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BusINess » Clothing

Posts Tagged ‘Clothing’

Clothing prices to rise 10 percent starting in spring

Customer Brian Begay looks at a pair of Levi Strauss & Co. jeans at a store in Hayward, Calif. Cotton has more than doubled in price over the past year, and the price of other synthetic fabrics has jumped almost just as much as demand for alternatives and blends has risen. Clothing prices are expected to rise by 10 percent in the coming months. (Photograph by Paul Sakuma/The Associated Press.)

Customer Brian Begay looks at a pair of Levi Strauss & Co. jeans at a store in Hayward, Calif. Cotton has more than doubled in price over the past year, and the price of other synthetic fabrics has jumped almost just as much as demand for alternatives and blends has risen. Clothing prices are expected to rise by 10 percent in the coming months.
(Photograph by Paul Sakuma/The Associated Press.)

The era of falling clothing prices is ending.

Clothing prices have dropped for a decade as tame inflation and cheap overseas labor helped hold down costs. Retailers and clothing makers cut frills and experimented with fabric blends to cut prices during the recession.

But as the world economy recovers and demand for goods rises, a surge in labor and raw materials costs is squeezing retailers and manufacturers who have run out of ways to pare costs.
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Ugly sweater company is wearing well

Kevin Wool, from left, Adam Paulson and Brian Miller, co-owners of UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com, stand on a pile of sweaters Wednesday in their St. John headquarters. The trio runs the website where users are able to order a variety of ugly Christmas sweaters. (Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

Kevin Wool, from left, Adam Paulson and Brian Miller, co-owners of UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com, stand on a pile of sweaters Wednesday in their St. John headquarters. The trio runs the website where users are able to order a variety of ugly Christmas sweaters. (Photograph by Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

It’s becoming the “Halloween of Christmas,” and at the forefront of it all are three friends from Northwest Indiana who are witnessing their fun blog idea from a few years ago turn into one “ugly” little empire.

UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com was founded by Adam Paulson and Kevin Wool, of Crown Point, and Brian Miller, of St. John. “Team Ugly” is celebrating its second Christmas selling a gaudy product by the truckload.
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Crown Point grad building Web-based empire

Jake Nickell, a Crown Point High School graduate and founder of Threadless, an online T-shirt company, was inspired to start the business after entering and winning an online T-shirt design contest. Threadless turned into a multimillion-dollar Web-based business and led to two retail stores in Chicago. It is celebrating 10 years in business. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Jake Nickell, a Crown Point High School graduate and founder of Threadless, an online T-shirt company, was inspired to start the business after entering and winning an online T-shirt design contest. Threadless turned into a multimillion-dollar Web-based business and led to two retail stores in Chicago. It is celebrating 10 years in business.
(Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

While a student at Crown Point High School, Jake Nickell provided technical support for an Internet provider in the city’s downtown square. Now the 30-year-old owns a Chicago-based company whose business model has been taught at Ivy League schools.

Threadless is a business that “was never intended to be a business,” Nickell said.

In 2000, Nickell was working as a full-time Web designer and was enrolled part time at the Illinois Institute of Art when he entered and won an online T-shirt design competition. Read the rest of this entry »


Finding his Lottt in life

Nick Delgado shows off some of the custom designed board faces at his Schererville business. Delgado has opened The Lottt, a skateboard and custom design shop that creates custom skateboards and specialty shirts and signage. (Photograph by The Times.)

Nick Delgado shows off some of the custom designed board faces at his Schererville business. Delgado has opened The Lottt, a skateboard and custom design shop that creates custom skateboards and specialty shirts and signage.
(Photograph by The Times.)

For seven years, Nick Delgado played professional baseball for affiliate teams of the Pittsburgh Pirates. After 13 knee surgeries and other medical problems that surfaced, the East Chicago native found himself asking the question, “What now?”

An athlete as well as an artist, Delgado turned to his second love and began to pursue opening an embroidery business that featured custom apparel.

With 13 cents in his pocket, however, he knew it would take a lot of hard work to make his dream become a reality.

“I ended up getting a job with UPS and got a couple other jobs, like doing baseball lessons,” said Delgado, owner of The Lottt in Schererville. “With that, I saved enough money for my embroidery machine. I paid that out cash, something like $17,000.”

From about 1997 to 2001, Delgado built and bought equipment one piece at a time. He also trademarked his work, which cost him another $25,000 because of all his individual and custom pieces he wanted to protect.

“I kept doing the same thing—working, saving, working, saving, and buying new machines,” Delgado said.

Through all this, he never took out a loan.

“I kept believing and taking on clients,” Delgado said. “Finally, things started getting bigger.”

In 2003, he and his wife decided to make the move to open a storefront in Chicago. The business took off as more started to notice Delgado’s work, which consists of four lines of clothing and customized silk-screening.
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New feature in Jaymar-Ruby display at La Porte County Historical Society Museum

From the BusINess inbox—The BusINess editors are committed to keeping you informed about the latest news in NWI. Here’s today’s submission from the La Porte County Historical Society:

This display, continued from February, is a colorful, informative collection of items showing the history of the Jaymar-Ruby Corporation of Michigan City. Now out of business, it was one of La Porte County’s biggest employers for many years. Founded in 1916 by Jack M. Ruby, the factory was originally called Hoosier Factories, Inc. and was known as a maker of overalls.

The display now includes a 15-minute video documentary by Roger Ruby. Grandson of company founder Jack M. Ruby, Roger Ruby is a professional videographer living in California. He has created a short video documentary that features images from the early days of Jaymar-Ruby, including interview clips with his father Burton “Bud” Ruby and early live television commercials. One features Jerry Lewis and Ed McMahon advertising Jaymar-Ruby’s “Sansabelt” pants. The video may be viewed as part of the museum display.
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Retail sales rise by 0.5 percent in January

In this Jan. 28, 2010 photo, a customer shops the grocery section at the Family Dollar discount store in Brooklyn, New York. Retail sales posted a better-than-expected increase in January, a welcome development that could mean stronger economic growth in coming months. (AP Photos/Bebeto Matthews)

In this Jan. 28, 2010 photo, a customer shops the grocery section at the Family Dollar discount store in Brooklyn, New York. Retail sales posted a better-than-expected increase in January, a welcome development that could mean stronger economic growth in coming months. (AP Photos/Bebeto Matthews)

Retail sales posted a better-than-expected increase in January, a welcome development that could mean stronger economic growth in coming months.

The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales increased by 0.5 percent last month, the best showing since November and better than the 0.3 percent increase economists had expected.

Excluding autos, sales posted a 0.6 percent reading, also better than expected, with strength coming from a surge at general merchandise stores, a category that includes big national chains such as those owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
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Retailers’ results top estimates; wariness remains

A Saks Fifth Ave., store window is shown Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, in New York. Retailer Saks Inc. said Tuesday its second-quarter loss widened as consumer spending on luxury fashion continued to languish, but the loss was not as big as analysts expected. (Photograph by Mark Lennihan/AP.)

A Saks Fifth Ave., store window is shown Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, in New York. Retailer Saks Inc. said Tuesday its second-quarter loss widened as consumer spending on luxury fashion continued to languish, but the loss was not as big as analysts expected. (Photograph by Mark Lennihan/AP.)

Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. on Tuesday posted lower profits that still topped Wall Street expectations, but economic worries are likely to keep shoppers tight-fisted in the months ahead, executives predicted.

The results at two other retailers strongly reflected the recession’s effects. Discounter TJX Cos., which operates T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores, saw profit rise 31 percent. And luxury merchant Saks Inc. saw its loss widen, though still coming in smaller than analysts feared because of a series of cost-cutting moves.

During the recession, discounters have benefited from consumer cutbacks, while luxury retailers have seen demand evaporate.

Home Depot reported that profit fell 7 percent, as the nation’s biggest home improvement retailer shuttered its Expo business and continued to be pinched by the recession.

Still, the Atlanta-based company’s adjusted results beat Wall Street’s expectations, and it lifted its guidance for full-year earnings from continuing operations.

Shares rose 56 cents, or more than 2 percent, to $26.66 in morning trading.

Home Depot earned $1.12 billion, or 66 cents per share, for the period. That’s down from $1.2 billion, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding Expo-related charges, profit was 67 cents per share, topping analysts’ forecasts for 59 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters. Home Depot had announced in January that it planned to close its 34 Expo Design Centers.
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Burton Ruby

(Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks.)

(Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks.)

Burton Ruby, chairman of Jamar-Ruby, has spent more than seven decades at the company founded by his father, helping make its men’s apparel an industry icon.

The 93-year-old company, which now does business under the Trans-Apparel Group, held the patent on the Sansabelt waistline it introduced for men’s slacks in 1957.

Ruby said he was trained in the clothing manufacturing business from the shop floor, learning cutting, pattern making and sewing before moving into the white collar area of the company’s Michigan City facility where he became assistant plant manager in 1946, then plant superintendent in 1954.

Three years later, Ruby became company president and chief executive officer.
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