Retail shares fell 1 percent Tuesday as investors looked for inspiration and found little beyond reports that banking giant Citigroup Inc. would unveil a major restructuring.
The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index shed 2.73 points to 274.64, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 25.41 points to 8,448.56.
Traders will get another look at what the recession did to the holiday season when the Commerce Department releases its December sales report today.
Most specialty store stocks fell, including Charming Shoppes Inc., down 13.2 percent to $1.65; Charlotte Russe Holding Corp., 6 percent to $5.47; New York & Company Inc., 5.5 percent to $2.08, and Limited Brands Inc., 3.2 percent to $8.75.
Many broadline retailers also traded down. They included regional department store Gottschalks Inc., which is trying to avoid bankruptcy. Its shares fell 12.2 percent to 18 cents; Saks Inc. was down 3.2 percent to $3.60; Nordstrom Inc., 1.9 percent to $13.11; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 1.8 percent to $20.30, and Target Corp., 0.5 percent to $34.94.
The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. managed to buck Tuesday’s negative trend, rising 2.8 percent to $12.67, but Jason Asaeda, analyst with Standard & Poor’s Equity Research, said the stock had moved too far and downgraded it to “sell” from “hold.”
“Weighing our guarded company outlook against the stock’s recent price increase, we now view [Men’s Wearhouse] shares as overvalued,” Asaeda said, noting that the firm’s U.S. tailored clothing sales were being driven by aggressive promotions and Canadian sales were tracking below expectations. The analyst has a target price of $11 on the stock.
Shares of Amazon.com dipped 0.9 percent to $51.45 despite a nod of approval from Moody’s Investors Service, which said it was considering a boost to the online retailer’s long-term debt rating after a strong holiday showing. The firm’s corporate family credit rating is just one notch into speculative territory at “Ba1.”
Debt downgrades have been more common than upgrades as firms struggle against weakened consumer spending and a shrinking economy. But Amazon has been outperforming other companies vying for the consumer’s dollar and attention.
Last month, the Web site said 2008 marked its best holiday ever, with more than 6.3 million items ordered Dec. 15 alone, which was the site’s peak day for the season.
“Amazon’s ability to achieve sizable sales growth with a reasonable level of profitability during a very challenging retail climate is strong evidence of the stability and success of Amazon’s business model,” said Maggie Taylor, Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer. The debt agency’s review also will look at the firm’s liquidity, capital structure and financial policies.
On the vendor side, Perry Ellis International Inc. rose 6.4 percent to $4.80. At a Cowen and Co. investment conference, the company said revenues from C&C California and Laundry by Shelli Segal tallied about $30 million last year, or half of the $60 million the company had been expecting. However, revenues from the two brands are projected to double every year for the next three to five years, said the firm. Perry Ellis bought the businesses from Liz Claiborne Inc. for $33.1 million last February.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
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