STUNNING MEDIOCRITY: On the surface, the overall numbers in May were good — Thomson Reuters’ same-store sales index tracked up 4.9 percent with advancers far outnumbering decliners — but fell well short of expectations for a 5.4 percent total. The majority of stores in the Thomson sample — 60.9 percent — missed analysts’ estimates, and three of the six biggest “misses” came from the nation’s largest apparel specialty retailer, Gap, and two of its biggest midtier department stores, J.C. Penney Co. and Kohl’s.
JEWELS AND FUELS: The month’s biggest increase came from Saks, up 20.2 percent, with Neiman Marcus and its 12 percent jump not far behind and Nordstrom’s 7.4 percent well ahead of estimates. While the affluent were clearly out and spending merrily on categories such as jewelry in the month of May, the budget conscious were clearly focused on getting the most out of every shopping excursion, helping both BJ’s and Costco outperform much of the retail field. Having relatively inexpensive gasoline on hand didn’t hurt the club merchants either.
CLIMATE CHANGE: Cool temperatures, floods, tornadoes and even forecasts of The Rapture made for a dramatic month, but the weather’s effect on business overall was difficult to gauge. Tony Buccina, president of merchandising at York, Pa.-based The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., said that while warm-weather goods account for less than a quarter of the firm’s business, “their performance drove the [company’s] entire comparable-store sales decrease” of 2.3 percent. With more seasonal weather just arriving in many parts of the country, retailers and the analysts who follow them this month will be looking for signs of a shift into summer gear.
@juicebeauty, where @gwynethpaltrow holds the title of creative director of makeup, has become one of the foremost labels in the organic beauty category –– with sales on track to hit $100 million this year. What’s behind the rapid growth the brand is experiencing right now? It all started in 2005 when the wellness movement was just getting started. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty
Stay up to do date with breaking news and trending stories with WWD’s “The Essentialist.” Our newsletter delivers the top news in fashion right to your inbox. Want more info? Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
"I want to tell a story that inspires people to feel good about themselves, but also I'm making a commentary about the lack of female stories and female directors and saying this should change," said @imheathergraham on her latest project "Half Magic." The comedy feature, which the actress wrote and directed, is based on her own struggles as a woman in show business. Read @andrewnodell's full interview with Graham on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
@meltcosmetics cofounders @lora_arellano and @danabomar built their brand on a single idea: a true matte lipstick. To set the brand apart, they said they always put their customers first –– including a personalized note in each package. #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty
@moncler unveiled its latest project, #MonclerGenius, yesterday at Milan Fashion Week. The Italian outwear maker gave show-goers a preview of the monthly collections – which were created by eight designers and creative talents including Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha, Craig Green and more – that will start rolling out in the summer.