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Dec. 23, 2015, 5:41 PM
- A few retailers are warning customers that their holiday packages are being delayed and blaming what they say are broader problems at FedEx (NYSE:FDX), according to a WSJ report.
- Officials at Eddie Bauer and Pacific Sunwear (NASDAQ:PSUN) have said this week that FDX is experiencing a backlog that is "delaying standard shipments by several days or even weeks, [and] all online merchants are affected."
- Other retailers, including Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), say their orders are shipping normally.
- FDX says it is running operations around the clock to "accommodate additional unforeseen volume from some customers," but that its delivery network is “performing as designed for the forecasted volumes from our major retail and e-tail customers."
- Industry consultants who work with retailers tell WSJ that the networks of both FDX and rival UPS appeared to be at capacity this week, and the companies were enforcing volume limits on some retailers.
Dec. 23, 2015, 12:47 PM| Dec. 23, 2015, 12:47 PM
Dec. 18, 2015, 1:35 PM
- Wal-Mart (WMT +0.1%) promotes Tony Rogers to be its top marketing officer in the U.S.
- Rogers was serving the company as the marketing chief in China.
- Last week, the company reportedly hired well-known marketing exec Michael Francis as a consultant.
- Previously: Wal-Mart to reshuffle marketing team (Dec. 10 2015)
Dec. 18, 2015, 11:23 AM
- Black Friday results may have slightly stronger than what was first indicated in largely anecdotal reports last month, observes NPD Group.
- The research firm says the percentage of shoppers hitting stores on the key shopping day increased slightly year-over-year to 43%. Thanksgiving traffic was also up, although the percentage of shoppers that went out both days actually fell.
- Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) were volume winners during different periods of Thanksgiving Day, while Macy's (NYSE:M) was the peak leader on Black Friday.
- Target (NYSE:TGT) and Amazon are seen by NPD as big holiday shopper winners when the broader period is reviewed. Target is hitting its stride largely due to solid assortment and inventory management, while the popularity of Amazon Prime has helped the e-commerce beast to gain market share.
- Discretionary retail ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, FDIS, RCD, PMR, PEZ, PSCD, BITE.
Dec. 14, 2015, 7:05 PM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is named the “favorite low oil and gas play" for 2016 by Nomura analysts, since the retailer’s core customers, who earn ~$35K/year, spend a bigger share of their income on fuel.
- Nomura says lower income demographic consumers stand to benefit most from lower gas prices, and that lower fuel prices also may coax shoppers into making more frequent trips to the store, giving WMT a boost from repeat visits.
- Nomura also says WMT's private transportation fleet of more than 6,650 trucks - one of the largest in the world - will realize cost benefits due to lower fuel prices.
- The firm notes sentiment in WMT stock is near an all-time low, in part illustrated by current analyst ratings across Wall Street - five Buy, 24 Neutral, two Reduce - which show the lowest percentage of Buys on WMT in at least a decade.
Dec. 14, 2015, 7:56 AM
- Executives at Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) are unlikely to be cheering on the merger plan of Jarden and Newell Rubbermaid with both consumer products companies huge suppliers.Jarden and Newell both count on the Wal-Mart selling channel for more than 10% of revenue.
- The merger will give the combined entity more leverage in negotiations, notes retail analyst Brian Sozzi.
- Margins at Wal-Mart are already under pressure with it matching Amazon's pricing at a higher rate.
- Previously: Dynamic pricing in at Wal-Mart, out at Target (Dec. 12 2015)
- WMT -0.35% premarket to $59.15.
Dec. 12, 2015, 1:59 PM
- A deep dive into retail pricing by 360pi indicates Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has shifted closer to Amazon's dynamic pricing model.
- Wal-Mart was found to be within 5% of Amazon's prices and shifts pricing on a daily basis at nearly the same rate as the Seattle e-commerce giant.
- Target (NYSE:TGT) is more static with pricing and not quite as competitive across the board.
- Shares of Target have outperformed Wal-Mart by a wide margin this year, but trail the return of the S&P 500 Index.
Dec. 11, 2015, 9:05 AM
- Retail sales were up 1.4% Y/Y in November as most categories stayed in positive territory to help offset the sharp 20% drop in gasoline station revenue. The 0.5% M/M increase in the core rate was the best growth since July and is seen as important given some of the overwrought headlines about weak Black Friday traffic.
- Consumers did increase their spending on food during November. Sales in the food and beverage stores category was up 0.7% M/M and 2.1% Y/Y, while the food services category was 0.7% higher M/M and 6.5% Y/Y.
- Department stores ([[KSS], M, JWN, DDS, JCP) lagged overall retail stores once again. Sales for the group were flat in November from October and were down 2.4% from last year's level.
- Analyst think the consumer spending read for November could be just strong enough to give some support to Big Retail (WMT, TGT, SPLS, BBY, COST) stocks.
- Retail Sales report (.pdf)
Dec. 10, 2015, 3:04 PM
- Wal-Mart (WMT +1.1%) marketing chief Stephen Quinn will step down in January, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- The company is expected to hire former top Target marketing exec Michael Francis as a consultant to aid its marketing efforts. Francis is known for helping to create the "Tarjay" image.
Dec. 10, 2015, 2:18 AM
- The retail behemoth is adding a feature to its existing mobile app so that consumers can pay at the register with information stored in their Walmart.com account, including gift cards, debit cards or credit cards.
- With the new system, shoppers use Wal-Mart's (NYSE:WMT) app and camera feature to scan a QR code at the checkout counter, which then connects to the cards on file.
- The solution works on both Apple and Android devices.
Dec. 2, 2015, 7:39 PM
- Retail sales (ex-auto and gas) rose 4.6% in November, according to data from MasterCard.
- Black Friday sales were lower than a year ago, while sales for the full Thanksgiving week rose a modest 0.3%. The lower growth rate for the holiday period than the full month adds some support to the theory of some analysts that many typical Black Friday sales were pulled forward.
- MasterCard reports online sales rose 13% for the four-day weekend period just in front of Cyber Monday. For the month, e-commerce sales were up 16%.
- The strong mix of e-commerce this holiday season makes it crucial for Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) that they keep pace with Amazon's e-commerce share still strong.
- Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, FXD, FDIS, RCD, PMR, UGE, SZK, BITE
Dec. 1, 2015, 7:29 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) discloses that almost half of the orders received since Thanksgiving on its website were placed through mobile devices.
- The company says Star Wars toys, drones, and 4K HD TVs were hot sellers during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday period. Specific sales and traffic numbers weren't released.
- Wal-Mart fell 1.70% yesterday to $58.87 vs. a 52-week range of $56.30 to $90.97.
- Previously: Cyber Monday sell-off hits mall and big box names, outliers include BBY and TCS (Nov. 30 2015)
Nov. 30, 2015, 12:55 PM
- It's not a happy Cyber Monday for most retail chain stock on broad concerns over soft store traffic and weak pricing.
- Notable decliners include Guess (GES -5.5%), Express (EXPR -4.6%), Zumiez (ZUMZ -7%), Foot Locker (FL -1.7%), Finish Line (FINL -2.1%), Urban Outfitters (URBN -4.4%), Francesca's (FRAN -2.9%), DSW (DSW -2.7%), and Men's Wearhouse (MW -3.3%).
- Discounters are down sharply, led by Big Lots (BIG -5.4%), Gordmans Stores (GMAN -6%), and Five Below (FIVE -4.3%).
- Big box retailers Wal-Mart (WMT -1.3%), Costco (COST -1.4%), and Target (TGT -1.4%) are lower with concerns over website capabilities lingering in the background. Best Buy (BBY +1.1%) is a bit of a surprise with a 1.4% gain after reports indicate demand for Apple products is exceptionally strong.
- Specialty retailers such as The Container Store (TCS +1.6%), Party City (PRTY +1.2%), and The Michaels Companies (MIK +1.4%) are also retail outliers as consumers are seen spending a higher percentage of their disposable income close to their homes.
- Previously: Retail stocks on watch after Amazon scoops up more Black Friday sales (Nov. 30 2015)
- Previously: Department stores stocks weak on holiday sales anxiety (Nov. 30 2015)
Nov. 30, 2015, 10:52 AM
- Target's (NYSE:TGT) home page is currently displaying a high traffic warning.
- Customers are unable to shop for Cyber Monday deals at the moment.
- PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) is also reportedly suffering some outages due to the traffic crunch.
- Retail Dive reports that Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) may have missed some sales over the weekend due to the spotty performance of the website.
Nov. 27, 2015, 12:54 PM
- "We believe Thanksgiving shopping was a bust," says SunTrust, following channel checks in the New York metro area, New England, and the Southeast starting yesterday and continuing through the night into Black Friday.
- Team members dispatched to malls had no problem finding parking or navigating stores, says SunTrust, and there seemed to be more browsing than buying going on.
- Lines at Wal-Mart (WMT -0.5%) and Target (TGT +0.3%) were about half of last year, but Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) was the exception to lame traffic.
- Joining Kohl's among early winners according to SunTrust are Aeropastale (ARO +0.8%), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF +0.2%), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO -0.4%), and Kate Spade (KATE -2.6%). New York & Co. (NWY +1.9%) was among the early losers. Gap (GPS -2.7%) scores both a win and a loss, with Old Navy looking good, but Gap stores not so much.
- Hanging out at Minneapolis' Mall of America, KeyBanc's Edward Yruma says traffic looks weaker than past years. "It doesn't look much busier than an average Saturday morning."
- ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, FDIS, RCD, PMR, BITE
Nov. 25, 2015, 9:26 AM
- The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. has now dropped to $2.06 per gallon - a mark that is 27% lower than where gas prices stood heading into the holiday period last year. Despite the extra dollars in the wallets of consumers, most forecasts for holiday retail sales are on the modest side (below 4%).
- The extended period of sub-$3 gas prices in the U.S. hasn't exactly lit consumer spending across broad retail on fire (just ask Wal-Mart) - although it has stoked auto sales for the Detroit Three (GM, F, FCAU). The regional casino sector (ISLE, PENN, BYD, ERI, MTN, MCRI) and cruise line stocks (NCLH, RCL) have also benefited more than major chain stores. Some have suggested that lower gas prices are also an understated driver for Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) which both score high on customer stickiness.
- What next? Seeking Alpha's Stock Pitch Contest on retail is still open until November 30 amid the reset on consumer spending expectations. Current long ideas include PLAY, FRAN, CASY, SKX, WMT, PSUN, HGG, PRTY, TJX, TA, VSTO - while short bets on WMAR, TIF, RT, AMZN, UA, LB, and OUTR are on record.
- Related ETFs: XLP, XLY, VDC, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXG, PBJ, IYK, IYC, FXD, PEJ, FDIS, RHS, FSTA, SCC, UCC, RCD, PMR, PEZ, UGE, PSL, PSCC, PSCD, SZK, BITE.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc operates retail stores in various formats under various banners. Its operations comprise of three reportable business segments, Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club in three categories retail, wholesale and others.
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