Tensions in Ukraine spread to the west and rippled across the Atlantic, sending markets in Europe and the U.S. sharply down to begin the month.
After seven consecutive trading days of gains dating back to Feb. 20, the S&P Retailing Industry Group began March with a 0.5 percent decline to 932.63, while the major U.S. indices suffered greater declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.7 percent to end the day at 16,168.03 and 1,845.73, respectively.
The most severe decline among fashion, retail and beauty issues tracked by WWD came from Nu Skin Enterprises Inc., down 10.7 percent to $74.61 after the direct marketing firm forecast first-quarter results below analysts’ consensus estimates. The beauty firm also posted fourth-quarter profitability that topped estimates. Christopher & Banks Corp. was off 4.8 percent to $6.34 and Tilly’s Inc. down 3.2 percent to $11.58.
As The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. hammered out a non-disclosure agreement as a starting point for talks on an acquisition of the latter by the former, both companies added to their market capitalization. Men’s Wearhouse shares rose 0.6 percent to $54.10 while Jos. A. Bank’s were up 0.4 percent to $62.31, just 19 cents shy of the per-share bid rejected by the company last week.
Among other publicly held firms bucking the downward trend were Bebe Stores Inc., up 11.2 percent to $6.75, and J.C. Penney Co. Inc., continuing its upward momentum with a 9.3 percent advance to $7.96. American Apparel Inc. also rose, logging a 4.5 percent advance to 75 cents, while Sears Holdings Corp. rose 3.3 percent to $46.24.
Late Monday, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service lifted its outlook on Penney's to “stable” from “negative” based on “modest improvements during the seasonally important fourth quarter.” S&P credit analyst David Kuntz commented that, with the midtier retailer’s performance stabilizing, the liquidity assessment has risen to “adequate” from “less than adequate.”
“The capital structure is unsustainable, but the company does not have any meaningful maturities over the next 12 months,” Kuntz said.
Ascena Retail Group Inc. was up 3.2 percent to $18.87 in trading during the day but fell 6.7 percent, back to $17.60, in the first hour after the markets closed following a report on second-quarter results that included a downward revision of its full-year earnings.
Europe’s markets reacted more dramatically to the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
The DAX in Frankfurt sank 3.4 percent to 9,358.89, followed by the FTSE MIB in Milan, 3.3 percent to 19,759.69; the CAC 40 in Paris, 2.7 percent to 4,290.87, and the FTSE 100 in London, 1.5 percent to 6,708.35.
Retail and luxury stocks were down, with the exception of miner Gemfields, parent of Fabergé, which was essentially flat.
Gemfields posted a slide in first-half profits to $1.4 million from $4.7 million in the corresponding period last year, due to extraordinary investment costs. Sales were up 137 percent to $65.7 million in the six-month period.
Among the day’s biggest decliners were Aeffe, down 4.6 percent to 0.79 euros; Carrefour SA, 2.9 percent to 25.95 euros; Geox, 7.2 percent to 2.95 euros; Metro AG, 5.4 percent to 28.41 euros; Yoox.com, 4.4 percent to 29.63 euros, and Ferragamo, 3.3 percent to 22.39 euros.
The euro traded at $1.38 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.67, and the Swiss franc fetched $1.13.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)