- PERSHING ON TARGET: Activist hedge fund firm Pershing Square Capital Management has purchased an additional stake in Target Corp., bringing its current ownership of the discount retailer to 9.97 percent, up from 9.6 percent, on an aggregate basis, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Dec. 21. Shares of Target have been heavily traded in the past six months following disclosure that Pershing Square's investing in the chain could get the retailer to sell its profitable credit card business, which generates $6.5 billion and contributed $143 million to Target's first-quarter earnings of $651 million. In July, Pershing Square took a 9.6 percent stake in the nation's number-two discounter and indicated in a regulatory filing that it intended to start talks with Target's management about increasing shareholder value. It since has met with Target management.
Meanwhile, in other Target news, Deborah Weinswig, Citigroup equity analyst, said in her monthly credit review of the company that charge-offs for the retailer accelerated on a year-over-year basis and month-to-month. From October to November, Target's charge-offs rose to 7.05 percent versus 6.42 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the analyst said charge-offs gained 83 basis points. "We had already raised our bad debt provision estimate for Target in anticipation of our expectation for deterioration in the credit metrics,'' Weinswig said in her note. "Interestingly, November receivables growth remained healthy and delinquencies were virtually flat year-over-year versus last month.'' Weinswig said receivables growth continued to be strong, "as the company focuses on building relationships with new and existing customers and targeted marketing for credit card customers.'' Weinswig added that she remains "very watchful of the trends in charge-offs.'' Charge-offs are the threshold when a creditor deems the debt as bad.
- CAVANAGH'S CANOPY: Barbara Cavanagh has been named chief executive officer of Under the Canopy, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based manufacturer of organic and sustainable fashions for women and home. She replaces Michael Albala, who retired in January. In her new post, Cavanagh oversees all aspects of the brand, from design and global sourcing to maintaining strict organic and sustainable manufacturing standards, marketing and strategic alliances. Cavanagh joins the company from The Doneger Group, where she was senior vice president of consulting. Cavanagh is based in the Boca Raton headquarters and the brand's New York office. She reports to Mark Retzloff, chairman of Under the Canopy.
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
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion