Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s back-to- basics approach is boosting its apparel business.
The retailer’s U.S. division posted the first full year of positive comp sales in apparel in seven years in 2012. Wal-Mart U.S. chief executive officer Bill Simon said the growth was the result of a new apparel strategy focused more on basics and essentials that was put in place more than a year ago.
“This quarter, we posted low-single digit positive comps driven by the improved quality of our offering,” he said.
Jewelry posted the best comps of the year during the holiday season.
The improved results in apparel and jewelry came despite softer overall sales in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 26 that continued into the start of February. On Thursday, Wal-Mart reported that net income in the quarter rose 8.6 percent to $5.61 billion, or $1.67 a diluted share, from $5.16 billion, or $1.50, in the comparable 2011 period. Revenues rose 3.9 percent, to $127.92 billion from $123.17 billion. Same-store sales were at the low end of Wal-Mart’s guidance, up 1 percent in U.S. stores, lower than the 1.5 percent increase registered in the year-ago quarter.
For the full fiscal year, net income rose 8.3 percent to $17 billion, or $5.02 a diluted share, from $15.7 billion, or $4.52. Revenues increased 5 percent to $469.16 billion from $446.95 billion.
Wal-Mart’s gains in the fourth quarter were aided by a lower than expected effective tax rate. Wal-Mart president and ceo Mike Duke said the company’s goals include strengthening the U.S. business, improving International’s returns, greater efficiency through disciplined capital allocation, investing in global e-commerce and, in a reference to the retailer’s alleged corruption scandal in Mexico and possibly other foreign markets, continuing to strengthen Wal-Mart’s compliance organization.
Compliance, according to Duke, is “non-negotiable.” He said the retailer’s compliance programs “significantly improved around the world in fiscal 2013. We’ve spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars with compliance experts on anticorruption support and training,” he said.
The retailer said same-store sales are expected to be flat for the first quarter compared with a 2.6 percent increase in last year’s first quarter.
“February sales started slower than planned, due in large part to the delay in income tax refunds,” Simon said in a prerecorded earnings call.
Wal-Mart expects EPS for fiscal 2014 to range between $5.20 and $5.40.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews