For most retailers, the arduous task of reporting second-quarter results has come and gone and, as expected, the picture they painted wasn’t pretty.
But the few last week who could lay claim to some sort of good news, or hint there was good news coming, were rewarded by investors. Their gains stood out in a week when the S&P Retail Index inched up 1.1 percent to 370.35 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4 percent to 9,544.20.
Shares of Guess Inc. shot up 16 percent to $35.46 for the week as second-quarter earnings rose 10.6 percent.
“We definitely feel that conditions have stabilized in a number of ways, but that doesn’t mean the crisis is over and there is no doubt there are challenges ahead,” said Paul Marciano, chief executive officer.
At J. Crew Group Inc., a slight rise in profits helped push its stock up 10.3 percent to $34.73. Millard “Mickey” Drexler, chairman and ceo, also saw signs of improvement and said the downturn has had its benefits. “There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned recession to make you run a better business,” he said.
Chico’s FAS Inc.’s net income more than doubled on sales gains and the retailer’s stock rose 8.4 percent to $13.11. And Coldwater Creek Inc. posted a loss, but said it was ready to ramp up spending on marketing and inventory to drive sales. Investors pushed the stock up 10.3 percent last week to $7.69.
Of 172 stocks tracked by WWD, 117 were up for the week, 8 were flat and 47 were down.
Friday also brought fresh signs that the economy could be headed toward better days.
The Economic Cycle Research Institute said the four-week moving average growth rate of its Weekly Leading Index hit a 38-year high of 19.6 percent. The index had a modest dip for the week ended Aug. 21.
Lakshman Achuthan, the forecasting firm’s managing director, said the index’s continuing surge meant “a double dip back into recession in the fourth quarter is simply out of the question.”
But the next few years could still be trying ones for retailers.
Charles McMillion, president and chief economist at MBG Information Services, said the recession might be nearing an end, but that the recovery could be “weak and fragile” without additional government intervention.
The Commerce Department reported that July disposable personal income held steady from June and McMillion noted the measure fell 0.2 percent on an inflation-adjusted-per-capita basis. Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.2 percent in July.
But McMillion said the record $13.9 trillion decline in household wealth from the second quarter of 2007 through the first quarter of this year would continue to weigh on spending.
“I do not expect total…household net worth to return to constant dollar 2007 levels until 2015 or later suggesting that the sluggish growth in spending may persist for many years,” McMillion said.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye