WASHINGTON — Consumers appeared to be in the mood for buying apparel and accessories in June, boosting sales in the specialty store category last month, but they pulled back from purchases at department stores, according to the monthly retail sales report released by the Commerce Department on Monday.
Sales at apparel and accessories stores rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent last month to $21 billion, while sales at department stores fell 1 percent to $14.5 billion. General merchandise stores, a category that includes discounters and department stores, saw sales edge up 0.1 percent to $55 billion in June.
On a year-over-year basis, specialty store sales were 4.8 percent higher than in June 2012, while sales at general merchandise stores were up 1.1 percent. Sales at department stores slipped 5.1 percent compared with a year earlier.
“This particular report is a little disappointing and below economists’ expectations,” said Bill Lynch, vice president and director of investments at Hinsdale Associates. “When the consumer credit report came out in May, it actually showed a fairly large increase, and it seemed liked it signaled an upturn in consumer spending.”
Lynch said rising gasoline prices might have played a role in the dip in department store numbers.
Within the department store category, Macy’s has been the “star,” while Kohl’s has been “doing OK,” Lynch said. He added that the “struggling” J.C. Penney is still trying to turn around its business.
“I think consumers are still in the mind-set they want a bargain,” Lynch said. “They want quality merchandise, and they don’t want to pay as much for it. Certainly stores like Target fit that description as well as Costco and Wal-Mart.”
In the overall economy, retail sales rose 0.4 percent to $422.8 billion, driven primarily by auto and gas sales.
“Looking ahead, we expect real consumer spending to increase at a 1.9 percent rate for 2013, and then pick up at a faster rate in 2014,” Christopher said. “The back-to-school season is about to start heating up, and these recent numbers do not bode well for many retailers,” said Chris J. Christopher Jr., director of consumer economics at IHS Global Insight.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)