Retail shares tumbled to their second worst decline of the year on Tuesday as rising fears about the adequacy of the Greek debt bailout and the spread of the crisis sent stocks into a global tailspin.
The S&P Retail Index, which was within a point of 500 on April 26, closed at 469.20, down 14.15 points, or 2.9 percent, second only to the 3.2 percent sell-off on April 27. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 2 percent, a 225.06-point drop that pushed it under 11,000 to 10,926.77, the index’s most severe battering since Feb. 4. The S&P 500 surrendered the 1,200 mark, dropping 2.4 percent to 1,173.60.
At its peak of 499.91 last week, the S&P Retail Index was up 21.6 percent for the year. It has dropped 6.1 percent since then.
Declines were even worse in Europe as demonstrators took to the streets in Greece to protest the austerity plan tied to the bailout. In Germany, seen as the leader in the orchestration of the rescue, the DAX dropped 2.6 percent to 6,006.86. London’s FTSE 100 was off 2.6 percent to 5,411.11, but the CAC 40 in Paris was down more on a percentage basis, shedding 3.7 percent to 3,687.39.
In Greece, the Athex Composite Index gave up 123.87 points, or 6.7 percent, to close at 1,729.68. Markets in Spain and Portugal, two of the countries seen as most vulnerable to a Greek debt contagion, were off more than 5 percent.
The euro ended the day below $1.30 for the first time in more than a year.
One of the few retail issues in the U.S. to escape the carnage was AnnTaylor Stores Corp., which saw its shares move up $2.11, or 9.3 percent, to close at $24.76 after the retailer said first-quarter earnings would “significantly exceed expectations” and be “substantially better” than the 4-cent-a-share loss registered during the first quarter of 2009. The consensus among analysts polled by Yahoo Finance is for earnings per share of 17 cents.
Although it didn’t guide the market to a specific EPS figure, the company said first-quarter sales are expected to reach $475 million, up from the $445 million outlook provided on March 12, with same-store sales rising 11 percent — 15 percent at Ann Taylor and 9 percent at the Loft division. Gross margin is expected to rise to 59 percent versus the 56.5 percent forecast previously. Kay Krill, president and chief executive officer, said “strong full-price sales, our successful planned promotional strategy and our ongoing focus on carefully managing inventories” were among the factors responsible for the rosier outlook.
Shares of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. fell 6.5 percent, to $16.62, despite an upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service, to “B3” from “Caa1,” based on its improving operating performance, much of it derived from stricter inventory management.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)