KEEPING PACE: January retail sales were expected to be a bit of a letdown, possibly even the end of a run of months stretching back to April in which stores’ same-store sales gains have exceeded 3 percent. Instead, comparable-store sales for the month averaged 4.2 percent higher, more than twice the 2 percent estimate provided by Thomson Reuters before Thursday’s flood of figures. Discounters carried the month, rising 6.1 percent, but the sectoral figure was even higher for specialty stores providing Gap Inc.’s 4 percent slide was excluded. With Gap, apparel specialty stores were up 3.3 percent; without it, the increase was 6.2 percent. RELATED STORY: Warm Weather Weighs on Comps; Luxe Shines >>
BEARING THE BURDEN: Limited Brands Inc. had the second best comp gain versus expectations, its 6.3 point “surprise” to a 9 percent jump surpassed only by the 6.5 point outperformance of Zumiez Inc. and ahead of Saks Inc.’s 4.3 point elevation relative to estimates. Limited’s excellence in January was a bit one-sided, however, with Victoria’s Secret’s 17 percent gain offsetting declines of 3 and 8 percent, respectively, at the company’s Bath & Body Works and La Senza units.
WHAT TO WISH FOR: Just as retailers were reporting January results on Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, supposedly translating into six more weeks of winter. Still, with temperatures hovering at ranges generally associated with April in much of the country, store officials seem more concerned about the arrival of winter weather than bothered by its persistence. Phil’s prognostication notwithstanding, the window of opportunity for outerwear and sweater sales is closing.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
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