Retail shares rose 1.8 percent last week, but fell in May as tough first-quarter results and dour projections tempered hopes for a consumer comeback later this year.
The S&P Retail Index dropped 6 percent last month to end at 318.92. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2.7 percent last week and increased 4.1 percent for the month to close Friday at 8,500.33.
Some, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., held their own in the first quarter, but most could only note the rate of their bottom-line decline had slowed.
“I don’t think we have a crystal ball but it certainly feels better than it did in the fourth quarter,” said Millard “Mickey” Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer of J. Crew Group Inc. The company reported a 33 percent drop in first-quarter earnings after posting fourth-quarter losses.
Still, investors embraced that improvement and drove the stock up 26.4 percent Friday to $25.86. J. Crew jumped 50.3 percent in May. Wal-Mart’s stock dipped 0.8 percent for the month to $49.74.
Fashion and retail are caught in the tidal forces of the global recession. But there are signs government stimulus spending is helping to put a floor below the European economy, said a report from Standard & Poor’s. The U.K. gross domestic product fell 1.9 percent in the first quarter as the GDP in the 16-country Eurozone declined 2.5 percent.
“We anticipate that growth in the next few quarters will edge upward, but will likely be followed by an extended period of well-below-trend growth,” said Jean-Michel Six, S&P’s chief economist for Europe. “This is because the forces acting against consumer spending remain substantial, namely the increasing pace of job shedding, continuing losses in household wealth and the stabilization in consumer price inflation.”
Last month, shares of U.K. retailer Marks and Spencer Group plc fell 16.3 percent to 283.50 pence, or $4.52 at current exchange. But European-based luxury firms were on the rise, with PPR up 6.8 percent to 59.22 euros, or $82.18, and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton ahead 4.1 percent to 58.53 euros, or $81.22.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over the top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty