not acquisitions but disposals, is there any comment that you can give around potential progress around the disposal of the Reebok hockey business? I think that you had a few interested parties. I was just wondering if there’s any update there.

Robin J. Stalker

Okay. I’ll take the first question. So no, the very good thing about the development of our inventories over the last several quarters now is that this really is across the board. We have been able to install good discipline throughout all of our operating units to keep a focus on it. We’re obviously doing a tremendous amount also in the supply chain to become even more efficient in what is already a good supply chain. And so it’s not just a one particular area. I think the area where I would identify some potential improvement is what I just answered in the previous question, about those major Retail operations, where we have rather long supply chains at the moment. And that would be — Russia would be the key one there.

Herbert Hainer

Yes, John, you are right. We’re always getting interests for parts of our business. And we definitely have some interested parties looking to our hockey business, and we spoke to them. But we haven’t got from anyone an offer where we saw this is satisfying to our needs. And you know that we have quite a lot of innovations, which we’re bringing to the hockey business, be it the RBZ sticks, which would take over from TaylorMade into the hockey business, which is the most sold stick yet. Maybe the NHL lockout hasn’t helped there as well, but we are not under pressure and therefore, we decided no, we stopped the sales process. We will continue to drive our business, make it more profitable and growing. And this is the status of the moment.

John-Paul O’Meara

So Andreas, next.

Andreas Riemann – Commerzbank AG, Research Division

Andreas Riemann, Commerzbank. Two questions from my side. In 2014, there will be next soccer World Cup in Brazil. And the question, are you planning to use this event to focus more on Latin America because this is not one of your core regions, actually? And the second one, on Retail, you closed 260 stores. And the question is how many of the closures are basically openings next door for what are real closures? And given that you are becoming a bigger retailer, probably you can collect more data points, is this number going to come down in the future?

Herbert Hainer

So in terms of football, obviously, this is a big event for us as we are the football brand #1 in the world. And we also sponsor the football World Cup. And we will have a lot of teams there. Obviously, the qualification is not finished yet, but we just need to think about Mexico, Argentina out of the Latin America area, Paraguay and so on and so forth. So yes, this will be a big event for us, and we will use it to further drive our business in Latin America. And then you said Latin America is not a core area for us, but Latin America is definitely the area where we grow the fastest in last 10 years. And this business is relevant for us. There, we have a very good market position in most of the countries, and therefore, we definitely will use the World Cup in 2014, starting even with the Confederations Cup this year to show to the consumer what we are all about.

Robin J. Stalker

Andreas, yes, you’re picking up that we are becoming a much more sophisticated retailer. We’re learning a lot obviously about retail. And one of these learnings is that you do need to close stores, obviously, as soon as you identified that they’re probably potentially not as profitable as you thought they would be. And so there may be a number, particularly in some of the emerging markets where there’s been a larger shop opened in the close proximity. But my understanding is that you should expect a continuation of a fine-tuning of our platform. We have over 2,400 stores at the moment and closing a couple of hundreds and opening a couple of hundred will continue to be part of our management of our Retail footprint. And we’re definitely getting more data points. We’re definitely understanding more about where it’s appropriate to invest. And we have also a very sophisticated view together with our Wholesale guys about our integrated distribution plan for all of our major markets, major cities as to where we want to be in Retail or where we want to be in franchising or where we want to be with our Wholesale business. And so that’s getting more and more sophisticated, but you should continue to expect us to continue to be closing stores in the future as well.

John-Paul O’Meara

So Bernd, please?

Bernd George Müll – Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg, Research Division

Bernd Müll of LBBW. Just a question on the gross margin once again. I mean, you’re guiding for another increase this year, and we briefly talked about the input costs. How do you see things evolve? I guess the pressure on labor cost will continue, seeing Cambodian workers rejecting pay hikes of 18% recently. So I guess, the pressure is on here. How do you see material prices evolve in 2013? And do you see — I mean, you’re guiding for an increase. So do you feel that your countermeasures, i.e., accelerated growth in Retail and all the other factors that you’ve explained to us recently, do you see that going strong in 2013, too? Perhaps you can just enlighten us a little bit more on that.

Robin J. Stalker

So fundamentally, I think we believe in our industry that we will continue over the next few years to see FOB — increased pressures on our FOBs. So I mean, the fundamentals both in wages but also in raw materials are such that it’s likely that rubber or other oil-based derivatives are going to continue to be at this high cost level or maybe even get more expensive. Definitely, as you commented yourself on the wages, that’s clearly the case. However, for 2013, we don’t see through the negotiations we’ve had or the visibility we already have for 2013 significant increases in the raw materials. We do see continued pressure on wages. But we are confident that not just through the efforts that we make to continue to be even better in our supply chain but also through the dynamics of our business and product mix, as you highlighted, retail growing faster, emerging markets also with higher margins, that that will overcompensate for whatever those pressures are. But I don’t think we can see them going away.

Herbert Hainer

Maybe I can add one more point. As we have told you already 18 months ago, we’re also looking at all our products, how we can reengineer them and put more value with lower costs into the business. Just knitted footwear piece is one of the initiatives, but we have a lot of others. And they all have helped already in 2012, despite the high cost pressures, which we had from the FOB side to keep our margin.

John-Paul O’Meara

So operator, we’ll take our last question today from the telephone, please.

Operator

We will now take our next question from Louise Singlehurst of Morgan Stanley.

Louise Singlehurst – Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Two questions for me, please. Just firstly, focus on the U.S. market. Now there’s clearly a huge amount of market share for adidas Group when we look at some of the share data in that market. Can you just talk about the discussions with wholesalers? Are you taking more floor space within those stores? And when we think about the new launches, i.e., Boost, this year, is that incremental? Or does it start to replace something like the lightweight running that seems to be waning in terms of popularity? And then my second question is slightly related to that, just thinking about the advertising spend. I was impressed to see that advertising as a percentage of sales slightly came down in 2012. Should we expect that to be ramped up, particularly in the U.S. over the next couple of years as you take market share?

Herbert Hainer

Let me answer the first question in terms of market growth in U.S. and floor space. I mean, the one growth we see in my opinion. When you have seen what we have done in the last 3 years in the U.S. market, where we have grown more or less every year double-digit, 9% last year, this means that we are winning shelf space and we are winning the minds and the hearts of the consumer, especially of the high school kid. And this will further help us to drive our sales. Yes, we are doing more shop-in-shop solutions with key customers in U.S., especially in the mall and in the sporting goods channel, where we find our high school kids consumer. And this you will see in the future that we will have a stronger presence in the stores through the different categories. And this obviously will help us to get better sales and therefore also better market shares. And in terms of advertising or marketing spend in the U.S., we definitely do believe that we have found the right formula to spend what is necessary to drive our sales in a quality way in the U.S., which means on the one hand that we drive our sales and build further our business, but we also want to drive our margin in the U.S. And this you see year-by-year getting better. And once again, it all comes back to that what we said in the presentation. We want to have quality growth, not just volume.

John-Paul O’Meara

So ladies and gentlemen, that completes our conference call for today. Thank you for those who joined on the line. You may now disconnect. And if you give us guys in the room a few seconds to reset, we’ll start at 3:30 with our adidas performance presentation on running. Our next date will be May 3 for our Q1 results. And thank you very much for coming to Herzo on person today. We really appreciate that.

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Created by : ellenora willy (group 3)

Siri , Robots from Apple

SIRI1

I think some of you may be confused about what Siri is? However, Apple users may understand that this technology is impressive. This is not a new application, and have been showed off since iPhone 4s launched  in October 2011. Anyway I will explain it to you. 🙂

Have you ever think of having your very own personal assistant with you? It can helps you to get things done just by asking? Discover Siri , amazing application from Apple that allows you to use your voice to organizing your calendar, reminding you, schedule meetings, writes emails, texts, handles your music, and can look up anything you ask it. Just talk and Siri listens. Siri even talks back to you.

But Siri isn’t like traditional voice recognition software that requires you to remember keywords and speak specific commands. Siri understands your natural speech, the more you use Siri, the better it will understand you. It does this by learning about your accent and other characteristics of your voice.

Siri also uses information from your contacts, music library, calendars, and reminders to better understand what you say. So it responds more accurately when you ask to make a phone call, play music, or create an appointment or reminder.

Siri is available for iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad with Retina display, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation).

Zooey Deschanel for Siri commercial

Zooey Deschanel for Siri commercial

Apple takes a big leap to the era of voice input and will start to dramatically impact the future of man-machine interface. They put a unique technology that quite useful, easy to use and helpful. As Apple has said, they will continue to link it to more powerful databases over time, providing greater reach to the information that you might need in daily life.

For Apple, Siri opens the door to getting into the search business in the future. Can you imagine if Apple owned the recommendation service and mapping system by themselves? They could divert all of the ad revenues to themselves. In the long term, the best strategy for Apple to get more revenue and profit is to developing its software and services platform.

I think a lot of pros and cons will be involved in this application. Some say that you shouldn’t be communicating with the phone, you have to communicate with someone on the other side of the phone. But if Siri can help you to do things more efficiently so why don’t I use it. Lol

Okay here is a parody video of Siri that i hope can cooling down your mind! Check it out :

Created by : Raymond pm

calvin klein marketing strategy

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Calvin Klein Inc. is a fashion brand founded in 1968 by Calvin Klein. The company is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City[1] and currently owned by Phillips-Van Heusen. Like other fashion brands, Calvin Klein established a world famous monogram: the “cK” emblem.

Statistics:
Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation
Incorporated: 1967 as Calvin Klein Ltd.
Employees: 900
Sales: $170 million (2001 est.)
NAIC: 315232 Women’s and Girls’ Cut and Sew Blouse and Shirt Manufacturing; 315233 Women’s and Girls’ Cut and Sew Dress Manufacturing; 315234 Women’s and Girls’ Cut and Sew Suit, Coat, Tailored Jacket, and Skirt Manufacturing; 315999 Other Apparel Accessories and Other Apparel Manufacturing

Company Perspectives:
We believe our expertise in brand management, product design, sourcing, and other logistics provides us with the ability to successfully expand product offerings and distribution under the Calvin Klein brands while preserving the brands’ prestige and global presence. As a result, we believe we have the opportunity to realize sales growth and enhanced profitability.

Key Dates:
1968: The Calvin Klein brand is launched.
1973: Klein wins his first Coty American Fashion Critics Award.
1979: Calvin Klein controls one-fifth of the designer jeans market.
1982: Klein enters the underwear business.
1985: A new perfume called Obsession is launched with a $17 million advertising campaign.
1989: A Unilever Co. subsidiary purchases the Calvin Klein cosmetics/fragrance line.
1994: A unisex fragrance, cKone, is introduced; the company’s underwear business is licensed to Warnaco Group Inc.
2000: Klein files suit against Warnaco Group and its CEO Linda Wachner.
2003: Calvin Klein is acquired by Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation.

Company History:

Calvin Klein, Inc., designs, licenses, and, in some cases, produces clothing, accessories, fragrances, and home furnishings bearing the name of designer Calvin Klein. Since its inception, the company was a partnership between Klein and his childhood friend Barry Schwartz. Named by Time magazine in 1996 as one of the 25 most influential Americans, Klein made his impact not only by designing but also by marketing his wares through high visibility and often controversial advertisements created by the company’s in-house agency, CRK Advertising. In 2002, worldwide retail sales of Calvin Klein products surpassed $3 billion. Most of these goods were manufactured and sold by other companies under license–licensed products account for over 90 percent of company revenue. After three years of shopping around for a buyer, Schwartz and Klein inked a deal with Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, the largest shirtmaker in the United States. The $430 million transaction was completed in February 2003.

Rocketing to Stardom in the 1970s

Born and raised in New York City’s borough of the Bronx, Calvin Richard Klein decided he wanted to be a fashion designer at an early age. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1963, he worked for women’s coat and suit manufacturers in Manhattan’s garment district before opening his own business in 1968. A childhood friend, Barry Schwartz, loaned him $10,000 in start-up money and joined the firm a month later, after the family supermarket in Harlem that Schwartz had inherited was gutted in the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Klein rented a dingy showroom to exhibit a small line of samples. His big break came when a vice-president at Bonwit Teller stopped at the wrong floor of the building, liked what he saw, and invited Klein to bring his samples to the president’s office. Klein wheeled the rack of clothes uptown personally and won an order of $50,000 (retail) on the spot. Bonwit’s gave the merchandise impressive exposure, with window displays in its flagship Fifth Avenue store and full-page ads in the New York Times. Soon after, Calvin Klein was besieged by orders. The fledgling company booked $1 million worth of business in its first year, reaching sales volume of $5 million by 1971.

Klein mainly designed women’s coats and two-piece suits until 1972, when he began concentrating on sporty sweaters, skirts, dresses, shirts, and pants that could be mixed and matched for a complete wardrobe. The clothing featured the simplicity of line, muted earth tones, and classic fabrics that characterized his work and gave it an air of understated elegance. Klein won a Coty American Fashion Critics Award–fashion’s Oscar–in 1973. He received an unprecedented third consecutive Coty Award for women’s wear in 1975 and, at age 32, was elected to the group’s Hall of Fame. That fiscal year (ending June 30, 1975) the firm shipped $12 million worth of merchandise, including swimsuits and dresses. It earned another $2 million to $6 million from licensing furs, umbrellas, sheets, shoes, scarves, belts, dresses, sunglasses, suedes, and patterns. Klein not only designed every item carrying his name but closely watched every step of the production process.

Company revenues rose to $40 million in fiscal 1976 and a startling $90 million in 1977. Because its prices were generally below those of its two major competitors, Ralph Lauren and Anne Klein, the firm won the loyalty of young working women as well as older, wealthier buyers. Calvin Klein merchandise was so hot that the company could pick and choose among stores that wanted to carry the company’s products and blackball those that dared to try to return unsold goods. Seven hundred buyers and reporters were turned away from Klein’s fall 1978 fashion show; the buyers who got in placed $28 million worth of orders within 48 hours.

Klein introduced his first menswear collection in 1978, telling the New York Times Magazine that he approached men’s clothing “with the same philosophy as the women’s. They’re for Americans who like simple, comfortable but stylish clothes–but with nothing overscale or extreme.” No less than 779 fabrics were used in the European-produced collection, which ranged from neckties to suits and overcoats. The production and sale of most of the men’s clothing was licensed to Bidermann Industries. Also in 1978, Calvin Klein introduced his own line of fragrances and a complete makeup collection of 18 beauty and skin-care products that stressed neutral colors to give the face a natural effect. However, the lightweight, rosy perfume (at $85 an ounce) needed to anchor the collection never caught on with the public. The fragrance and cosmetics business was sold to Minnetonka, Inc. in 1980.

Calvin Klein jeans, by contrast, were to become the company’s biggest hit. Klein’s first attempt, in 1976, to capitalize on the designer-jeans craze–at $50 a pair–was a failure. The following year, however, his company cut a deal to design the product for Puritan Fashions Corp., the largest dress manufacturer in the world. Klein raised the groin in his jeans to accentuate the crotch and pulled the seam up between the buttocks to give the rear more shape. A Times Square billboard of model Patti Hansen on her hands and knees, her derriere arched skyward and the Calvin Klein label on her right hip visible, caused a sensation and remained in place for four years. By 1979, Calvin Klein was second to Gloria Vanderbilt in designer-jeans sales, with one-fifth of the market. A company spokesman observed, “The tighter they are, the better they sell.”

The biggest lift to Calvin Klein’s jeans was the television campaign directed by Richard Avedon that featured 15-year-old model/actress Brooke Shields provocatively posed in a skin-tight pair of Calvin Klein jeans. In the best-remembered spot, she pronounced, “Do you know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” In another she declared, “I’ve got seven Calvins in my closet, and if they could talk, I’d be ruined.” These suggestions of underage sexuality struck a public nerve and, following a flood of complaints, the New York flagship stations of all three networks banned the two ads from the air. Klein could shrug off the criticism because sales of his jeans were then climbing to two million pairs a month. He added a jeans-inspired collection that included shirts, skirts, and jackets, also licensed to Puritan. These products accounted for about $100 million in sales in 1980.

Branching Out in the 1980s

In 1982, Calvin Klein entered the underwear business, once again exploiting the allure of youth in provocative poses to push the product. Photographer Bruce Weber’s beefcake ads featured a brawny Olympic pole vaulter in various states of well-endowed undress. When the company rented space in 25 New York bus shelters to display advertising posters featuring the underwear, all 25 had their glass shattered and posters stolen overnight. The follow-up was predictable–a line of women’s underwear featuring male-style briefs and boxer shorts that retained the fly front. Both campaigns were hits. The men’s line was part of the Bidermann license, which lapsed in 1987, while the women’s skivvies so outstripped Calvin Klein’s own manufacturing capabilities that in 1984 this division was sold to Kayser Roth Corp., a unit of Gulf & Western Industries, for about $11.2 million. Calvin Klein continued to design and create advertising for women’s underwear, later adding hosiery and sleepwear lines.

In 1982, Puritan Fashions–9 percent owned by Klein and Schwartz–had sales of $245.6 million, of which licensed Calvin Klein products accounted for about 94 percent, earning $15.6 million in royalties for the firm. However, Puritan’s finances deteriorated as the designer-jeans boom ended and so, to protect their investment, in late 1983 Klein and Schwartz bought almost all the shares they did not already hold for $65.8 million in a leveraged buyout, with a Puritan subsidiary financing the purchase by taking out bank loans. The consolidated companies were renamed Calvin Klein Industries. After Puritan lost $11.3 million in 1984, Calvin Klein Industries placed $80 million in high-yield bonds (so-called junk bonds) through Michael Milken of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., mostly to keep Puritan afloat.

Registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the junk bonds Calvin Klein issued afforded the public a rare look at the finances of the closely held enterprise. Calvin Klein Industries had 1984 revenue of $258.2 million and net income of $17.2 million, with Klein and Schwartz each collecting $12 million in salary, dividends, and other distributions. Puritan returned to profitability in 1985, earning $12.4 million. Nevertheless, Calvin Klein Industries had huge payments to make on its big junk-bond debt, and this financial problem seemed to be taking a toll on the designer. “Every color choice became life or death,” he later told Newsweek, “because doing everything as well as possible meant survival.” In 1988, he spent a month at the Hanley Hazelden Center in Minnesota to receive treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

When Minnetonka launched a new perfume called Obsession–at $170 an ounce–in 1985, Calvin Klein created a heavy-breathing print and TV campaign that cost more than $17 million in ten months alone, followed by another $6 million campaign for Obsession for Men. One Weber print ad featured two nude men entwined around one female; another, a naked couple with their groins pressed together; a third, three naked women, limbs entangled. A survey ranked the Obsession ads as the most memorable print advertisements of the year for four years in a row. TV commercials displayed a female model as the object of obsessive love by, in turn, a boy, a young man, an older man, and an older woman. Obsession quickly became the second-best selling fragrance in the world. Combined with Obsession for Men and a line of body products, sales broke the $100 million mark by the end of 1987.

To complement Obsession, an oriental fragrance, in 1988 Calvin Klein introduced a floral scent, dubbed Eternity, which was marketed in perfume, cologne, cologne-spray, and body-cream forms. Newly married to his second wife, Klein devised a softer $18 million promotional campaign based on the themes of spirituality, love, marriage, and commitment. By the end of its first year on the market, Eternity had grossed $35 million. Minnetonka (14 percent owned by the Calvin Klein Sport division) was sold in 1989, with the Calvin Klein cosmetics/fragrance line fetching $376.2 million from Unilever Co.’s Chesebrough-Pond’s subsidiary. Also in 1989, Calvin Klein opened its first full-line free-standing store, in a Dallas suburb. Products included Calvin Klein Sport lines for men and women, women’s and men’s underwear and sleepwear, hosiery, shoes, outerwear, accessories, cosmetics, and fragrances.

Rescue and Resurgence in the 1990s

In 1991, Calvin Klein introduced a new silk-scarf collection licensed to Ray Strauss Unlimited. Also that year, the company resumed menswear, licensing it to Gruppo GFT, an Italian manufacturer. Eyewear and sunglasses bearing the designer’s name, previously made by Starline Optical Corp., were licensed to Marchon Eyewear. The big story that year, however, was the introduction of Escape, a $115-an-ounce “fruity, floral” scent. “After work you get away,” Klein explained regarding the concept. “You escape, and you do it with style.” Escape proved a hit and was followed in 1993 by Escape for Men.

Despite sizable royalty payments from these and other products, Calvin Klein was falling into financial trouble in the new decade. The company’s revenue dropped 13 percent in 1990, to $197 million, leading to a $4.3 million loss, the third time in five years the company had been in the red. The Puritan/Calvin Klein Sport division lost $14.2 million alone. Many younger women who could not afford the designer’s flagship Collection line were not buying his clothes at all. A sexually suggestive insert for Calvin Klein Jeans in Vanity Fair in October 1991 failed to stimulate sales, prompting U.S. retailers to contend that Klein had fallen out of touch with their customers.

Calvin Klein, Inc. was restored to financial health partly through the efforts of David Geffen, the entertainment tycoon who was a long-time friend of the designer. Geffen purchased $62 million of the company’s debt securities in 1992 at a discount and was repaid in 1993, when the company took out a $58 million loan from Citibank. The firm then paid off the Citibank loan by licensing the underwear business to Warnaco Group Inc. for $64 million. Warnaco also won the license for a new venture, men’s accessories.

Undeterred by suggestions that with the end of the “decadent” 1980s sex no longer sold, Klein introduced a new line of underwear, including $16 fly-button shorts, in 1992 with ads featuring Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg), a muscular rap star. The campaign proved successful with both young men and women, grossing $85 million for the company within 12 months. In 1994, a partnership later renamed Designer Holdings Ltd. bought Calvin Klein’s fading jeans business for about $50 million. Calvin Klein introduced a khaki collection in 1996 and also licensed it to Designer Holdings, along with CK Calvin Klein Jeans Kids and CK Calvin Klein Kids Underwear, also introduced that year. Designer Holdings was acquired by Warnaco in 1997.

By 1995, when it opened a four-level, 22,000-square-foot minimalist-style emporium at Madison Avenue and East 60th Street in Manhattan, Calvin Klein had six stores in the United States. In addition, during 1993 and 1994, the company licensed Calvin Klein boutiques to operators in Barcelona, St. Moritz, Zurich, and Singapore and formed a partnership with four Japanese companies to create in-store shops there and to produce more licensed apparel. Four stores–in Manhattan, Dallas, Palm Beach and Costa Mesa, California–remained in 1997. The company also had an outlet store in Secaucus, New Jersey.

In 1994, Calvin Klein introduced cKone, a unisex fragrance that became another smash hit, grossing $60 million in its first three months. It was followed in 1996 by cKbe, promoted in a $20 million monochrome print and TV campaign directed by Richard Avedon that featured young models exposing lots of pierced and tattooed flesh. In a poll conducted by Louis Harris for USA Today, only 4 percent of the respondents expressed strong liking for the ads, while 57 percent said they disliked them. Advertising experts suggested that what was turning off the general public was precisely what was attracting the people who were buying the product, especially teenagers.

Advertisements for Calvin Klein jeans also continued to provoke controversy. Posters featuring a notably skinny model, Kate Moss, were festooned with stickers reading “Feed this woman” by a Boston-area group called Boycott Anorexic Marketing. The company ignored the group but was unable to shrug off the reaction, especially from Christian groups, created by its summer 1995 campaign for CK Jeans, featuring models who appeared to be teenagers in states of undress that, according to one writer, “suggested auditions for low-budget porn movies.” For the first time the company retreated, pulling the ads, which the designer maintained had been “misunderstood. … People didn’t get that it’s about modern young people who have an independent spirit and do the things they want to and can’t be told or sold.” A U.S. Justice Department investigation ended without charges after federal agents determined that no minors were used in the ads.

The controversial ads did not offend the market for which the campaign was intended. CK Calvin Klein Jeans continued to be one of the strongest sellers among youths. “They want the Calvin Klein label,” explained the executive editor of Children’s Business in 1996. “Also at the point the children are over eight, they’re pretty much deciding what they want to wear. … These lines … have the cachet that comes from the adult market.” Later that year a Calvin Klein underwear ad showing a 20-year-old male model in very tight gray briefs, posed with his legs wide apart, was dropped by the company’s own licensee, Warnaco. Also in 1996, a group of parent-led anti-drug groups called for a boycott of Calvin Klein products to protest a new ad campaign that they said glamorized heroin addiction. The magazine and television advertisements in question featured gaunt, glassy-eyed models to promote cKbe. In 1999, an underwear billboard in Times Square featuring two scantily clad young boys launched yet another round of controversy. The ad was eventually pulled after rumors surfaced that speculated on Klein’s sexual orientation.

In 1995, Calvin Klein launched, under license, a home collection composed of sheets, towels, and tableware. By 1997, only the designer’s signature Calvin Klein women’s collection of apparel and accessories and the CK Calvin Klein bridge collections of less-expensive women’s and men’s apparel (except in Europe, the Middle East, and Japan) were being manufactured by the company itself. Of the company’s $260 million in sales in 1996, $141 million came from its in-house products and $119 million from royalties and designer income. Of worldwide retail sales of $4.4 billion, apparel accounted for $2.7 billion, fragrances for $1.5 billion, and other products for $200 million. Net profits were $41 million.

During the late 1990s, Calvin Klein, Inc. was 43 percent owned by the designer and 43 percent owned by Schwartz, who was chairman and chief executive officer. The rest of the equity was held by family trusts. Gabriella Forte, a former Giorgio Armani executive, became the company’s president in 1994 and was put in charge of day-to-day administration. The company was divided into three parts: the Calvin Klein collection, cK sportswear, and cK Jeans. In addition to apparel, each segment offered perfume, accessories, and housewares.

New Ownership in a New Century

During 1999, both Klein and Schwartz agreed that it was time to seek out expansion via a merger or an alliance. In October, the company hired investment firm Lazard Freres & Co. to organize a deal. With a billion dollar price tag however, Calvin Klein was unable to find a suitable partner. and in April 2000 the firm took itself off of the market. Klein commented on the process in a June 2000 DNR article, claiming that “a year ago we decided to explore strategic options for the company. We wanted to see how we can take the company to the next step. It gave us the opportunity to talk to various partners and explore opportunities and take the business to the next level.” Klein went on to say, “We decided to remain a private company because we thought we could do it better on our own.”

During that same time period, Klein filed suit against his largest licensee, the Warnaco Group Inc. and its CEO Linda Wachner. Claiming the firm had violated federal trademark laws and breached fiduciary duty and several contracts by distributing its jeans to low-end retailers, Klein hoped to strip Warnaco–on the brink of bankruptcy–of its licensing rights. Warnaco on the other hand, claimed that Klein had been fully aware of its distribution practices for years and they stood to lose millions if the suit favored Klein. In 1999, one-third of the company’s revenues and cash flow was attributed to the sale of Calvin Klein jeans. Relations became even more strained between the two companies when Wachner filed a libel suit against Klein for comments made in several speeches and on the television show Larry King Live. The two appeared in court in January 2001 but came to an amicable resolution before the proceedings began.

In late 2002, Calvin Klein, Inc. caught the eye of Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH), a company looking to acquire a major brand. As the largest shirtmaker in the United States, PVH owned the Van Heusen, IZOD, and G.H Bass brands and had licensing agreements with Geoffrey Beene, Arrow, DKNY, and Kenneth Cole. Under the leadership of CEO Bruce Klatsky, PVH made a play for Calvin Klein and eventually won the battle. A 2002 New York Times article reported that the union would “give Van Heusen what Mr. Klatsky called the best-known apparel label in the world, and will give Calvin Klein, who will stay on with the new company, the financial resources to further expand his name in Asia and Europe. The purchase will also free the designer to worry more about aesthetics and less about production and bookkeeping.”

Under the terms of the deal, Klein remained a design consultant for Calvin Klein, Inc. while PVH retained 100 percent ownership of the firm. The $430 million cash and stock deal also included royalty payments to Klein through 2018. Completed in February 2003, the acquisition marked a new era for the brand. For the first time, Klein did not have complete control over the products sold under his name, and his partner Schwartz had retired. After questionable behavior in March at a Knicks basketball game in New York was made public, Klein announced he was again seeking professional help for substance abuse. Both PVH management and Klein claimed it would not affect his role with the company.

In March 2003, Calvin Klein announced a licensing agreement with Vestimenta S.p.A. in which the Italy-based concern would manufacture and distribute the Calvin Klein Collection line. PVH also planned to launch a new Calvin Klein men’s sportswear line in 2004. While Calvin Klein would no doubt continue as a leading brand for years to come, the results of its new ownership and management structure remained to be seen.

created by: fanny sutjiono (group3)

The Strategic Retail Genius Behind Zara

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Grabbing the Globe by the Purse

Zara stores have been popping up all over, literally. This past year aggressive expansion saw Inditex investing in 49 markets. Five of them were new to the brand and included Australia, Taiwan, Azerbaijan, South Africa and Peru. The company continued to grow its presence in China which had 132 new stores throw open their doors. 30 those were Zara locations and others were Inditex concepts, Oysho and Zara Home bringing the total number of Inditex stores there to 275. Worldwide Inditex is in 80 countries with more than 5,500 stores and eight retail formats.

The thing about global expansion is that its tricky business. Even with a recognizable brand name like Zara, companies must understand and sell to local customers (and customs). Part of Inditex’s success lies in the execution of tailored retail strategies. The company reports that not only did it seek out prime real estate along established shopping corridors (hello Zara flagship on Fifth Avenue in NYC), it also changed up its retail strategy to cater to the different seasons in markets in the Southern Hemisphere. Custom weather-appropriate collections debuted in stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Johannesburg and Lima.

But perhaps the smartest move was to break virtual ground in e-commerce for all its concepts in September 2011. Eager shoppers could now order Inditex apparel and accessories online in U.S., Europe and Japan while that other retail juggernaut H&M continues to keep devotees waiting.

Smart Supply Chain

You see this more often than not in discount fast fashion chains: the label that says the garment was made in China or some other Asian country. It’s not surprising, considering that labor is still more affordable than in Europe or the U.S. But fast fashion by nature must capitalize on trends which come and go quicker than a girl can wrap a scarf around her neck. As the Economist reports: “managing a long supply chain is hard. By the time a boat has sailed halfway round the world, hemlines may have risen an inch and its cargo will be as popular as geriatric haddock.”

Inditex employs a counterintuitive strategy by sourcing more than half its goods from its home country as well as neighboring Portugal and Morocco. It may cost more up front but it saves markdowns on items that have fallen off the trend wagon.

Bottom Line: Quality

The apparel may be cheap (well, relative to designer goods anyway) but that doesn’t mean that Inditex merchandise looks or feels cheap. As a long-time Zara shopper (I remember when the store opened on Lexington Avenue in the 90s) I have never seen the chain turn out cheap threads. A jacket I purchased in 1995 (and still own) was constructed to last and looks as good as the one I got last week.

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Created by : Stefani(group 3)