Gap Inc., with strong performances by its Old Navy and Athleta divisions, posted a better-than-expected 12.6 percent increase in first-quarter net income to $143 million, from $127 million in the year-ago period.Diluted earnings per share of 36 cents compared with diluted EPS of 32 cents in the first quarter of fiscal-year 2016.Sales in the period ended April 29 were flat at $3.4 billion, though comparable sales were up 2 percent.The San Francisco-based specialty retailer also reaffirmed its full-year diluted EPS guidance to be in the range of $1.95 to $2.05. The company continues to expect comparable sales for fiscal year 2017 to be flat to up slightly.“We are pleased with our positive comp and earnings growth this quarter,” said Art Peck, president and chief executive officer. “We’ve made substantial improvements in product quality and fit, and our increasing responsive capabilities are enabling us to better react to trends and demand.“While the retail environment continues to be challenging, we are focused on delivering the best possible product and customer experience, and our ability to leverage a portfolio of iconic brands and operating scale uniquely positions the company for long-term growth.”Gap’s first-quarter results were better than many department and specialty stores that have already reported their quarterly numbers.Comparable sales by division were: Old Navy Global, up 8 percent; Gap Global, negative 4 percent, and Banana Republic Global, negative 4 percent.The company did not break out sales statistics on Athleta but Peck said in a conference call with investors that "Athleta is continuing to be an exceptional performer positioned in a growing segment." It's a matter of both store and category growth, the ceo said, adding that engagement with, and loyalty to, the brand is very high.He said that the Gap "is viewed as an iconic brand and a relevant brand. It's not that the brand is dead in any way, shape or form... transformational work continues. We continue to see signs under the covers that show progress, in particular showing up in the margins."At Banana Republic, the new president, Mark Breitbart, "knows the brand, knows the company and is hitting the ground running," Peck said. "I'm not going to promise when we will see the progress but there are tremendous opportunities to make quick progress."Peck was most bullish on Old Navy, which he mentioned recently opened an 8,000-square-foot "holistic expression" of the brand, in Walnut Creek, Calif. The new format could be a prototype for future stores in a smaller footprint.Discussing the general retail landscape, he said, "We are continuing to see downsizing, bankruptcies, commentary about traffic being soft and consumer spending lacking....We of course are not immune to these challenges. We also believe that we are uniquely positioned to turn these challenges into opportunities,to pick up market share."Priorities remain the same - product. We are well on the way and into the journey of enhancing our product capabilities," improving the fit, enhancing quality, improving the value relationship, ensure products are on trend and "to deliver units into the market share opportunities that we see."He said the company is working with fewer vendors more deeply, "leveraging their capabilities, enhancing our cost, driving innovation, working faster, change faster and respond to demand."Overall, "I always look at the women's business first," Peck said. "I'm really pleased with the progress there. It's not perfect, but that is the hardest business and often a bellwether."
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion