Gap Inc., with strong performances by its Old Navy and Athleta divisions, posted a better-than-expected 12.6 percent increase in first-quarter net income to $143 million, from $127 million in the year-ago period.Diluted earnings per share of 36 cents compared with diluted EPS of 32 cents in the first quarter of fiscal-year 2016.Sales in the period ended April 29 were flat at $3.4 billion, though comparable sales were up 2 percent.The San Francisco-based specialty retailer also reaffirmed its full-year diluted EPS guidance to be in the range of $1.95 to $2.05. The company continues to expect comparable sales for fiscal year 2017 to be flat to up slightly.“We are pleased with our positive comp and earnings growth this quarter,” said Art Peck, president and chief executive officer. “We’ve made substantial improvements in product quality and fit, and our increasing responsive capabilities are enabling us to better react to trends and demand.“While the retail environment continues to be challenging, we are focused on delivering the best possible product and customer experience, and our ability to leverage a portfolio of iconic brands and operating scale uniquely positions the company for long-term growth.”Gap’s first-quarter results were better than many department and specialty stores that have already reported their quarterly numbers.Comparable sales by division were: Old Navy Global, up 8 percent; Gap Global, negative 4 percent, and Banana Republic Global, negative 4 percent.The company did not break out sales statistics on Athleta but Peck said in a conference call with investors that "Athleta is continuing to be an exceptional performer positioned in a growing segment." It's a matter of both store and category growth, the ceo said, adding that engagement with, and loyalty to, the brand is very high.He said that the Gap "is viewed as an iconic brand and a relevant brand. It's not that the brand is dead in any way, shape or form... transformational work continues. We continue to see signs under the covers that show progress, in particular showing up in the margins."At Banana Republic, the new president, Mark Breitbart, "knows the brand, knows the company and is hitting the ground running," Peck said. "I'm not going to promise when we will see the progress but there are tremendous opportunities to make quick progress."Peck was most bullish on Old Navy, which he mentioned recently opened an 8,000-square-foot "holistic expression" of the brand, in Walnut Creek, Calif. The new format could be a prototype for future stores in a smaller footprint.Discussing the general retail landscape, he said, "We are continuing to see downsizing, bankruptcies, commentary about traffic being soft and consumer spending lacking....We of course are not immune to these challenges. We also believe that we are uniquely positioned to turn these challenges into opportunities,to pick up market share."Priorities remain the same - product. We are well on the way and into the journey of enhancing our product capabilities," improving the fit, enhancing quality, improving the value relationship, ensure products are on trend and "to deliver units into the market share opportunities that we see."He said the company is working with fewer vendors more deeply, "leveraging their capabilities, enhancing our cost, driving innovation, working faster, change faster and respond to demand."Overall, "I always look at the women's business first," Peck said. "I'm really pleased with the progress there. It's not perfect, but that is the hardest business and often a bellwether."
Exclusive: @isabelmarant and @lorealmakeup have teamed up to create a capsule makeup collection. "She is rather natural in the day but doesn't have time to go back home before going out [in the evening] and redo her entire beauty look," said Marant on the 5 products included in the collection, which will launching in September. Read @jenniferbethweil's interview with the designer on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty
After 17 years, Tomas Maier is leaving @bottegaveneta. “I am deeply grateful to him and I personally thank him for the work he accomplished, and for the exceptional success he helped to achieve,” said François-Henri Pinault, head of parent company @kering_official. Head to WWD.com for more on his departure. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: Davide Maestri)
@shaymitchell is no stranger to teaming up with beauty brands, but she’s made her latest partnership official: She’s signed with @buxomcosmetics as global creative brand ambassador, WWD learned exclusively. Mitchell and Buxom will collaborate on campaign development, social media strategy and content and new product and shade development. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
Today we’re at the WWD Retail 20/20 Forum where industry leaders will be talking about the future of shopping for fashion, footwear and beauty. Tune in on Instagram Live at 9 am and 3:30 pm to hear from two of our speakers –– @therealreal’s Rati Levesque and @bandier’s Stephen Ippolito. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Seen last night at @coach’s launch party for “Life Coach,” an interactive pop-up in Soho: @joansmalls. Open now, visitors of the pop-up can engage in themes of “creativity and self-expression,” through tarot, carnival games, live performances and art. See the rest of the party pics on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @vnina)
“We figure there’s enough cynicism to go around the world right now let’s go out there and be ourselves, let’s be enthusiastic, let’s have positive energy, which is something I think a lot of people really want and need right now,” said musician @joshgroban ahead of hosting the Tony Awards with @sarabareilles. Read @leighn’s interview with Groban on how he picked his look for the night, his next record and more on WWD.com. #wwdeye #tonyawards (📷: @vnina)
“Rock as an attitude and not a uniform. Street as a style and not just clothing. Sportswear as the new normality,” @paul_surridge said of his first @roberto_cavalli men’s wear collection, previewed here. The British designer joined the brand as the creative director in May 2017, and is gearing up to unveil his debut for the label with a runway show at the Florence Charterhouse on June 13 at #PittiUomo. Head to WWD.com to read more about his collection and see more sneak peek photos. #wwdfashion (📷: @simonelezzi)