The shift in Easter — and even a hint of moderation in temperatures — helped U.S. retailers increase their sales on both a weekly and year-over-year basis.
In their chain-store sales index, the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs calculated that sales for the week ended Saturday rose 1.9 percent over those of the comparable 2013 week and 0.4 percent over those for the week ended April 12.
In the prior week, sales rose 2.3 percent versus those for the prior-year week but fell 0.3 percent from the preceding week. The 2.3 percent uptick had been the strongest performance by the index in two months.
Michael Niemira, vice president of research and chief economist for ICSC, noted that the long wait for spring weather hurt results. “Sales during the pre-Easter week posted a moderate gain, with retailers stepping up their promotions, but Mother Nature refused to cooperate as another bout of unseasonably cool weather hit much of the country,” he said. “Even so, the gain marks the second straight solid performance from a yearly standpoint, good news for when the weather finally turns.”
Easter Sunday was April 20 this year, 20 days later than in 2013, pushing sales into the current month but, along with wintry weather, limiting sales gains in March. ICSC forecasts a 3.5 to 4 percent increase in same-store sales for the current month. Its tracking estimates for the month include a 4 percent increase in comparable sales for Gap Inc. and a 3 percent boost at L Brands. In March, Gap’s comp sales declined 6 percent while comp-store sales for Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands were off 1 percent. Gap’s figures include e-commerce revenues while L Brands’ do not.
The SaleTally-ICSC Promotion Index indicated heightened promotional activity at department and specialty stores in the run-up to Easter. Consumer spending continued to be constrained by higher gas prices, ICSC noted.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)