JUNE BOUNCE: June comparable-store sales numbers were expected to benefit from a series of positive influences, the lateness of the arrival of warm weather and Memorial Day among them, but the actual numbers surprised both analysts and investors, who sent the S&P Retail Index to an all-time high less than a month after it had backed off more than 10 percent from the previous high-water mark set on May 13. Thomson Reuters had estimated a 4.9 percent boost in June comps but wound up with a 6.5 percent gain as 87 percent of companies tracked beat estimates and just 13 percent fell short.
WEB WEAKNESS: By nearly all calculations, The Wet Seal Inc. had a strong month, with a 7.3 percent comp advance qualifying as the second biggest upside “surprise” of the month. (A 1.9 percent increase was expected.) But the company reported that its e-commerce sales for June, not included in its comp number, declined 17 percent, a rare exception to the good news that’s characterized Susan McGalla’s tenure as chief executive officer of the company since her arrival in January. UNLIMITED HORIZONS: The only company with a better “surprise” in June than Wet Seal was Limited Brands Inc., which again confounded the experts by coming up with a 12 percent comp rise versus expectations of a far more modest 3.8 percent boost. The Bath & Body Works unit did fine — ahead 5 percent — but Victoria’s Secret added to a string of sensational showings, comping up 17 percent. In fact, during the 2011 calendar year, the innerwear giant has missed a double-digit comp increase only once — during the disappointing month of May. Its best performance was in January, when comps soared 35 percent.
Steve Aoki held a presentation, a runway show and outdoor concert for his men's line Dim Mak. Here's a look from his spring 2018 collection, which was titled "Paradise Found." #wwdfashion #wwdmens (📷: George Chinsee)
"It's really hard sometimes. I think I have a reputation for being really tough and aggressive and pushy but I really am a very shy person who wants to be liked, and that's the conflict constantly. There's something that takes hold - I want people to like me, I don't want to be mean - but if I see something that just cries out to be answered, I go for it," says renowned NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell. (📷: @axeldupeux)