Retail sales, under pressure from wintry weather since the start of 2014, felt the wrath of a calendar shift in March.
Most retailers sharing comparable sales results for last month reported decreases, although generally smaller than anticipated by analysts, as Easter’s shift into mid-April this year from late March last year made for tougher sales comparisons.
L Brands Inc. reported a 1 percent decline in comparable sales for the month, with Victoria’s Secret off 1 percent and Bath & Body Works down 2 percent. Amie Preston, chief investor relations officer, estimated that the later Easter this year chopped 2 to 3 percentage points off the result for last month. “This shift will positively impact April, and therefore we expect April comps to be up mid-single digits,” she said, estimating a low-single digit increase for the two months combined.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected L Brands’ comps to drop 1.6 percent last month, with Victoria’s Secret down 1.3 percent.
Stein Mart Inc. registered a 0.9 percent increase in March comps, lower than the 3.5 percent gain expected by analysts. The company said that its home state of Florida and the rest of the Southeast had comp increases, while Texas, the Gulf States and the Northeast were “more challenged.”
Both of the teen retailers reporting results had comp declines last month, with The Buckle Inc. down 1.8 percent and Zumiez Inc., reporting late Wednesday, trending down 2.9 percent. However, the decreases were less severe than the respective 3.2 and 4.4 percent drops projected by Thomson Reuters.
Costco Wholesale Corp. last month saw comps increase 5 percent overall and 6 percent in the U.S. when gasoline sales were excluded. Those figures beat analysts’ projections for increases of 3.5 and 5.5 percent, respectively, and stood as the only increases reported Thursday other than Stein Mart.
Cato Corp. comps were off 5 percent, 1 point more than anticipated, but John Cato, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the company wasn’t adjusting its earnings expectations for the first quarter. They are now set at between 89 and 95 cents a diluted share.
Gap Inc. is set to report its results for March after the close of the markets this afternoon.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)