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.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia