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.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)