Markets rallied Wednesday — pushing U.S. retail stocks to their best day in over a month — as investors sensed that central bankers in Europe and the U.S. were warming to the idea that the economies might require a cash infusion.
The S&P Retail Index rose 2.4 percent, or 14.33 points, to 607.30, the strongest gain since April 27. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 2.4 percent, or 286.84 points, to 12,414.79.
Among the gainers were three retailers schmoozing with investors at Piper Jaffray’s 32nd Annual Consumer Conference in New York. Urban Outfitters Inc. rose 3.3 percent to $27.59, as Nordstrom Inc. gained 1.6 percent to $47.82, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. advanced 0.7 percent to $32.64.
Investors wanted to know about Europe, the Internet and everything in between. Here’s what executives had to say.
Michael Koppel, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Nordstrom Inc. • “The e-commerce channel is the next major wave of consumer distribution as malls were 40, 50 years ago.”
• “When we brought [private sale firm HauteLook] back in March of 2011 it had four million members; now it’s got over eight million members. We’re a 110-year-old company and we have roughly 10-plus million names that we had some relationship with and here is this small company and a small shop with less sophisticated technology.…There’s something to be learned there.”
RELATED STORY: Fashion Execs Expect Growth Despit Clouds >> Frank Conforti, cfo, Urban Outfitters Inc. • “It’s very difficult with social media to go and to say, ‘How did that translate into a sale?’ But the way we look at it is all traffic is good traffic. And if our marketing efforts, if our social blogs, if our community is increasing the amount of users that we have, it’s increasing our demand, then that’s good for us.”
• “The Urban brand has 30-plus stores in Europe now, and we believe it could get to a 100-plus stores. Anthropologie is in Europe [and] now has three stores, and we believe that brand can continue to grow [there].”
Jonathan Ramsden, executive vice president and cfo, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. • “If you go back to three years ago today, we had one [Abercrombie & Fitch] store in Europe and we had three Hollister stores in Europe opened. By the end of this year, we’re going to have over 100 stores in Europe and over that relatively short period of time we built a highly profitable, very significant business in Europe and we fully expect to continue with that.…We clearly need to be mindful of the environment and a little bit more conservative in the volumes that we are looking at in the current environment.”
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