Investors pushed retail shares down 2.3 percent Wednesday as they girded for signs of continued weakness ahead of January comparable-store sales reports today and fourth-quarter earnings reports next month.
The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index fell 6.22 points to 261.48, dropping further than the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which again fell below 8,000, sliding 1.5 percent, or 121.70 points, to 7,956.66.
Early January comp reports from Neiman Marcus Inc., which on Tuesday reported a 22.4 percent decline, and Costco Wholesale Corp., which posted a 2 percent drop Wednesday, highlighted the breadth of the consumer slowdown. Both companies said price promotions to move goods were depleting profit margins.
After the market closed, Zumiez Inc. said comp sales fell 14.8 percent last month, as Hot Topic Inc. managed a 6 percent rise. Citi Trends Inc. said comps fell 1.9 percent for the fourth quarter.
While Washington is cooking up stimulus plans, it might be hard to restart consumer spending.
“The deleveraging of debt is simply too large of an overlay for a meaningful jump start to consumer spending,” said Jennifer Black, equity analyst and president of Jennifer Black & Associates. “A good outcome is a consumer that still has the means to make necessary and discretionary purchases. This will be by no means a simple task.”
Shares of broadline retailers losing ground Wednesday included J.C. Penney Co. Inc., down 7.1 percent to $15.42; Costco Wholesale Corp., 6.8 percent to $42.98; Macy’s Inc., 5.8 percent to $8.32; Nordstrom Inc., 5.4 percent to $12.47; Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 2.9 percent to $46.42, and Target Corp., 2.4 percent to $31.34.
Specialty store decliners included Chico’s FAS Inc., off 12.8 percent to $3.42; The Talbots Inc., 11.7 percent to $2.11; Christopher & Banks Corp., 11 percent to $4.12; Caché Inc., 8.4 percent to $1.86; New York & Company Inc., 7.5 percent to $1.98; Gap Inc., 7 percent to $10.65; Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., 6.5 percent to $1.16; Citi Trends, 6.4 percent to $9.90, and AnnTaylor Stores Corp., 4.7 percent to $4.84.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)