A cold start to spring put the skids on apparel retailers’ sales and challenges have continued through the summer, thanks to increased competition, falling foot traffic and a steady stream of discounting. That being said, July saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average gain 2.69%, or 483 points, and apparel retail stocks rose 8.71%, or 487.73 points, during the month.
Shares of active apparel and footwear giant Nike (NKE) inched up 0.73% in July to close the month at $55.50, after reporting gloomy fourth-quarter and full-year results on June 28. While revenue rose 6 percent to reach $8.24 billion in the three months ended May 31, and several international markets achieved double-digit growth, the company said its North American business was still reeling from the aftermath of fiscal 2015’s West Coast port congestion.
Bon-Ton Stores (BONT), a department store chain with more than 260 stores across the country, rose 5.67% last month to end July at $1.49 per share.
Women’s retailer Bebe (BEBE) saw its stock jump 57.01% in July to end up at $0.79, following news that its recently forged partnership with Bluestar Alliance had yielded important extensions for the brand on a domestic and global scale.
Nordstrom shares (JWN) climbed 16.24% to close July at $44.36. It was a big month for the Seattle-based department store operator: Scott Meden was promoted from his position as general merchandise manager of shoes to the role to chief marketing officer; the company acquired a minority stake in DropShop Commerce and its Dsco platform; and plans were announced to add Madewell to the merchandise mix in 20 more stores.
Houston-based specialty retailer Stage Stores (SSI) closed July at $5.93, gaining 21.52% in the month.
Ascena Retail Group
Despite its Ann Taylor and Loft brands promoting 40 percent off sales—sometimes more—for much of the summer, Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) stock rose 16.31% in July to $8.13. Perhaps investors felt inspired by the news that American ready-to-wear designer (and Michelle Obama favorite) Prabal Gurung would be selling a limited-edition line at Ascena’s plus-size store Lane Bryant next March.
Off-price retailer Burlington (BURL) upgraded its second-quarter outlook on July 18, guiding an increase in comparable stores sales of between 4.2-4.5%. Shares closed the month at $76.51, up 14.69%.
Supermodel Karlie Kloss signed a long-term partnership to be a brand ambassador and creative consultant for Express (EXPR) late in July, and its stock capped off the month by gaining 3.1% to reach $14.96.
This week the apparel industry dabbled in new fashion technologies, discussed venture capital trends and debated about the survival of America’s department stores.Read more
Invista’s Apparel and Advanced Textiles business is at a crossroads.Read more
U.S. longshoremen are calling out bi-state entities and state port authorities for neglecting shipping labor issues.Read more
Retailers push forward with existing strategies to streamline and reduce promotions, as they focus on ways to capitalize on their online sales successes.Read more
Céline tapped Berluti executive Séverine Merle as its new CEO, meanwhile Puma named Bob Philion as its new Puma North America president.Read more
JC Penney is trimming down to focus on creating physical stores that can compete in a digital world.Read more
Depending on which country you ask, Donald Trump’s moves on trade could either be a huge boon to business or quite the opposite.Read more