NEW YORK — Improved mall traffic late in the month propelled Nordstrom and three specialty retailers to same-store gains as the first December same-store sales results trickled in on Wednesday.
Following Cache and Mothers Work, which early in the day reported that December comparable-store sales rose 11 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, late in the day Nordstrom reported a 3.4 percent gain in comps for the month, Hot Topic was up 10.6 percent and Aeropostale managed a 0.3 percent pickup. However, beleaguered off-pricer Factory 2-U Stores retreated 3.9 percent and American Eagle Outfitters declined 5.3 percent.
More dramatically, Guess Inc. reported that its comps for the month were off 1.1 percent, with a 3.5 percent rise in sales at outlets offset by a 2.7 percent fall in sales at full-price stores. The Los Angeles-based firm warned that markdowns took a heavy toll on fourth-quarter margins and said it expects to report earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31 of 1 cent to 3 cents a share. When Guess released third-quarter results in October, it said it expected to earn 10 cents to 13 cents per diluted share, before 15 cents to 18 cents a share in restructuring charges. Guess now expects to close the year with a loss of 12 cents to 14 cents per share. In the fourth quarter of 2001, the firm recorded net income of 3 cents a diluted share with earnings for the year coming in at 14 cents a share.
The firm said its markdowns paid off and contended it is entering 2003 with low inventory levels.
Other publicly held retailers are expected to report December results today, and expectations are for comps to come in at or slightly below plan in most cases.
Nordstrom said the designer, bridge and contemporary segments of women’s apparel comped higher, as did cosmetics, accessories, women’s activewear, shoes and children’s apparel.
Cache Inc.’s 11 percent increase exceeded its plan for a mid-single-digit increase. Brian Woolf, Cache’s chairman, said the December sales increase was primarily driven by regular price assortments. "The assortment stood on its own in terms of giving customers what they wanted," he said. "Clearly, a niche customer is out there who does not respond to price, but to fashion trends."For the fourth quarter, comps rose 8 percent while total sales gained 12.3 percent to $58.6 million, compared with $52.2 million.
Hot Topic’s 10.6 percent comp hike last month exceeded plan and led the retailer to forecast fourth-quarter earnings to a range of between 47 cents and 48 cents a diluted share, compared with the current consensus estimate of 46 cents and the 38 cents reported in last year’s quarter.
Mothers Work, a maternity apparel retailer, said that with its 3.4 percent comp increase in December, the comp increase for the November-December period was 5.4 percent.
Rebecca Matthias, president and chief operating officer, said in a statement, "We have continued to realize meaningful gross margin increases over last year, primarily due to our success at reducing product costs through our aggressive sourcing initiatives."
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“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)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)