Retail shares struggled to lock in advances throughout the day Monday and ended trading just slightly below their starting point.
The S&P Retail Index was down less than 0.1 percent, closing the session at 228.76. While retail stocks spent nearly the entire day in positive territory before dipping into the red, the major indices, battered by uncertainty about financial stocks and federal economic policy that wasn’t eased by Merck & Co. Inc.’s agreement to buy Schering-Plough Corp., weaved back and forth between gains and losses before ending the day on the down side. By the time the closing bell sounded, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 1.2 percent at 6,547.05, the S&P 500 down 1 percent at 676.53 and the Nasdaq Composite 2 percent lower at 1,268.64.
The largest decline registered among the stocks tracked by WWD came from AnnTaylor Stores Corp., which fell 17.3 percent to close at $2.82, establishing a new all-time low of $2.41 earlier in the day. This follows its 38.5 percent drop on Friday, when the retailer reported a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and plans for 46 additional store closures. Battling reduced consumer spending, and especially hard hit by the decline in consumption of career apparel in light of the brutal employment environment, the company has seen its stock drop by more than half in the last three trading sessions.
On the other side of the ledger, General Growth Properties Inc. enjoyed a 5-cent, or 15.2 percent, increase to 38 cents after The Wall Street Journal reported that the property group is formally asking holders of $2.3 billion of its bonds for nine months to work out its debts to avoid bankruptcy.
Based on what he described as a “peak of negativity,” Brean Murray, Carret & Co. analyst Eric Beder lowered his 2009 earnings projections for Bebe Stores Inc., Coldwater Creek Inc., Guess Inc., G-III Apparel Group Ltd., Maidenform Brands Inc., Perry Ellis International Inc., True Religion Apparel Inc. and Warnaco Group Inc., as well as his 2010 estimates for Bebe, True Religion and Warnaco and his price targets for Bebe, G-III and Perry Ellis. However, he reiterated his “buy” ratings for Bebe, Guess, G-III, Perry Ellis, True Religion and Warnaco.
He said “there is light at the end of the tunnel,” noting that in the second half of 2010 companies should benefit from lower transportation and production costs, “materially lower” inventories, benefits from cost cuts and far easier comparisons.
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
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye