Retail sales began the fiscal year on a chilly note in February, but sales trends improved along with the weather late in the month.
Expected by Thomson Reuters to post median increases of 2.8 percent for the month, most retailers reporting monthly same-store sales came in at or slightly above expectations.
L Brands Inc. reported comparable-store sales were up 2 percent during the month,, with Victoria’s Secret up an identical 2 percent, ahead of expectations for a 1.4 percent increase overall and a 1.3 percent gain at its biggest brand. Bath & Body Works fell short of expectations, generating a 1 percent increase versus the 2.4 percent gain anticipated, on average by analysts.
Fresh off a 3.7 percent comp increase in fiscal 2013, Stein Mart Inc.’s February comps fell 2.1 percent against analysts’ estimate of a 2.5 percent improvement. Its Florida and Texas stores had increases, but “most other areas experienced sales declines due to severe winter weather, with the Northeast and Midwest being impacted the most,” the company said.
The two remaining teen retailers in the comp sample did better than expected, with The Buckle Inc. down 1.4 percent and Zumiez Inc. ahead 2 percent. Analysts had expected Buckle to report a 4 percent decline and Zumiez a 0.9 percent increase.
Specialty retailer Cato Corp. exceeded estimates with a 1 percent increase versus a projected 2 percent decline.
"February sales were negatively impacted by winter storms the first two weeks of the month,” said John Cato, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Charlotte, N.C.-based company. “However, that impact was offset by strong selling in the last two weeks of the month driven by warmer weather and tax refund spending.”
Costco Wholesale Corp. reported financial results for its second quarter, ended Feb. 16, that missed consensus views, but its February results matched estimates for a 4 percent comp increase in its U.S. stores, excluding gas.
Richard Galanti, chief financial officer of Costco, pointed out that the first four weeks of the quarter, including Thanksgiving and Black Friday, “represented the majority of earnings underperformance in the quarter.”
Gap Inc. will report its February results after the close of the markets today. Comps are expected to rise 0.9 percent, with the Gap and Old Navy brands duplicating that increase and Banana Republic ahead 0.4 percent.
“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