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.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion