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.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)