DOUBLE-DIGIT DOOZY: The surprising strength of January’s comparable-store sales numbers — even given the smaller and still-shrinking size of the comp base — produced a phenomenon not seen since the days of heated inflation and heavy spending. Four of the five department stores reporting results for the month managed increases of more than 10 percent, with Kohl’s Corp. getting its act together to report an industry-leading 13.3 percent increase for the month as all merchandise categories except footwear generated double-digit increases.
BEATIFIC TREND: Two-thirds of the stores reporting beat the results expected by analysts, with Kohl’s margin over the 3.1 percent gain expected itself surpassing 10 percent. The 1.9 point “beat” margin overall — Thomson Reuters’ 5 percent median gain versus expectations of a 3.1 percent growth rate — was even higher when drugstores are excluded: up 5.8 percent versus an expected 3.5 percent jump. Like the International Council of Shopping Centers, Thomson Reuters lauded it as the best gain since September 2011, when comps on average grew 5.6 percent. RELATED STORY: After Soft Holiday, Markdowns Drive January Comps >>
INCOMING TAX: The strong numbers posted by most stores last month might suggest that recent increases in payroll taxes didn’t affect spending. But several retailers made note of it, including Cato Corp., which posted the month’s weakest result — a 12 percent decrease. John Cato, the specialty store’s chief executive officer, cited “the timing of tax refunds and the effect of higher payroll taxes. We are unclear what portion of the sales lost due to tax refund delays will be recouped.” Target Corp. ceo Gregg Steinhafel touted a 3.1 percent increase for the month but pointed out, “Our guests continue to shop with discipline in the face of slow economic recovery and new pressures, including recent payroll tax increases.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia