Retail stocks fell short in their bid for a 10th consecutive day of gains Tuesday after the Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee issued a lukewarm statement about the economy that included warnings about deflation.
The S&P Retail Index spent some of the day in positive territory but finished down 1.70 points, or 0.4 percent, at 445.26, its first losing session since Sept. 7. An up day would have been the 10th consecutive winner for the index and would have tied a streak that dates back to January 2004, less than two years after its recalibration.
Although the Fed’s statement appeared to pour cold water on stocks Tuesday afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, unlike the other major indices, did manage to advance, rising 7.41 points, or 0.1 percent, to 10,761.03.
The Fed kept the federal funds rate at its current level of zero to 0.25 percent and stated that the weakness of the economic recovery is “likely to warrant exceptionally low levels…for an extended period.” However, it noted that inflation was “likely to remain subdued for some time before rising to levels the committee considers consistent with its mandate” to promote employment and price stability. This added to concerns that retailers, including those in the apparel sector, could be hamstrung by a lack of price elasticity going forward.
The Fed also said it was “prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed to support the economic recovery” and return inflation to more desirable levels.
Among fashion’s gainers on Wednesday was Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc., which recently revealed its intention to exit its wholesale business, up 5.5 percent to 96 cents; Liz Claiborne Inc., up 2.1 percent to $5.72, and Express Inc., up 1.6 percent to $15.10. On the other side of the ledger, The Buckle Inc. shed 8.4 percent, to $26.69, for the biggest decline among the 171 equities tracked by WWD. Other notable declines came from apparel specialty stores, including J. Crew Group Inc., off 4 percent to $33.10; Christopher & Banks Corp., 3.9 percent to $7.47, and Limited Brands Inc., 3.4 percent to $26.48.
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
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)