The sector might be far from its November 2008 nadir, when retail stocks could be had for a song, and the S&P Retail Index might now be up 14.2 percent for the year, but some deep-pocketed investors have decided that the time is right to put some serious money to work. They might think that the recovery, as slow and jittery as it’s been, finally seems real enough to start betting on the consumer again — or at least dig in and push their new holdings to rework operations.
Last week, Italian business tycoon Diego Della Valle became Saks Inc.’s biggest stockholder, boosting his share of the retailer to 19.1 percent while noting he could seek board representation. Earlier this month, activist investor William Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Management, and Vornado Realty Trust together snatched up 26.4 percent of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. They are expected to pressure the midline retailer to revamp operations.
Saks’ stock shot up 9 percent last week to $10.73, while Penney’s gave back some of its Ackman-related gain and slipped 3.9 percent to $32.55. Penney’s also instituted a poison pill that makes it virtually impossible to take over the company without the board’s approval.
The S&P Retail Index inched up 0.5 percent for the week to 469.37 and, with its double-digit increase for the year, is 126 percent above its recession low.
The week wasn’t kind to two misses’ retailers struggling to get their merchandising right. Of the 171 issues tracked by WWD, none fell further than Coldwater Creek Inc., down 36.3 percent for the week to $3.48, after disclosing Monday that it expected a loss of 14 cents to 19 cents a share in the third quarter versus earlier expectations of a small profit. It’s also expecting a drop of between 18 percent and 21 percent in its same-store sales.
The third-largest decline for the week was from Christopher & Banks Corp., which said Tuesday that Lorna Nagler had resigned as president and chief executive officer “to pursue other interests.” It reported a larger second-quarter loss than analysts expected on Sept. 30 as a weak fall assortment led to higher promotional levels and pressure on its gross margins.
All told, 63 of the stocks followed by WWD were ahead for the week, while 106 lost ground and two were flat.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6 percent for the week, ending at 11,132.56. Before rebounding late in the week, blue-chip stocks closed below 11,000 on Tuesday on worries that higher interest rates in China could hurt the global recovery.
European markets rose for the week, with the DAX up 1.8 percent in Frankfurt, the CAC 40 ahead 1.1 percent in Paris and the FTSE 100 advancing 0.7 percent in London.
Asian markets headed down, with the Hang Seng Index falling 1 percent in Hong Kong and the Nikkei 225 slipping 0.8 percent in Tokyo.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)