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.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)