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Zara owner Inditex profit growth slows, stores expand

Spanish textile titan Inditex, owner of global fashion brand Zara, reported Wednesday slower profit growth in 2013 as it poured money into new stores, with up to 500 more to open this year. Created 40 years ago in the northwestern Galicia region by the son of a railwayman, Amancio Ortega, the group boasted a worldwide empire of 6,340 stores in 87 markets at the end of its 2013 business year, which runs to January 31.

Inditex to invest more in 2014 as sales bounce back

By Sarah Morris MADRID (Reuters) - Inditex, the world's biggest fashion retailer, will accelerate investment in 2014 to open more new stores after results last year were hit by falling currencies outside the euro zone and the cost of revamping flagship stores. The owner of the Zara brand reported on Wednesday that core annual profit in the 12 months ending January 31 was flat at 3.9 billion euros ($5.4 billion), the first time growth has stalled since it went public in 2001, but meeting analyst expectations.

Zara owner Inditex profit growth slows, stores expand

Spanish textile titan Inditex, owner of global fashion brand Zara, reported Wednesday slower profit growth in 2013 as it poured money into new stores, with up to 500 more to open this year. Created 40 years ago in the northwestern Galicia region by the son of a railwayman, Amancio Ortega, the group boasted a worldwide empire of 6,340 stores in 87 markets at the end of its 2013 business year, which runs to January 31.

Bottega Veneta CEO says bigger, not more shops key to growth

By Astrid Wendlandt and Pascale Denis PARIS (Reuters) - Bottega Veneta, Kering's No.2 luxury brand in terms of sales, is slowing down the pace of shop openings to preserve exclusivity, and plans to focus on enlarging and improving the performance of its existing stores, its head said. The Italian brand famous for its "intrecciato", a weaving of leather stripes that makes its bags supple, robust and recognizable, is one of Kering's main growth engines, helping make up for slower growth at sister brand Gucci.

Story of Bolivian poncho told by its biggest collector

La Paz, Mar 17 (EFE).- A valuable collection of ponchos hand-woven by Aymara and Quechua Indian women has been assembled and studied by a researcher who has spent 40 years of his life getting to know the art of these textiles and what they have meant to indigenous peoples. Oscar Barriga sums up his field research in the recently published book "El Poncho en Bolivia," the fruit of his passion for collecting them that began in 1966 out of a wish to keep the country's textile heritage from being looted and lost.

Story of Bolivian poncho told by its biggest collector

La Paz, Mar 17 (EFE).- A valuable collection of ponchos hand-woven by Aymara and Quechua Indian women has been assembled and studied by a researcher who has spent 40 years of his life getting to know the art of these textiles and what they have meant to indigenous peoples. Oscar Barriga sums up his field research in the recently published book "El Poncho en Bolivia," the fruit of his passion for collecting them that began in 1966 out of a wish to keep the country's textile heritage from being looted and lost.

Vigilantes hand over weapons in Mexico murder investigation

Morelia, Mexico, Mar 13 (EFE).- Vigilantes in a town in the western Mexican state of Michoacan handed over weapons to prosecutors investigating the murders of two people last weekend, officials and community leaders said Thursday. About 50 members of the community self-defense group in La Ruana turned their weapons over to prosecutors, a community leader told Efe.

U.S. lawmakers urge Pentagon to allow Sikhs leeway in military attire

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawmakers urged the Pentagon on Monday to lift a virtual ban on Sikhs serving in the U.S. armed forces by easing the military-uniform policy to enable Sikhs to wear beards, long hair and turbans in accordance with the customs of their religion. "We believe it is time for our military to make inclusion of practicing Sikh Americans the rule, not the exception," Representatives Joseph Crowley, a Democrat, and Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican, said in a bipartisan letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, signed by 105 lawmakers.

Supreme court declines to hear 'I (heart sign) boobies' case

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a school district's appeal over an attempt by officials to ban breast cancer awareness bracelets bearing the message "I (heart sign) boobies," handing victory to two students who challenged the decision on free speech grounds. The court's decision not to take up the case means that an August 2013 ruling by the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of students Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez is left intact.

Adidas and Nike battle for soccer supremacy in World Cup year

By Keith Weir and Emma Thomasson LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) - With the soccer World Cup only three months away, Adidas and Nike are squaring up for a marketing battle to match the fierce on-field rivalry of nations like Brazil and Argentina. The sportswear giants dominate a soccer kit industry worth more than $5 billion annually. They vie for the title of market leader in the supply of hi-tech boots and jerseys to fans inspired by Argentine Lionel Messi, who wears Adidas, or new Brazilian idol Neymar, who is in the Nike camp.
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