NEW YORK — Oil prices continued to wreak havoc on retail and vendor shares last week, with oil topping $56 a barrel in trading on Friday. The Neiman Marcus Group being put on the auction block, and speculation of Sears, Roebuck & Co. selling Lands’ End, only added to the uncertainty.
With little positive news to bolster confidence the WWD Composite Stock Index declined 1.6 percent over the week to close at 1,141.98. The S&P 500 fared a bit better, giving up 0.9 percent to close at 1,189.61.
However, both the WWD Index and the S&P have shown improvements for the year-to-date period. Since Jan. 2, the WWD Index has risen 2.2 percent while the S&P advanced 7.3 percent.
According to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Emme Kozloff, much of this improvement can be attributed to tax cuts, early tax refunds and low interest rates. Unfortunately, Kozloff believes those stimuli have run their course and that there are warnings that the retail sector could experience declines for the remainder of the year.
On the positive side, said Kozloff in a research report released on Thursday, wages and growth are still on the rise. “The current level of [approximately] 5 percent wage growth and [approximately] 1.7 percent payroll growth should allow for consumer spending growth in the 4 percent to 5 percent range this year,” said Kozloff. However, rising interest rates and gas prices could hinder low-income consumers.
Kozloff also believes strong comparable-store sales figures reported over the last several months have been the result of early tax rebates. “Refunds are disproportionately skewed toward early filers and lower-income earners,” said Kozloff, who expects the influx from rebates to have run their course by the end of the second quarter.
“With rising rates, high gas prices and difficult comparisons, we remain neutral to moderately negative in our outlook for the sector in fiscal 2005,” concluded Kozloff.
@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