BRAND BARGAIN BONANZA: Expectations were high, and recent performance solid, for the two luxury retailers reporting December same-store sales Thursday, and neither disappointed — Nordstrom Inc. was up 8.7 percent and Saks Inc. ahead 5.8 percent for the month. More surprising was the excellent December put together by the nation’s two largest off-price chains. The TJX Cos. Inc. and Ross Stores Inc. put together increases of 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively, and supplied the first- and third-largest upside surprises — 5.4 and 4.8 points — versus analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters. Both seized the opportunity to lift their fourth-quarter earnings estimates, and TJX announced plans for a two-for-one stock split effective Feb. 2 for shareholders of record Jan. 17.
MERCHANDISING METEOROLOGY: Outerwear and other cold-weather gear were a sore spot for many retailers, who spent much of last month waiting for frigid temperatures that never materialized, and will likely spend much of January discounting inventories just as the mercury settles into more seasonal territory. December’s final week was the warmest in years throughout much of the country, and instead of the blizzard in the Northeast that brought business to a virtual standstill on the day after Christmas in 2010, this year most shoppers had not only clear roads but a Monday off.
CLASS REUNION: Several stores that have abandoned monthly comp reporting moved in somewhat under the radar Thursday with updates on their holiday. American Apparel flashed a 7 percent increase in comps for the final three months of the year. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. said its November-December comps rose 12 percent, while Aéropostale Inc.’s fell back 10 percent.
@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)