Retailers and brands are heading into the key Black Friday to Cyber Monday selling period.
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Is the worst over for retail? Do investors believe most fashion and retail shares have hit bottom and it’s time to dip their toes back into the sector? Are they looking at retail and apparel firms differently?At a Nomura Instinet Retail Roundtable last week, analyst Simeon Siegel pointed to how Under Armour Inc.’s stock fell last month when it missed third-quarter sales projections, and how shares of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. earlier this month jumped after its second quarter bested Wall Street’s estimates and the company raised its fiscal-year outlook. He said it appears investors are “starting to look more at the business,” referring to the underlying fundamentals of a company.The analyst also said much of the improvement in earnings reports in the third quarter appear to be due to better inventory management. That in turn has helped with gross margins, which are helped by more full-price sales and less leftover merchandise that needs to be marked down.While Siegel said most firms seem to have cleared out the right amount of excess inventory, he also said one should continue to keep an eye on inventory levels because that will tell down the road whether there’s been a correct pullback by a company or whether in some cases the levels are still not down to where they should be.The shares of most fashion and retail companies ended Friday’s trading session up as they head into this week where all of the attention will be focused on the upcoming Black Friday to Cyber Monday selling period.Friday’s big gainer was shares of Abercrombie & Fitch, which climbed 23.9 percent to close at $15.55 in trading after the company posted adjusted EPS of 30 cents for the quarter ended Oct. 28, on sales that rose 4.5 percent to $859.1 million. Overall, comparable sales gained 4 percent, with Hollister up 8 percent and Abercrombie down 2 percent. Wall Street was expecting 22 cents on sales of $818.9 million. The company’s chief executive officer Fran Horowitz said there are signs of stabilization at its Abercrombie brand. The company also raised its capital expenditures for the fiscal year by $10 million to $110 million.Earlier in the week, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rocketed to an all-time high after strong earnings, and extremely positive e-commerce sales growth.On Friday, shares of Ross Stores jumped 10 percent to $72.25, while its off-price competitor TJX Cos. also saw gains, up 2.8 percent to $71.02. Another retailer whose stock did well was Stein Mart Inc., up 7.6 percent to $1.14. A day earlier, when it reported third-quarter results, ceo Hunt Hawkins said its “average store inventories were 20 percent lower than a year ago.”Other retailers that saw their shares rise were: Ascena Retail Group Inc., up 7.1 percent to $2.25; Gap Inc., up 7 percent to $29.40; American Eagle Outfitters Inc., up 6.9 percent to $14.93; Urban Outfitters Inc., up 5.5 percent to $27.90; Target Corp., also up 5.5 percent to $58.14; J.C. Penney Co., up 4.1 percent to $3.29 and Kohl’s Corp., up 3.5 percent to $43.72.Among the fashion vendors that saw share gains were: Vera Bradley Inc., up 9.5 percent to $8.29; Guess Inc., up 4.9 percent to $17.66; G-III Apparel Group Ltd., up 4.9 percent to $26.72; Fossil Group Inc., up 4.3 percent to $7.95; Francesca’s Holdings Corp., up 4.7 percent to $7.43, and Nike Inc., up 3.4 percent to $59.19.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
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EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)