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Retail shares nosedived on Friday as investors continued to react to gloomy economic news and heightened international tensions, placing an exclamation point on a week marked by continuing erosion in the equity markets.

This story first appeared in the June 23, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index sank 3.3 percent to 380.04, closing out the week with a 4.3 percent decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 220 points for the day to close down 1.8 percent at 11,841.95, bringing the decline for the week to 3 percent.

The broader S&P 500 fell 1.9 percent to 1,317.93.

In the department store sector, Kohl’s Corp. tripped 4 percent to $43.39, Sears Holdings Corp. fell 3.2 percent to $74.75, Macy’s Inc. declined 3.6 percent to $20.91 and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. fell 1 percent to $36.88. Saks Inc. saw a 1.2 percent loss to end the day at $12.32, while Nordstrom Inc. decreased 3.3 percent to $36.88.

Even the more resilient discounters felt the pinch. Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. dropped 2.5 percent to $56.26, while rival Target Corp. slid 3.5 percent to end the day at $49.98. Off-price leader TJX Cos. Inc. lost 1.9 percent to end the week at $32.47.

Among women’s specialty retailers, Chico’s FAS Inc. sank 5.5 percent to $6.21, Charming Shoppes Inc. dropped 4.7 percent to $5.04, AnnTaylor Stores Corp. fell 2.7 percent to $25.56 and Coldwater Creek Inc. plunged 6.2 percent to $5.71.

Gap Inc. fell 2.4 percent to close at $17.45, while Limited Brands Inc. dropped 4 percent to $18.21.

In the teen space, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. declined 7 percent to $9.18, Guess Inc. dropped 3.3 percent to $39.81, Buckle Inc. dropped 2.6 percent to $47.95 and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. fell 2 percent to $67.45.

One of the few gainers was Lululemon Athletica, which saw a 3.3 percent jump in shares to end the day at $28.40. Talbots Inc. increased the same amount to $13.74 following numerous executive appointments during the week.

Vendors also logged large declines for the day, with Warnaco Group Inc. off 4.1 percent to $46.76, Jones Apparel Group Inc. down 3.7 percent to $14.96 and VF down 3.5 percent to $69.74. Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. and Liz Claiborne Inc. were down a relatively modest 2.4 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, to $64.41 and $15.99.

 

Bank woes and soaring oil prices were the predominant triggers of the sharp declines.