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.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)