Retail shares returned to positive ground despite the Commerce Department’s report of sales declines in January.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group recorded a 0.9 percent increase to 896.49 following news early in the day of a 0.4 percent decline in overall retail sales compared to December, with apparel and accessories stores down a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent and department stores off 1.5 percent. An arctic climate outside and promotional one in stores kept a lid on sales throughout the month.
The retail index rose more rapidly than either the broader S&P 500, up 0.6 percent to 1,829.83, or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, up 0.4 percent to 16,027.59. It was the Dow’s first close above 16,000 since Jan. 23.
Leading the retail charge was Sears Holdings Corp., which rose 7.5 percent to $43.42 after news Force Capital Management, headed by Robert Jaffe, held a 6.3 million share, or 5.6 percent, passive stake in the firm. Barry Berkowitz’s Fairholme Capital Management, previously owners of a 17.1 percent stake, increased its stake to 22.8 percent.
Shares of Elizabeth Arden Inc. rose 6.9 percent to $28.57 and American Apparel Inc.’s shares advanced 6.1 percent to $1.01.
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. saw its shares pick up 0.5 percent to $5.99 after it said thatEdward Record, formerly of Stage Stores Inc. and Kohl’s Corp., would succeed Ken Hannah as executive vice president and chief financial officer on March 24. Analysts viewed the appointment as an indication of an endorsement of gradual change in the troubled retailer’s finances, rather than a more aggressive restructuring approach.
Shares of Oxford Industries Inc. rose 2 percent to $76.56 but declined 4 percent, to $73.37, in the early stages of after-hours trading after the Atlanta-based owner of Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer pulled down its fourth-quarter guidance based on what chief executive officer Thomas Chubb 3rd term a “weaker than expected” performance from the Ben Sherman business.
Adjusted earnings per share for the three months are now expected to range between 83 and 88 cents on revenues of about $250 million, lower than the EPS range of 98 cents to $1.13 and revenue projection of between $255 million and $265 million provided earlier.
Penney’s gain as cfo proved to be Stage Stores Inc.’s loss, with the latter’s shares off 3.4 percent to $18.81. Avon Products Inc. shares fell 3.1 percent to $14.60 after the company estimated that its settlement with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission could cost up to $132 million.
Most European markets rose, although the FTSE MIB in Milan, the strongest performer of the major indices in Europe so far this year, had a down day, surrendering 0.2 percent to land at 20,110.30.
The DAX in Frankfurt trended up 1.3 percent to 9,411.84, followed by the FTSE 100 in London, up 0.7 percent to 6,635.98, and the CAC 40 in Paris, ahead 0.5 percent to 4,259.70.
Asos.com shares had a good day, rising 6.2 percent to 66.69 pounds. Geox was up 3.1 percent to 3.03 euros in Milan while Mulberry Group rallied 1.7 percent to close at 6.77 pounds in London.
Among those shedding value on the day were Prada, 4.9 percent to 60.55 Hong Kong dollars. Esprit was off 1.4 percent to 14.26 Hong Kong dollars and Kering down 1 percent to 152.55 euros.The euro traded for $1.36 against the U.S. dollar while the pound brought $1.64 and the Hong Kong dollar 12.9 cents.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)