Retail stocks dozed Thursday, slipping fractionally despite an unexpected but welcome decline in first-time jobless claims and a bit of action on the rumor mill, which continues to produce tales — tall or not — of pending private equity takeovers.
The S&P Retail Index fell 0.18 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 467.33 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 12.33 points, or 0.1 percent, to 11,113.95. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims declined by 21,000 last week to 434,000, while economists were looking for claims to remain steady.
Despite word in the London Evening Standard that KKR and The Carlyle Group were mulling an offer of $34 a share for Macy’s Inc., the company’s stock gained just 1.1 percent to $23.29. Such rumors have been rampant over the last couple of months as private equity money, available financing, cheap retail stocks and expected tax changes have combined for an intoxicating financial brew.
But with an enterprise value of $16.6 billion, Macy’s is seen as a pretty big fish to reel in even for private equity powerhouses like KKR and Carlyle. Still, there’s a nagging sense, on the parts of both investors and bankers, that just about anything might happen.
• Ann’s Outlet Extension: AnnTaylor Stores Corp. is accelerating its outlet strategy, particularly for the Loft division, by grabbing former Liz Claiborne locations. About 35 Loft outlets and five Ann Taylor Factory Stores will open during the second quarter of fiscal 2011 at outlet centers across the U.S. About $75 million in incremental fiscal 2011 revenue should be generated by the maneuver, which will be accretive to fiscal 2011 earnings and create about 1,000 jobs. Capital expenditures associated with the plan are seen at around $25 million in fiscal 2011. The company also said there are no direct costs from transferring the locations from Claiborne to Ann Taylor, which currently operates about 92 Ann Taylor outlets and 18 Loft outlets.
• Frederick’s Splits With Movie Star: Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc. sold its Movie Star wholesale division to Dolce Vita Intimates Thursday, completing a strategic review of the division that lasted just over a month. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the purchase price was about $4.5 million, including about $2.7 million for inventory, and is subject to adjustment.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)