ABOUT FACE: The equity market Wednesday reversed some of the declines it endured earlier in the week. After losing 3.1 percent over two preceding days of trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 20.37 points, or 2.5 percent, to end the day at 839.66. The Dow Jones Industrial Average bounced back 158.69 points, or 2.1 percent, to 7,841.82, and the S&P Retail Index advanced 3.48 points, or 1.3 percent, to 281.08. Riding highest among retail issues was Urban Outfitters, which saw its shares shoot up 16 percent, to $25.49, on an upgrade from Lehman Bros.’ analyst Kimberly Greenberger, who revised her rating on the hip specialty store to “overweight” from “equalweight.” Other retail gainers included: Hot Topic, up 5.5 percent to $19.75; Pacific Sunwear, 4.8 percent to $23.17; Ann Taylor, 4.5 percent to $25.20; The May Department Stores Co., 4.4 percent to $25.33; Saks, 4.2 percent to $11.41; Chico’s FAS, 3.9 percent to $17.79, and Federated Department Stores, 3.5 percent to $33.42.
THINKING SMALL: Federated Department Stores has signed an agreement to build a new, smaller Macy’s West door in Antioch, Calif., east of San Francisco. At 110,000-square-feet, the two-level store is the third in a series of Macy’s West stores developed specifically to meet the needs of smaller markets. Two such stores have already opened in Redding and Capitola, Calif. The store will break ground in the summer of 2003 and will open by fall of 2004. Macy’s West chairman and ceo Robert L. Mettler said Wednesday that although the store is smaller by nearly half the square footage, “it will live up to the Macy’s reputation,” offering fashion and home merchandise. There are currently 139 Macy’s West stores. In 2001, the chain notched $4.2 billion in sales.
HOME STYLE: Maurice Villency is introducing kimonos, robes and shawls, as well as bath salts, soaps and fragrances to its home furnishings mix, in conjunction with the Tuesday launch of the retailer’s flagship on Third Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets. It’s another sign that the contemporary home furnishings firm is getting increasingly fashion-conscious, since the Villency flagship hosted the Imitation of Christ show last week.