NEW YORK — The blizzard of ’05, which dropped as much as an inch of snow every 10 minutes on some cities, may have closed malls and shopping centers from the Midwest to the Northeast, but it will not be abominable to retailers’ top-line results.
Saturday was the worst day of the weekend for most companies in the Tri-State and New England regions, which took the brunt of the storm’s fury. But retailers said Monday that the storm’s overall impact on sales will probably be minimal, in part because the clearance month of January is the smallest sales month of the year on a percentage basis for most retail chains.
Also, the storm has likely created pent-up demand. Retailers said consumers could return to the mall to fulfill their craving to shop, which will counteract store closings or delayed openings that swept through the region. (For more on what shoppers bought this weekend, see related story on page 17.)
A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman said 42 Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs were closed in New England over the weekend.
“We’ll play it by ear,” said the spokeswoman, Sharon Weber. “We’re trying to put some kind of normalcy back into the lives of our customers,” most whom have been shut up in their homes for the better part of three days.
The retailer saw an increase in traffic prior to the storm thanks to customers who stocked up on shovels and related equipment in preparation for the severe weather. Weber said there was no major weather damage done to the company’s stores in New England.
On Monday, customer traffic was returning to normal, Weber added, even as some of the reopened stores were operating on skeleton crews because the roads were still unsafe for certain employees to return to work.
At Gap Inc., spokeswoman Kris Marubio said the specialty retailer has seen “no material impact to the business” due to the storm. The company, however, does not comment on the state of individual stores. Gap has nearly 400 stores in the Tri-State area and just over 90 stores in Massachusetts.
Marubio said trucks were on the road and making deliveries on Monday, even as one of Gap’s major distribution centers, located in Fishkill, N.Y., was hit with about 20 inches of snow.Meanwhile, at least two malls in Rhode Island, Providence Place in Providence and Warwick Mall in Warwick, were closed on Monday. Providence Place said on a telephone recording that it was closed “due to weather-related issues.”
Some malls across Massachusetts were also closed on Monday, including Wrentham Village Premium Outlets in Wrentham, which was expected to reopen on Tuesday. The Arsenal Mall in Watertown, Mass., was closed on Sunday and reopened on Monday.
Steve Gartner, president of Metro Commercial Real Estate Inc., which provides leasing and management and is based in Philadelphia, said retailers had closed early on Saturday.
“We had some issues in Philadelphia. Saturday was an all-day snow event, so other than early morning when there were mostly grocery and home improvement sales, many retailers closed early,” he explained. “Sunday was even more interesting because the Eagles were in the NFC championship. It was a very slow shopping day other than some people digging out and buying convenience items. It was pretty much a completely dead shopping weekend.”
Merrill Lynch analyst Daniel Barry said in a Monday research report that while the cold weather should increase demand for winter apparel this week, it “should be too little too late for those retailers with too much winter merchandise in their stores.”
The analyst predicted that retailers like Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores “should have a difficult time, as the warm spell in the West continues to drive demand for spring apparel, forcing these retailers to take heavy markdowns” on winter inventories.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)