Retail shares plummeted 7.1 percent Wednesday as the equity markets were besieged by fears about price deflation, the health of Citigroup and the waning prospects for an auto-sector bailout from Washington.
The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index lost 17 points to end at 222.46 — its lowest close on record and down one-third from June 2002, when the index was recalibrated.
On the broader market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 5.1 percent, or 427.47 points, to 7,997.28, the lowest finish for the benchmark index since March 2003.
Apparel vendors were particularly battered by investors and appear to be suffering from an ever-darkening outlook for the holiday season and next year, as well as continued third-quarter losses and declines among their key customers.
The Warnaco Group Inc., which said it would cut payrolls and capital spending, saw its shares fall 13.7 percent to $13.29.
That was hardly the worst of it. Shares of Liz Claiborne Inc. dropped 32 percent to $2.13, while Jones Apparel Group Inc. was off 21.1 percent to $4.83. Among the other decliners were VF Corp., down 10.1 percent to $39.88; Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., 9.8 percent to $6.65, and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., 9.7 percent to $32.80.
Losing significant chunks of market capitalization among specialty stores were Charming Shoppes Inc., down 16 percent to 63 cents; Charlotte Russe Holding Corp., 13.2 percent to $4.69; Guess Inc., 12.6 percent to $11.40; Urban Outfitters Inc., 11 percent to $13.30; American Eagle Outfitters Inc., 10.4 percent to $7.50, and AnnTaylor Stores Corp., 10.2 percent to $5.30.
Most department stores and national chains fared better, with the exception of Nordstrom Inc., which was off 13.5 percent to $8.98. Posting lesser declines were J.C. Penney Co. Inc., off 7.6 percent to $15.21; Macy’s Inc., 6.7 percent to $5.68 and Kohl’s Corp., 6.2 percent to $26.39.
Saks Inc. shares fell 5.2 percent to $3.12 before news came after the market’s close that Moody’s Investors Service was reviewing the company’s debt rating for possible downgrade in light of lower-than-expected third-quarter losses.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)