Major global indices were generally down slightly, although in the U.S. the equity indices ended mixed on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 percent to 16,462.74, while the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group in the U.S. inched up 0.2 percent to 932.60. Among the retail gainers were Zale Corp., up 3.5 percent to $16.51, Coldwater Creek Inc., up 1.2 percent to 83 cents and Delia’s Inc., up 1.1 percent to 92 cents. Among the losers were J.C. Penney Co. Inc, which fell 10 percent to $7.37 after the retailer provided an update of its performance during the holiday season, but left out specifics on data to quantify its conclusions. The 64-word statement, for a 61-day holiday selling season, said it was “pleased” with its performance and noted its “continued progress” in its turnaround efforts. Penney’s also said customers “responded well” to its merchandise offerings. It reaffirmed fourth-quarter guidance for sequential and year-over-year improvement in comparable-store sales and gross margin. Maxim Group analyst Rick Snyder said that Penney’s “December sale release is remarkable for being unremarkable.” He noted that there was no quantification of December comps, although the November sales release had noted that comps had risen by 10.1 percent. Snyder also pointed out that investors “deal in absolutes, while adjectives are wholly subjective.” So while investors weren’t pleased with the lack of “absolute” information, Snyder did conclude that there was one positive takeaway from the update: Penney’s still expects to end the quarter with $2 billion in liquidity, the part of the outlook that was reaffirmed. Other retailers that saw declines were Pacific Sunwear of California, down 5.9 percent to $3.37, and Christopher & Banks Corp., which decreased 3.9 percent to $7.34. In overseas trading, the markets in Europe generally were down slightly, although London’s FTSE 100 endured a 0.5 percent drop to 6,721.78 after grocer J. Sainsbury report a 0.2 percent increase in third-quarter same-store sales and issued a cautious outlook regarding post-holiday spending. Milan’s FTSE MIB declined 0.2 percent, to 19,436.30, while the CAC 40 in Paris and DAX in Frankfurt fell less than 0.1 percent, with the Paris index landing at 4,260.96 and Frankfurt’s at 9,497.84. Decliners in the fashion and luxury sectors included Ferragamo, off 5.8 percent to 26 euros; Brunello Cucinelli, off 5 percent to 24.85 euros, and Moncler, down 4.2 percent to 14.75 euros. Bucking the generally downward trend were Prada, up 3.7 percent to 71.59 Hong Kong dollars, and value retailer Bonmarché Holdings, up 3.6 percent to 2.56 pounds. Bonmarché isn’t related to the Le Bon Marché department store in Paris. The euro traded for $1.36 against the U.S. dollar versus $1.64 for the pound, $1.10 for the Swiss franc and 12.9 cents for the Hong Kong dollar.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)