* L Brands Inc. said net sales for the nine weeks ended Jan. 4 came in at $3.91 billion, compared with $4.07 billion in the previous year's holidays, with a 3% decline in comparable sales. The company also lowered its fourth-quarter 2019 EPS forecast to $1.85 from $2.00.
* J. C. Penney Co. Inc.'s comparable-store sales fell 7.5% during the nine-week holiday period that ended Jan. 4. The department store operator posted a 5.3% decline in its adjusted comparable store sales, which exclude the impact of the company's exit from its major appliance and in-store furniture categories.
TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS
* H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB's Scandinavian fashion brand Monki plans to enter the Philippine market this summer with the opening of stores at two shopping centers in Manila.
* Apparel company Aritzia Inc. reported that third-quarter fiscal 2020 adjusted diluted EPS grew 3.2% to 32 Canadian cents from 31 cents in the year-ago period, beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate 31 cents. Net revenue jumped 10% year over year to C$267.3 million, while comparable sales rose 5.1%.
* PVH Corp. will sell its Speedo North America business to Pentland Group PLC for $170 million in cash. Pentland Group owns British swimwear distributor Speedo International Ltd., which licenses the Speedo trademark to a PVH subsidiary for perpetual use in North America and the Caribbean. In connection with the transaction, New York-based PVH now forecasts fiscal 2020 GAAP EPS to be approximately $6.32, compared with its previous guidance range of $8.04 to $8.06.
* Superdry PLC said group revenue for the 10 weeks to Jan. 4 plunged 15.8% year over year. The company attributed the performance to "unprecedented levels of promotional activity [on the U.K. high street] coupled with subdued consumer demand immediately after Christmas." The sportswear company's share price fell as much as 24% on Jan. 10 following the announcement.
* Urban Outfitters Inc.'s net sales for the two months to Dec. 31, 2019, rose 2.9% year over year. Total retail segment net sales rose 3% but net sales in the company's wholesale arm decreased 9%.
* Lululemon Athletica Inc. appointed Nikki Neuburger as its chief brand officer, effective Jan. 20. Neuburger most recently served as global head of marketing of Uber Technologies Inc.'s Uber Eats and was previously global vice president of Nike Inc.'s running division.
* JD Sports Fashion PLC reported "positive like for like trends" during the holiday period, particularly in its overseas sports fashion unit. The retailer expects headline pretax profit to come in at the upper quartile of its guidance range of £403 million to £433 million.
* Shares of Joules Group PLC dropped as much as 33% after the clothing company said retail sales for the seven-week holiday period to Jan. 5 declined 4.5% year over year and that fiscal 2020 underlying pretax profit "will be significantly below market expectations." The poor performance was driven by "disappointing" online sales caused by an internal stock availability issue. The company has also established an outsourcing partnership with an unnamed logistics provider in order to improve its operations in the U.K. and will transition its distribution center in the U.S. to a new partner.
* Target Corp. will launch an activewear brand called All in Motion online on Jan. 17 and at its stores by Jan. 24, offering sports apparel and sporting goods. The entire collection will range from $3.99 to $69.99 and will feature inclusive sizes for all body types.
FOOD AND STAPLES RETAILING
* Companhia Brasileira de Distribuição, the Brazilian subsidiary of France's Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA, is selling its network of gas stations in a deal that could raise up to 1 billion reais, Reuters reported. citing one person with knowledge of the matter. The retailer, which does business as GPA, operates a chain of hypermarkets and department stores in Brazil, selling food, apparel, home appliances, electronics and more.
* Andrea Guerra will leave his management role in food retailer Eataly Srl but remain as chairman, Reuters reported, citing a company statement. Eataly said the change is part of a broader governance review in the company. The development comes after a same-day report that the former head of Luxottica Group SpA was leaving Eataly.
HOUSEHOLD DURABLES AND SPECIALTY RETAIL
* Party City Holdco Inc. named Todd Vogensen as CFO, effective Feb. 3. Vogensen will be joining the party goods company from Chico's FAS Inc., where he most recently served as CFO and executive vice president.
* Rural lifestyle retailer Tractor Supply Co. chose Microsoft Corp. as its cloud services provider for its e-commerce website and enterprise analytics platform.
* Birchbox Inc. co-founders Quentin Reygrobellet and Martin Balas, along with venture capital firm Otium Capital, bought the company's French arm from its U.S. parent for an undisclosed sum, Women's Wear Daily reported. Birchbox France, which was merged with the beauty subscription box brand JolieBox in 2012, reportedly will operate as a separate entity from Birchbox U.S. Reygrobellet, who co-founded JolieBox, serves as CEO of Birchbox France and Balas is its COO.
* The U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office fined Dixons Carphone PLC subsidiary DSG Retail Ltd. £500,000 for failing to secure its point-of-sale computer system, allowing the unauthorized access to 5.6 million payment card details of at least 14 million people. The watchdog found that an attacker installed malware on 5,390 counters at DSG's Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores to collect information from July 2017 to April 2018.
* Retail sales in Indonesia increased 1.3%% year over year in November 2019, compared with a 3.6% growth in October 2019, according to a survey conducted by the country's central bank. Bank Indonesia said retailers expect lower sales growth in December 2019.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.27% to 28,638.20, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.47% to 23,850.57.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.02% to 7,599.56, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.05% to 1,159.24.
On the macro front
The employment situation report, the wholesale trade report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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