The weak first quarter has left specialty chains scrambling to reinvent, resize and — more immediately — contend with a very promotional climate at the mall.Both Express Inc. and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. were showing signs of the strain on Thursday.Express Inc. said it would shutter about 50 of the company’s more than 600 doors over the next three years, mostly through lease expirations. Once completed, the closures are expected to boost profits by $5 million to $8 million.Michael Weiss, chairman and chief executive officer, defended malls to analysts on a conference call, noting they offer a shopping experience that can’t be replicated online.“They aren’t going away,” said Weiss, who also acknowledged changes in the real estate landscape. “Some malls are getting stronger, while others are weakening.” This jibes with the sentiment that came out of the ReCon convention in Las Vegas last week, where real estate experts were emphasizing “A” malls over “B” and “C” malls.RELATED CONTENT: WWD Earnings Tracker >>On top of the store closures, Express said it would move to cut $18 million in annual costs, with about $15 million in savings seen this year.“We had anticipated a very challenging first quarter, but our actual results were weaker than planned,” Weiss said. “Our business strengthened in April, but not to the degree that we anticipated….Our second-quarter results will be impacted by the need to move through slow-selling spring inventory and a Memorial Day event that did not drive traffic as successfully as last year.”Express’ first-quarter profits fell 83 percent to $5.5 million, or 6 cents a share, from $32.5 million, or 38 cents, a year earlier. Sales for the three months ended May 3 declined 9.6 percent to $460.7 million from $509.4 million as comparable sales fell 11 percent.For the second quarter, Express said comp sales would fall by a percentage in the mid- to high-single digits and that the bottom line would range from a loss of $2.5 million to profits of $2.5 million.Also getting hit at the mall was Pacific Sunwear, which saw net losses of $10.4 million, or 15 cents a share. Still, that marked an improvement from losses of $24.2 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier. Adjusting for certain items, losses from continuing operations narrowed to $7.4 million from $9.5 million.Sales inched up 2.9 percent to $171.1 million from $166.4 million as comp sales increased 3 percent.Gary Schoenfeld, president and ceo noted, “While we anticipate continued growth in our men’s business, the promotional environment that we are seeing in the mall coupled with underperformance in a couple of categories in women’s is resulting in a more cautious outlook for the second quarter.”The retailer said comp sales would range from down 5 percent to flat in the second quarter.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews