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.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)