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.”
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews