Late back to school lifts Index

Friday, 08 October 2010
This has been a week of gains for the FashionUnited Top 100 Index, which rose yesterday by 11.53, ending the trading session at 1162.32 points, well above the European selective FTSEurofirst, which closed in 1,094.17 points.

One of the main characters of this week in the international apparel market has been Marks&Spencer. The British retailer completed today its first week under the rule of the new CEO, opening thus a new stage that if follows these first days path, will be highly promising in terms of market approval.

But Thursday’s Index was dominated by the American companies and last news coming from the New Continent. Gap, is the largest company in the Apparel Stores industry in the United States (based on market cap), and has been doing well recently, until yesterday, when it fell by 2.03%. Looking at its recent stock performance, the ambassador of American casual chic has gained $1.44 (8.36%) during the past month. For the midday’s trading in USA, Abercrombie&Fitch was up 10% and hitting fresh intermediate highs after it blasted consensus views of 3.3% with actual sales growth of 13%. This unexpected increase was partly due to a late back-to-school rally registered in the New York Stock Exchange. This last minute boost also helped other companies such as Zumiez continued its hot streak with a 17 percent increase in same-store sales. Last month, both retailers reported a similar split, with Zumiez posting a 9.1 percent gain in same-store sales and Hot Topic reporting a 3.7 percent decline.

Department stores fared well. Macy's reported a 6.5 percent increase in same-store sales, what supposed a imperceptible loss of 0.01 points, identical to the one noted by JCPenney, which also reported a 5 percent uptick in the same-store sales. Finally, off-pricers continued to post gains, with Ross Stores reporting a 2 percent gain about last year's increase of 8 percent and losing however 0.76% within the FashionUnited Top 100 by the end of the day.

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