Shares of The Jones Group Inc. rose 5.9 percent Friday on word that activist investor Barington Capital had taken a stake in the firm and was pushing for it to sell off some smaller brands and tighten up operations.
The stock closed up 78 cents to $14.07 and climbed as high as $15.07 in midday trading. More than 4.7 million shares traded hands Friday, well ahead of the three-month average 742,789 shares.
A company spokeswoman said, “The Jones Group confirms that Barington holds approximately 2 percent of our stock and that Jones has met with Barington at Barington’s request. We always consider and respect the views of our stockholders and do not comment on individual discussions with them.”
The spokeswoman added that the company remains committed to its mission of enhancing stockholder value “through creating the leading global fashion company defined by premier brands and driven by exceptional talent.”
Jones has a portfolio of 35 brands, but according to an investor presentation from March, it has just six “core brands” and six “emerging brands” with higher margin opportunities.
The core brands include Nine West, Jones New York, Anne Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, L.E.I. and Easy Spirit. Collectively, they represent 62 percent of the company’s net revenues. The emerging brands are Stuart Weitzman, Kurt Geiger, Robert Rodriguez, Rachel Roy, Jessica Simpson and Brian Atwood.
Beyond those 12 businesses, Jones markets brands with somewhat less traction in the market, such as Robbi & Nikki, Bandolino, Enzo Angiolini, Le Suit, Mootsies Tootsies, Grane, Erika, Napier and Albert Nipon.
Although Jones’ stock saw a nice gain Friday, it has a market capitalization of just $1.03 billion — below that of competitors such as Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., at $2.56 billion; PVH Corp., at $8.88 billion, and Ralph Lauren Corp., at $15.79 billion.
A Barington spokesman said, “We’re not in the practice of commenting publicly on companies we’re engaged in private discussion with.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported Barington’s interest in the company on its Web site Friday.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye