Concerns about a less than spectacular first-quarter retail earnings season — coupled with growing tensions in Ukraine and mixed earnings results elsewhere — sent retail stocks to their fifth worst session of 2014.
The S&P Retailing Industry Group declined 19.38 points, or 2.3 percent, to end the trading day at 843.10.
The larger market fared somewhat better, although hardly well, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8 percent to 16,401.02 and the S&P 500 was off 0.9 percent to 1,867.72.
Among only a handful of fashion, retail and beauty stocks to see gains on the day was Vera Bradley Inc., up 2.3 percent to $29.69. Delia’s Inc. shares were up 1.5 percent while The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. rose 0.4 percent to $48.53.
Twitter Inc.’s value declined 17.8 percent, to $31.85, and in midday trading hit their lowest point since the company’s initial public offering as restricted shares became available for sale. American Apparel Inc. had the largest decline among apparel retailers, falling 7.8 percent to 58 cents, while Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. saw its shares decline 7.1 percent to $81.38 after it reported first-quarter profits and sales that exceeded analysts’ expectations but issued second-quarter guidance that fell short of them.
In advance of the filing of comparable sales results by retailers on Thursday, the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs reported in their chain store sales index that sales for the week ended on Saturday were off 2 percent from the prior week, although 2 percent above year-ago results. Softness was noted at discounters and department and specialty stores.
European markets edged down at the close of trading, with the CAC 40 in Paris leading the way. The French market was down 0.8 percent to 4,428.07, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, 0.7 percent to 9,467.53, and the FSTE MIB in Milan, 0.6 percent to 21,521.65. The FTSE 100 in London dipped 0.4 percent to 6,798.56.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, including Aeffe, the Italian clothing manufacturer and brand owner that has been the subject of takeover speculation over the past week.
Its shares sank 9.5 percent to 1.18 euros after it said it is not looking to sell a stake.
“We emphasize that there is neither the intention nor the need to find a financial partner to whom to sell a significant minority stake. In fact, the company has shown a great ability to react to market changes, defining effective business strategies, which are already having positive results,” the company said.
Elsewhere, Asos.com fell 2.9 percent to 41.75 pounds; Carrefour, 2.2 percent to 26.18 euros; Yoox Group, 2.8 percent to 24.68 euros; and Italia Independent Group, 2.2 percent to 38.62 euros.
Among the few stocks that gained ground were Mulberry Group, up 4.6 percent to 7.35 pounds; Hugo Boss, 1.2 percent to 100.07 euros, and French Connection Group, 15.4 percent to 92 pence. French Connection’s strength stems from the continuing halo effect of an upbeat trading statement last month. The company said that sales rose 11 percent in the 11 weeks to April 12.
The euro traded at $1.39 against the U.S. dollar while the pound fetched $1.69, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.14.
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
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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