Germany's retail sales rose 3.1% compared to December and 2.4% compared to the same month last year, as unemployment fell to a nearly 20-year low and consumer confidence rose, according to the Federal Statistics Office. "The recovery will spread to other parts of the euro zone from the second quarter onwards," said Berenberg Bank chief economist Holger Schmieding.
Limited Brands acquired Canadian lingerie chain La Senza six years ago and has since shuttered unproductive stores and worked to reposition the brand as the younger sibling of sister chain Victoria's Secret. Some industry experts see a day when the brand disappears altogether in Canada. "It is sad to see the La Senza brand change, but you want retailers to be successful," said retail consultant Wendy Evans.
Abercrombie & Fitch will mark its entry into the Middle East with the opening of a Hollister store at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai later this year, the first step in a joint venture with local retail partner Majid Al Futtaim Fashion.
Cosmetics giant L'Oreal booked a 12.4% rise in revenue in China last year, down from 18% in 2011, as growth in the overall cosmetics market there began to cool. It was the 12th consecutive year of double-digit growth for the company, which expects to see continued increases in 2013 with expanded skincare lines for men and a growing presence in second-tier cities, said L'Oreal China CEO Alexis Perakis-Valat.
US women's apparel retailer Chico's FAS will open its first three White House Black Market stores in Canada late this year, followed by larger namesake locations in 2014, the company said Thursday. Chico's, which operates 1,370 stores, has seen success during the downturn with new "slimming" clothing lines designed for women age 30 to 55.