U.S. retail stocks closed out the week with small declines as wintry weather limited both volume on Wall Street and commercial activity throughout much of the Northeast.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group spent much of the day in positive territory but finished down 0.2 percent at 934.76. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a 0.2 percent gain to 16,469.99, while the S&P 500 was off less than 0.1 percent to 1,831.37.
While retailers wondered whether the storm that barreled into the Northeast on Thursday night would limit clearance selling over the weekend, investors weighed the words of outgoing Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who said that the Fed’s tapering of its bond-buying program didn’t signal a retreat from economic stimulus.
Shares of Rite Aid Corp. shot up 8.5 percent to $5.47 after it reported a 2.9 percent increase in its same-store sales for December. Shares of American Apparel Inc. picked up 6.7 percent to $1.27, while Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. enjoyed a 5.8 percent gain to close the trading day at $3.64.
On the opposite end of the ledger, Christopher & Banks Corp. shares were off 7.8 percent to $7.88 and Zale Corp., up strongly in several recent sessions, shed 4.6 percent to $15.40. Vince Holding Corp. shares were down 2.1 percent, to $29.32, following the company’s disclosure of third-quarter results, covering a period just before its initial public offering, that were generally consistent with or slightly better than analysts’ expectations.
Europe’s indices all ended the week on an up note.
The FTSE MIB in Milan gained the most, rising 1 percent to 19,112.65, while the CAC 40 in Paris closed up 0.5 percent to 4,247.65. The DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.4 percent to 9,435.15, while the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.2 percent to 6,730.67.
Retailers continued to lead the increases in London. Robust holiday trading figures from Next made the retailer the top performer in the FTSE 100 Friday, with its shares rising 11.7 percent to 60.85 pounds. Next reported that sales in the period from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 rose 11.9 percent compared to the same period last year. The retailer also raised its pretax profit forecast for the year ending Jan. 25 to between 684 million and 700 million pounds, or $1.13 billion to $1.16 billion.
That news sent shares of other British retailers up by the close of trading. Asos.com gained 3.5 percent to 67.05 pounds, while Marks & Spencer rose 2 percent to 4.35 pounds. Even Debenhams, which had issued a profit warning earlier in the week, rose 3.9 percent to 78 pence.
Among the few European fashion stocks that lost ground Friday were Prada, which fell 1.2 percent to 68.80 Hong Kong dollars; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, down 0.2 percent to 131 euros, and Kering, which slipped 0.4 percent to 153.20 euros.
The pound traded at $1.65 against the U.S. dollar, while the euro traded for $1.37 and the Hong Kong dollar for 13 cents.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye