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.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)