Retail stocks took a step back Wednesday, falling 0.8 percent on job market jitters, but the sector still managed to post a healthy gain for the first quarter.
The S&P Retail Index dropped 3.73 points to 449.79. The retail index is still relatively close to its 52-week high of 456.97 and the sector advanced 9.4 percent for the quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5 percent, or 50.79 points, to 10,856.63 for the day and was ahead 4.1 percent for the quarter.
U.S. markets headed down after investors who have been pinning their hopes for the recovery on improvement in the job market suffered at least a temporary letdown Wednesday.
Nonfarm private payrolls fell by a seasonally adjusted 23,000 from February to March, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Still, the decline was the smallest since the measure of the job market began to fall in February 2008.
Economists expect the Labor Department employment update on Friday to show a gain of 200,000 jobs. That report is expected to see some rebound from weather-related weakness in the job market in February as well as a boost from federal hiring for the 2010 Census.
Shareholders of The Talbots Inc. traded the firm’s stock down 2.6 percent to $12.96 after the company, for a third time, pushed back the deadline on a warrant exchange offer that’s required for its merger with BPW Acquisition Corp. to go through.
BPW investors were given until 6 p.m. Wednesday to exchange their warrants and the deadline passed without word from Talbots. As of the previous deadline on Tuesday, 87.4 percent of the warrants issued when BPW went public had been tendered, while 90 percent are needed for the merger to go forward. Last week, a group of hedge funds controlling 9 percent of the warrants tried to halt the exchange, but a Delaware court denied their request.
While men’s wear retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. led all stocks tracked by WWD with a 5.8 percent advance to $54.72 on Wednesday following better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, a number of the largest declines came from specialty stores catering to women. Among these were Limited Brands Inc., off 4.9 percent to $24.62; Bebe Stores Inc., 4.4 percent to $8.91; Charming Shoppes Inc., 3.5 percent to $5.46, and Caché Inc., 3.3 percent to $5.51. Charming Shoppes on Tuesday disclosed that it would close between 100 and 120 stores this year after finishing fiscal 2009 with a fourth-quarter loss that was smaller than analysts expected.
International markets were mostly on the way down for the day, with the Hang Seng Index sliding 0.6 percent to 21,239.35 in Hong Kong, the SSE Composite Index off 0.6 percent to 3,109.10 in Shanghai and the Nikkei 225 falling 0.1 percent to 11,089.94 in Tokyo. The CAC 40 dipped 0.3 percent to 3,974.01 in Paris, although the FTSE 100 ran countertrend, rising 0.1 percent to 5,679.64 in London.
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)