Puma hails Rihanna brand impact, fears discounts

Rihanna
Updated 24 October 2017

Puma hails Rihanna brand impact, fears discounts

BERLIN: Puma expects gross margins to be squeezed by discounting in the fourth quarter, despite a new collection from singer Rihanna helping the German sportswear company raise its 2017 sales and operating earnings outlook.
Puma said on Tuesday that third-quarter sales rose a currency-adjusted 23 percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa, 16 percent in the Americas and 10 percent in Asia/Pacific.
Like its German rival Adidas, which reports results on Nov. 9, Puma has been enjoying a revival in the US market, as shoppers snap up its retro styles instead of basketball shoes, hurting Under Armor and Nike.
“Rihanna’s relationship with us makes the brand actual and hot again with young consumers,” Chief Executive Bjorn Gulden told a media call, adding that growth in Puma’s gear for women was outstripping other areas of the business.
Puma, which was bought by French luxury goods company Kering in 2007, had been struggling for years, but analysts expect Kering could seek to sell its stake in the course of 2018 now that the German brand is performing well again.
Gulden cautioned that fourth-quarter gross margins could be weaker due to heavy discounting, particularly in the United States where retailers are struggling, and in Europe, due to mild weather deterring shoppers from buying winter gear.
Nike last month posted its slowest quarterly sales growth in nearly seven years in the face of intensifying competition from Adidas and Puma and a looming price war amid retailers.


‘King of the road’ rules again as Philippines eases coronavirus lockdown

Updated 03 July 2020

‘King of the road’ rules again as Philippines eases coronavirus lockdown

  • Just 6,000 jeepneys back in business, operating at half capacity under strict social distancing rules
  • First jeepneys were surplus army jeeps left behind by the US military after World War Two

MANILA: Thousands of jeepneys, flamboyantly decorated jeeps that serve as cheap public transport across the Philippines, were back on the streets of Manila on Friday, bringing relief to companies and commuters who have struggled with coronavirus curbs.
Dubbed “the king of the road,” an estimated 55,000 of these large, multi-colored trucks, used to crawl through Manila’s gridlocked roads on a typical day before being forced to a halt 15 weeks ago when the government imposed a coronavirus lockdown.
Just 6,000 were back in business on Friday, operating at half capacity under strict social distancing rules. In pre-pandemic times, jeepneys routinely carried up to 15 passengers who sat knee-to-knee on twin benches in the windowless vehicles, choked by exhaust fumes.
“I’m very happy we are now back on the road. This is our only source of income,” said driver Celo Cabangon, whose truck is decorated with Japanese and Philippine flags, Bible verses and the logo of US sci-fi film “Transformers.”
Under the new rules, passengers must also undergo temperature checks before boarding and shield themselves from one another with face masks and plastic sheets. The Philippines has recorded 40,000 coronavirus cases, and 1,280 deaths.
Commuter Alejandra Carable welcomed the jeepney’s return. “Our expenses are too much without jeepneys. We can save much more now that the jeepneys are back.”
A jeepney fare is typically about 9 pesos ($0.18), cheaper than trains, taxis or motorized tricycles, which were allowed back on the road a month ago when authorities started easing one of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns.
A phased return to work has been chaotic without jeepneys, with commuters stranded and some companies unable to provide sufficient private transport.
The first jeepneys were surplus army jeeps left behind by the US military after World War Two. Most are festooned with religious slogans or horoscope signs and are in poor shape.