CHICAGO -- Helped by strong apparel sales, profits at Sears Merchandise Group more than doubled in the first quarter ended April 2.
In the quarter, the Merchandise Group, which includes merchandising, credit and international operations, earned $129.5 million against $63.6 million a year earlier.
Sales rose 12.4 percent, to $6.9 billion from $6.1 billion. Merchandise sales climbed 13.1 percent, to $6 billion, while credit revenues advanced 7.9 percent, to $878 million.
Same-store sales rose 13 percent.
Edward A. Brennan, Sears Roebuck & Co.'s chairman and chief executive officer, said the group's strong performance was led by domestic merchandising, with broad-based sales gains in apparel.
"Apparel is going to be an increasing portion of the business, as Sears [tries to attract women] to the stores," said Steven Kernkraut, retail analyst at Bear Stearns & Co. He said Sears will be expanding its apparel, cosmetics and jewelry businesses and trimming areas like home and gardening. He was cautious about the new cosmetics line, noting, "I'm not sure private label is the way to go."
Overall, Sears, Roebuck & Co. had a net loss of $97.9 million in the latest quarter, battered by pretax catastrophe losses of $1.1 billion at Allstate Insurance Group, mainly from the California earthquake and severe winter weather. A year ago, Sears earned $435 million, or $1.13 a share, including a $118 million charge from discontinued operations. Revenues in the latest quarter rose 8.6 percent, to $12.3 billion from $11.3 billion.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)