Last-minute holiday shoppers elevated sales to their strongest increase of the month last week, with gift cards playing a critical role.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index, sales in retail categories other than restaurants and automotive areas were up 3 percent during the week ended Dec. 28, versus the year-ago week, better than the 2.7 percent increase logged during the prior week or the 2 and 1.5 percent gains logged during the second and first weeks of the month, respectively.
The sequential improvement as December progressed gave Michael Niemira, vice president of research and chief economist of ICSC, cause for optimism for the remainder of the month. ICSC expects the increase for December to land at between 3 and 4 percent.
“Business was brisk in the final days ahead of Christmas and for the week as a whole,” the ICSC official said. “Now attention turns to holiday gift-card redemptions.”
The ICSC-Goldman Sachs consumer tracking survey found that the average share of holiday spending attributable to gift cards rose to 23.7 percent this year, the highest on record.
“This is good news, as it means that the ‘extended season’ — the weeks after Christmas into January — will play an important role in the final tally of the season’s performance,” Niemira said.
Week-by-week trends weren’t as strong, according to the survey, with last week up 1 percent from the preceding one, when sales improved 1.4 percent over the week before. Sales for the week ended Dec. 14 were up 4.8 percent from those of the week ended Dec. 7, and sales during the first week were down 1.6 percent when compared with the final week of November, which included Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.
The ICSC-Goldman Sachs survey measures same-store sales at brick-and-mortar retailers.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“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)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)