U.S. retail stocks concluded a strong year on a fittingly positive note today.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group moved up 0.6 percent to 939.80, locking in a 43.9 percent gain for 2013, a year in which virtually all sectors of the fashion, retail and beauty sectors but teen specialty retailers enjoyed strong gains virtually without interruption.
The Dow Jones Industrial finished the last trading session of the year at 16,576.66, up 0.4 percent for the day and 26.5 percent for the year. The S&P 500 was also up 0.4 percent, to 1,848.36, to end 2013 with a 29.6 percent climb. It was the strongest annual performance of the century for both indices.
Markets were buoyed by word from The Conference Board of an improvement in its Consumer Confidence Index, which picked up to 78.1 in December from 72 in November and exceeded economists’ expectations.
Among the U.S.-based equities tracked by WWD, the year’s best performer turned in the day’s worst showing. Zale Corp., a leader in what has been a vibrant jewelry sector this holiday season, shed 4.4 percent to $15.77 Tuesday but concluded the year up 283.7 percent from its $4.11 close one year ago. The day’s strongest performance came from Birks Group Inc., up 11.8 percent to $1.52.
Twitter Inc. bounced back from two consecutive days of declines to close up 5.2 percent at $63.65.
Despite gains of 3.4 and 2.5 percent from The Wet Seal Inc. and American Apparel Inc., respectively, to $2.73 and $1.23, specialty retailers constituted the majority of issues registering declines. Among the teen specialists, Zumiez Inc. was down 1.8 percent to $26, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. off 1.2 percent to $3.34, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. off 1.2 percent to $14.40 and Aéropostale Inc. off 1 percent to $9.09.
In Europe, both the DAX in Frankfurt and the FTSE MIB in Milan were closed on New Year’s Eve.
The FTSE 100 in London finished up 0.3 percent to 6,749.09, while the CAC 40 in Paris closed up 0.5 percent to 4,295.95.
Debenhams in London sank 10.8 percent to 0.73 pounds after the retailer issued a profit warning Tuesday. Debenhams said it now expects its profit before tax for the first half of 2014 to be in the region of 85 million pounds, or $140.1 million, versus a profit of 114.7 million, or $189.1 million in the same period in 2013.
The retailer said the expected fall in profits was due to factors including a decline in its gross margins in the 17 weeks to Dec. 28, which it attributed to its product category mix and higher markdowns. The retailer also noted that it “did not experience the anticipated final surge in sales in the last week of the period,” and as a result expects to make further markdowns to clear stock in January and February.
Asos.com fell 1 percent to 61.24 pounds and Next was down 0.4 percent to 54.50 pounds.
Stocks that gained ground included Burberry, which climbed 1.3 percent to 15.16 pounds; French Connection, which rose 5.8 percent to 0.36 pounds, and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, up 0.3 percent to 132.60 euros.
The euro traded for $1.38 Tuesday, while the pound traded for $1.65.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
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)