The first week of summer was the best week for U.S. retail sales since the first week of winter — in 2011.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs’ weekly chain store sales index, sales last week rose 4.6 percent over the comparable week in 2013, the strongest year-over-year gain since sales rose 5.3 percent during the final week of 2011.
The sequential gain for the week ended June 28 was a more modest 1 percent, lower than the 2 percent gain for the June 21 week but above the 0.4 percent rise for the week ended June 14.
Last week’s performance marked the third consecutive week in which both year-over-year and sequential advances were registered, the trend since a 2.8 percent sequential decline during the week ended June 7.
Perhaps more significantly, it made for three consecutive weeks in which year-over-year sales were not only higher but in which the size of the sales increase was greater than the one that preceded it. Year-over-year sales rose 3 percent the week of June 7, followed by gains of 3.1 and 4.1 percent in the successive weeks leading up to last week’s strong showing.
“Business was up sharply for most segments, especially at department stores, apparel stores, discounters and wholesale clubs,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC research consultant. “Gasoline prices — which impact consumer discretionary purchasing power — stayed flat, providing consumers the ability to spend their money elsewhere.”
Gains within those channels were described as “hefty” while drug, dollar, electronics, office and furniture stores raked in “solid” increases, according to ICSC.
Weather bore much of the blame for soft sales during the first third of the calendar year and was less than cooperative last week in an improving business climate. Temperatures were, on average, 2.8 degrees cooler than during the comparable week last year, although 1.1 degrees above their long-term average.
ICSC continues to expect same-store sales among reporting retailers to rise 3.5 percent for June. Results will be reported on July 10.
Niemira, who has been with ICSC as chief economist and director of research since 2003, has ended his full-time association with the organization. He will continue to provide commentary on weekly sales for the group and pursue other affiliations as well.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)