Shares of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. plunged on Friday, reaching the lowest level in six years after the teen retailer was downgraded on news that Susan P. McGalla, president and chief merchandising officer, will not renew her contract with the company.
Coming off Thursday's stock meltdown, most retail shares continued to slide and the Dow Jones Industrial Average almost reached bear market territory, down just under 20 percent from its October 2007 high. The S&P Retail Index fell 0.5 percent to 359.56. The Dow dropped 0.9 percent to 11,346.51 and the broader S&P 500 declined 0.4 percent to 1,278.38.
American Eagle Outfitters was among the New York Stock Exchange's biggest decliners, plunging 14.4 percent to $13.53. The previous 52-week low was $15.45. The retailer was downgraded by Oppenheimer to "perform" from "outperform." In a research note, Roxanne Meyer, retail analyst at the firm, cited McGalla's departure, fashion misses and the weak economy as the catalysts for the downgrade.
McGalla's contract expires on Jan. 31, 2009. The company will conduct a search for a new chief merchandising officer.
Macy's Inc. and Christopher & Banks Corp. reached 52-week lows in intraday trading. Macy's fell to $18.94 before recovering to gain 0.3 percent to $19.53. Christopher & Banks reached $6.74 and closed at $7, down 20.6 percent. The previous 52-week low was $7.65. The company on Thursday reported a weak second-quarter earnings outlook.
J. Crew Group dropped 2 percent to $32.67, American Apparel Inc. fell 6.6 percent to $6.35 and Guess Inc. dropped 2.8 percent to $37.75.
Women's retailers were down, as Chico's FAS Inc. fell 1.2 percent to $5.69, The Talbots Inc. sank 4 percent to $12.09 and Coldwater Creek Inc. declined 6.1 percent to $5.43.
Among high-end retailers, Saks Inc. declined 0.5 percent to $11.45, and Nordstrom Inc. decreased 1.8 percent to $31.07.
On the upside, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. increased 2.4 percent to $36.83, Kohl's Corp. grew 2.1 percent to $41.38 and Sears Holdings Corp. gained 4.5 percent to $77.73.
In the men's sector, Casual Male Retail Group plunged 9.1 percent to $3.49, reaching its lowest point since March 2003.
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion