Lower — and lower-than-expected — retail sales last month helped send retail shares down for the fourth consecutive day and their biggest drop in over a month.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group closed the trading day at 876.79, down 1.7 percent, the index’s worst showing since a 2.3 percent dip on May 6.
The major U.S. indices weathered lesser damage. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both slipped 0.7 percent to close at 16,734.19 and 1,930.11, respectively.
Disappointing retail sales contributed to the declines. The Commerce Department reported that sales at apparel and accessories stores were down a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent last month, to $21 billion, while department store sales were off 1.4 percent to $14 billion. General merchandise stores, a category that includes department stores, fell 0.6 percent to $54.8 billion.
The prospects for disposable income also tightened on news that oil prices had hit nine-month highs as tensions escalated in Iraq with insurgents surrounding the nation’s largest refinery.
Among fewer than a dozen fashion, retail and beauty stocks tracked by WWD to gain value were Lands’ End Inc., up 8.2 percent to $28.81 as first-quarter profits increased 48.1 percent, and Christopher & Banks Corp., ahead 3.3 percent to $7.80 following its improved financial performance reported earlier in the week.
The largest decline in the WWD sample came from Lululemon Athletica Inc., off 15.9 percent to $37.25 after it reported a 59.9 percent drop in first-quarter profits and reduced its guidance for the year.
Also in decline wear Cache Inc., 3.6 percent to $1.63; Tilly’s Inc., 3.3 percent to $8; Quiksilver Inc., 3 percent to $3.89, and Kate Spade & Co., 2.9 percent to $36.16.
Major European markets also came under pressure.
The FSTE MIB in Milan fell the most, losing 0.3 percent to 22,163.49, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, down 0.1 percent to 9,938.70, and the CAC 40 in Paris, which fell 0.02 percent to 4,554.40. Only the FTSE 100 in London managed to inch up, gaining 0.1 percent to 6,843.11.
It was also a largely downbeat day for fashion, luxury and retail stocks.
Among the losers were Asos, which dipped 3.8 percent to 31.10 pounds; Gemfields, down 1.5 percent to 50 pence; Moncler, which lost 2.4 percent to 12.25 euros, and Koovs, down 1.8 percent to 1.40 pounds.
The few stocks that gained in the day’s trading included online retailer Boohoo.com, which shot up 9.8 percent to 51 pence after the company turned in positive results Thursday in its first report since going public earlier this year. Boohoo.com said in the year to Feb. 28, its profits almost quadrupled to 8.4 million pounds, or $13.4 million, with sales up 63 percent to 109.8 million pounds, or $174.6 million.
Mulberry also gained, rising 1.1 percent to 7.15 pounds, even as the firm reported Thursday that its profits in the year to March 31 fell more than 50 percent to 8.6 million pounds, or $13.7 million, a result of both a dip in sales and one-off costs. But the company’s executive chairman Godfrey Davis said that while he expects the first six months of the current fiscal year to be “difficult,” the second half is expected to produce “improvement” and reiterated the label’s plans to balance its product offer with more accessibly priced bags.
The pound traded for $1.68 against the U.S. dollar Thursday, while the euro went for $1.35.
@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)
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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)