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Short news...4/19/04

APRIL 19, 2004 -- Global Brand Marketing, Inc., owner of Pony International and Dry-shoD, and global footwear licensee of Diesel, XOXO, Nautica and Mecca, hired Peter Benjamin as COO. He will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of company operations at GBMI, from the moment an order arrives at GBMI until it is shipped to a US or international customer. Benjamin will oversee and develop the operating strategy for each of GBMI's divisions. Capitalizing on the company's strong financial status, Benjamin will work to strengthen the company's sales operations, inventory management and distribution policies. Benjamin came to GBMI with more than 30 years of experience as a senior executive of leading apparel and footwear companies. Previously, Benjamin served as COO of Deckers Outdoor.

A research survey will be sent to all Outdoor Retailer exhibitors and retail attendees to gather industry input for future show locations. For candid responses, this survey will be administered by an independent third party, Boulder Sports Research, Inc., and will be conducted by email. Finally, to facilitate Backcountry Base Camp and crossover opportunities, Outdoor Retailer is shifting its Winter Market 2005 dates. Prior to the opening of the trade show, the 2nd Annual Backcountry Base Camp will now be held on Friday, January 28 and the show will follow, Saturday, January 29 through Tuesday, February 1, 2005.

Merrill Lynch maintained a sell rating on JJB Sports, the UK's largest sporting goods retailer. Merrill mentioned that JJB Sports FY 2003 results were short of expectations. The pre-tax profit estimates have been reduced in view of the company’s reduced cash flow levels, bleak trading outlook and poor Q1 performance. Readers of Inside Sporting Goods read the full report of JJB's soft sales and earnings last week.

Puma will sure FIFA. The world governing body of soccer banned the company's one-piece soccer outfit that was worn by the Cameroon team. FIFA fined Cameroon's soccer association EUR125,000 and deprived the team of six points in the qualifying round of the World Cup in 2006. FIFA initially declared the kit as being illegal during the Nations Cup, but Puma said there was not enough time to change it during the games. Puma maintains FIFA rules do not say anything about one-piece suits.

As if UN secretary-general Kofi Annan doesn't have enough on his plate, the UN has been asked to sanction Nike over allegations that it violated the rights of workers at Bauer Nike Hockey when it closed two Canadian factories and axed 288 workers. The unions contend that Nike has shown "little willingness to respect association and bargaining rights" at the hockey unit. In doing so, they allege that Nike has broken a principle of the UN Global Compact, an initiative that includes businesses identifying themselves as socially responsible. Nike, which joined the compact in 2000, replied that corporate restructurings were not covered. In a letter to Annan, the unions argue that Nike has reduced the size of Bauer's bargaining units through outsourcing, routinely violated terms of collective bargaining agreements and failed to engage in "genuine" dialogue with unions representing employees at unionized Bauer factory in Canada.

Georgio Armani came to Shanghai to open a new boutique. To his surprise, he personally experienced the rampant counterfeiting going on in China. He found he could buy "Armani" watches in Shanghai for $22. Armani told reporters that there are stores in China carrying the "Armani" banner that he neither owns nor does business with. He is considering moving some production from China.

Unforeseen business obligations have forced both Burton and Steve Douglas to re-examine their recently signed deal for him to come on board as the new GM of Analog Clothing. His many past businesses and the contractual constraints associated with them coupled with his ongoing distribution company in Europe prevent him from taking the Analog opportunity at this time. Due to these circumstances, Burton will immediately resume its search for a GM of Analog, who will be based in California. "While both parties did all the requisite due diligence in coming to terms, the evolution of Steve's business concerns as well as recent acquisitions in the marketplace made this an unworkable situation at this time," said Laurent Potdevin, president of Burton.

 Breaking Headlines
Short news...4/19/04
APRIL 19, 2004

Short news...4/16/04
APRIL 16, 2004

Short news...4/15/04
APRIL 15, 2004

Deckers' Q1 Revenues Increase 23%
APRIL 15, 2004

News shorts...4/14/04
APRIL 14, 2004

VF Acquires Napapijri Brand
APRIL 14, 2004

Short news...4/13/04
APRIL 13, 2004

Huffy Sees Big Q1 Loss; Selling Its Services Business
APRIL 13, 2004

Foot Locker Buying 350 Footaction Doors
APRIL 13, 2004

Short news...4/12/04
APRIL 12, 2004

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