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.
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