Overheard on Wall Street: Chanel & Net-a-Porter, Wolverine, Skechers, Amazon

Sperry for spring '15
Sperry X Gray Malin's women's collection for spring '15.
Courtesy Photo.

Need to get up to speed on the latest Wall Street footwear and apparel chatter? Once again, you’ve come to the right place.

FN brings you the business stories you need to know this week.

Chanel & Net-a-Porter

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On the heels of announcing, in late-March, its plans to launch an e-commerce business in 2016, Chanel confirmed this week that it will debut its first e-commerce endeavor with none other than Net-a-Porter.

According to WWD, Chanel will unveil a small, six-piece collection of jewelry called Coco Crush on Net-a-Porter’s popular luxury retail digital space.

“What we wanted to do was an exclusive digital launch, and we thought it was a good idea to partner with Net-a-Porter, which has a fashionable and strong audience in luxury,” Benjamin Comar, international director of Chanel Fine Jewelry, told WWD.

Wolverine Worldwide

The stock price of the parent company of Sperry hit a 52-week high of $33.81 on March 30, and analysts say Wolverine is definitely one to watch. Last week, research firm Robert W. Baird upped its rating for Michigan-based footwear manufacturer from neutral to outperform.

Earlier this week, CL King & Associates analyst Steve Marotta told FN that the stock is performing “exceedingly well” and will do even better once the weather breaks.

“Wolverine is definitely my top pick,” said Marotta.

Skechers USA

Citi Research analysts Kate McShane and Corinna Van der Ghinst say the California-based footwear company is springing into 2015, with Q1 footwear data indicating solid brand momentum.

In a note this week, the analysts said that Skechers’ U.S. retail sales increased 32 percent year-on-year in Q1 and that its U.S. footwear market share is up 90 basis points year-on-year, to 4.7 percent, “strengthening its position as the 4th largest brand in the U.S.”

“While Q1 represents the company’s smallest revenue quarter of the year, we think robust [year-on-year] top-line trends and continued pricing strength, while in the midst of Q1 West Coast port disruptions, provide a strong indication of Skechers’ solid pipeline momentum, brand strength, and cleanliness of inventories at U.S. retail,” said McShane and Van de Ghinst.

Amazon.com Inc.

Analysts say the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is becoming increasingly “more fashionable than you think” as it works toward expanding its fashion initiatives over the next five years.

“While there was, and remains, some skepticism around the opportunity for Amazon given the emotional and physical nature of most high fashion couture purchases — particularly in contrast with the company’s reputation for practical purchasing based on price and convenience — fashion has become the company’s fastest-growing category,” said Normura Securities International Inc. analyst Robert Drbul in a note this week.

Amazon caters to more than 40 million customers and has upwards of 1,000 employees.