NEW YORK--As other chains stumble, Sears, Roebuck & Co.'s merchandising operation continues to gain ground. On Thursday, Sears reported a 19.2 percent earnings gain on 6.2 percent higher revenues in the third quarter. Sears earned $228 million, or 56 cents a share, compared to $192 million, or 47 cents, in 1994. Revenues were $8.4 billion, up from $7.93 billion. Domestic same-store sales were up 5.4 percent. Earnings were slightly ahead of Wall Street's projection of 55 cents a share. For the fourth quarter, Todd Slater, retail analyst at UBS Securities, is estimating earnings of $1.16 a share compared with 90 cents in the year-ago period. The company said there was strength in soft lines and hard goods with "excellent" apparel sales after cool weather arrived in the back-to-school period. Pressure on margins was more than offset by lower expense ratios. Domestic selling and administrative expenses in the quarter were cut to 22 percent of sales from 23.2 percent through tight controls and leveraging fixed costs on a higher sales base. Domestic gross margins dropped to 26.6 percent from 26.9 percent, reflecting "continued competitive pressure in the retail environment." Slater said women's merchandising changes in Sears' big stores "are paying off." Sears is 70 percent hard lines and 30 percent soft goods. According to a report issued this week by Morgan Stanley, Sears' same-stores sales were up 4.5 percent in September, but comparable-store sales increases in apparel were in the low double-digits, with women's in the high teens and kids in the low teens. Strong results in Sears' credit card business have also helped boost earnings in the quarter, as credit revenues rose 7.6 percent to $970 million. Chairman and chief executive officer Arthur C. Martinez said in a statement that credit operations benefited from growth in receivables. "Credit plays an integral role in supporting all our marketing initiatives," Martinez said. He noted that the business performed well in the quarter and nine months "reflecting the continual revitalization of our mall-based stores and the growth of our various off-the-mall store formats." One dark spot was Sears' merchandising and credit operations in Canada and Mexico, where the loss grew to $7 million in the quarter from $6 million a year ago. In a separate case, Developers Diversified Realty Corp. signed a contract with General Growth Properties to acquire Sears's Homart Community Centers division for $501.5 million. The Community Centers division is part of Sears' Homart Development Co. unit. Sears earlier agreed to sell Homart to General Growth for $1.85 billion in a transaction expected to close in mid-November. The Community Centers division includes 10 shopping centers totaling over 4 million square feet, as well as several pieces of land and all rights to 18 potential shopping center projects in Homart's pipeline.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)