WASHINGTON — July sales at apparel and accessories stores rose a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent versus June as department stores posted a 1.6 percent increase.
Against a year earlier, sales at apparel and accessories stores advanced 5.8 percent last month to $19.1 billion, as department stores tallied growth of 1.2 percent to $17.7 billion, according to the Commerce Department's monthly report on sales released Monday.
On the broader front, July sales at all retail and food service establishments expanded by a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent, compared with the preceding month. Overall sales fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent during June, but were up 1.3 percent for the three months ended July 31.
"We're off to a slow start, but a positive one nevertheless," said Richard Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research Corp., who described July as a "quirky month" since some stores have started back-to-school sales while others wait until August.
"We're really going to have to wait another month until we see the consumer really come out," said Yamarone, noting gasoline prices have been inching down and that employment is strong.
It is unclear whether the stock market's recent yo-yoing will cause consumers, who have been propping up the economy, to change their spending habits. Yamarone argued employment is far more important to consumer spending than fluctuations in the financial markets.
"Consumers rarely care about what's going on in the stock market," said Yamarone.
The U.S. economy added a less-than-anticipated 92,000 jobs in July, though wages for the month were 3.9 percent higher than a year earlier, helping to support spending.
Still, the movement in the market has been dramatic and if investors lost their appetite for companies that extend loans to consumers, shoppers who depend on credit to spend could be restrained.
"At this point, it is too early to assess the impact of recent market volatility and tighter credit conditions generally on consumer spending momentum," said Brian Bethune, U.S. economist with Global Insight. "But we will have to wait until the end of this month to get an idea as to whether tighter credit conditions are starting to have any material impact on spending. For now, the fundamentals supporting consumer spending still look fairly solid."
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye