By Vicki M. Young NEW YORK — U.S. retailers reported mixed same-store sales for the all-important December holiday season, with specialty and luxury chains leading the way. American Eagle Outfitters soared 32.8 percent in stores open at least a year, Chico's posted an 18.6 percent gain and Abercrombie & Fitch had a 10 percent boost. Neiman Marcus went up 10.8 percent, while discounters reported more modest increases. Target gained 5.1 percent and Wal-Mart Stores, the world's biggest retailer, rose 2.6 percent, near the top end of its forecast after a disappointing showing on Black Friday. Among the retailers who took hits was Sears, which fell 3 percent. Gap was down 1 percent. Federated Department Stores, which includes Macy's and Bloomingdale's, increased 2.3 percent, and Kohl's reported a 3.1 percent gain. Retailers had struggled with ups and downs during the holidays. Wal-Mart cut prices and launched an ad blitz and as recently as last week projected a 2 percent same-store sales increase. The National Retail Federation had forecast an overall 4.5 percent same-store sales boost for the season, compared with 5.1 percent in 2003. The same-store results still don't necessarily reflect the entire shopping landscape. Gift cards represented a higher percentage of holiday spending in 2004, but those sales don't get posted until the cards are actually redeemed. In addition, sales in the online channel -- which aren't included in the December same-store sales reports -- jumped 25 percent to $23.2 billion, according to a survey by Goldman Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive and Nielsen/Net Ratings. For a full report, see Friday's WWD.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)