Retail stocks kicked off the second half on Monday in fine style, comfortably outperforming Wall Street — and analysts said the resilient consumer could propel stocks further during the key back-to-school and holiday seasons.
The S&P 500 Retail Industry Group rose 1.1 percent, or 8.57 points, to 796.94, outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which increased 0.4 percent, or 65.36 points, to 14,974.96. Retail stocks jumped 20.7 percent during the first half, ahead of the Dow’s 13.8 percent gain.
Consumers, who, according to sentiment surveys, have regained their prerecession confidence as the housing market improved, might be poised to send retailers higher.
“The consumer is still on track,” said Matthew Boss, a stock analyst at J.P. Morgan. “The consumer places an emphasis on the value of their home and that home equity is really the backbone of their ability to spend.”
Boss said retailers aren’t likely to break any revenue record over June or July, but could perk up as b-t-s price cuts take hold.
“While the consumer will come out, I think it will be a promotional back-to-school, and a well-received back-to-school will lead to a good holiday,” he said.
The holiday season will have six fewer shopping days this year versus last year, which could muddy the waters, but Boss said the fall comparisons could be favorable given the focus on the elections last year.
“Retail should do OK,” said Paul Nolte, managing director with Dearborn Partners in Chicago. “We’ve been counting out the consumer for some time and the consumer continues to be in there spending. The general retailers — Wal-Mart, Dollar General and Target — will be fine.”
Nolte predicted the market would grow by fits and starts, gaining another 4 to 5 percent this year as investors keep a close eye on the Federal Reserve’s moves and corporate earnings.
Fashion gainers on Monday included The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up 4.1 percent to $18.79; Maidenform Brands Inc., 2.6 percent to $17.78; Gap Inc., 2.6 percent to $42.80; Nordstrom Inc., 2.1 percent to $61.21; The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., 2.1 percent to $38.65, and Kohl’s Corp., 2.1 percent to $51.57.
Markets also gained ground in Europe, where Canada’s former central bank chief Mark Carney became governor of the Bank of England, succeeding Sir Mervyn King. Markets are hoping that Carney will be able to jump start the British economy.
Milan’s FTSE MIB rose 1.5 percent to 15,459.57, as London’s FTSE 100 increased 1 percent to 6,307.78; Paris’ CAC 40 advanced 0.8 percent to 3,767.48, and Frankfurt’s DAX inched up 0.3 percent to 7,983.92.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast