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.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)