Jul. 28, 2014, 8:26 AM
- Shares of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) are slightly skittish in early trading as the merger between Dollar Tree and Family Dollar rips a potential option out the company's playbook.
- The Dollar Tree-Family Dollar combination creates a retail force with more stores than Wal-Mart (significantly less square footage) with increased leverage with suppliers.
- WMT -0.6% premarket
Jul. 26, 2014, 8:25 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) hasn't been short of excuses for its dismal performance of late: in Q1 it was the weather, before that it was a reduction in customers' food stamp benefits, and before that it was the challenging global economy - when it reports Q2 earnings in three weeks, the excuse will be the guy who's no longer around, as former U.S. head Bill Simon was given the boot this week.
- Analysts say WMT is getting hammered by cheaper and more convenient options such as online (think AMZN) and dollar stores (FDO, DG); some say the most crucial action for new man Greg Foran is to pivot away from the supercenter focus and continue growing the small-store footprint, but that could risk customers' need to visit larger stores and make additional, higher-price impulse purchases.
- Foran's most pressing need may be just getting stuff on the shelves: WMT has cut its U.S. staff by ~20K since 2008 while adding 650-plus stores, resulting in merchandise piling up in aisles and in the back of stores because there aren't enough workers to restock the shelves.
- As if Foran doesn't have enough on his plate, he will take over the reins of Wal-Mart U.S. on Aug. 9, during the back-to-school rush and not far ahead of the winter holidays.
Jul. 24, 2014, 8:40 AM
- Bill Simon - who has been CEO of Wal-Mart's (NYSE:WMT) U.S. division since June 2010 - "will be transitioning out of the company," and will be replaced by Greg Foran, effective August 9.
- Foran joined Wal-Mart in 2011 and became CEO of the China division in 2012, and CEO in Asia earlier this year.
- Shares -0.8% premarket
Jul. 21, 2014, 5:59 PM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year’s back-to-school season and will add 20% to the number of back-to-school items it sells at its online store, its executive VP for U.S. general merchandise tells Bloomberg.
- WMT says it will reduce prices on 10% more items this year and for the first time will offer teachers a 10% refund on their out-of-pocket classroom spending.
- For retailers, the July-through-September period is second only in importance to the year-end holiday season.
Jul. 21, 2014, 2:15 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) invested $103M into its Indian wholesale business in June, and plans to open 50 more stores in India over the next 4-5 years. The retailer already operates 20 stores in the country.
- Earlier this month, Wal-Mart launched its e-commerce platform to sell to small businesses in the cities of Lucknow and Hyderabad.
Jul. 15, 2014, 10:30 AM
Jul. 8, 2014, 12:54 PM
- Wal-Mart (WMT +1%) CEO Doug McMillon faces the Titanic challenge of generating $5B in sales to add just a single percentage point of sales growth which is one reason the exec has a bigger focus on e-commerce and alcohol categories than his predecessor.
- McMillon is also a fan of Big Data and will push the company toward "dynamic pricing" - instead of the "everyday low price" model.
- Wal-Mart's top U.S. exec, Bill Simon, told CNBC earlier today that it will take six months to a year for the higher rate of employment in the U.S. to balance out with a pickup in consumer spending. To many retail analysts, the recent commentary from Bentonville tips off that there is a sluggish sales trend for the most recent quarter.
- Simon and McMillon have both trumpeted the expansion of the smaller store format which is slowly becoming a bigger part of the mix at Wal-Mart.
- Previous: Red flag on Wal-Mart's sales?
Jul. 8, 2014, 8:51 AM
- Wal-Mart (WMT) is not seeing a bounce in U.S. sales tied to the increase in hiring reported by the Department of Labor, according to U.S. chief Bill Simon.
- The exec says the economy isn't any better or worse for Wal-Mart's "core" customers.
- Retail analyst are taking the comments as a red flag that the company's revenue could disappoint.
- Simon's appearance on CNBC later this morning will take on some extra significance if the topic of QTD U.S. sales comes up.
- WMT -0.1% premarket
Jun. 27, 2014, 5:30 PM
- Canada's Supreme Court ruled today that Wal-Mart (WMT) must compensate former workers at a Quebec store that was closed after they voted to become the first Wal-Mart store in North America to unionize.
- WMT says it closed the store for business reasons, but the Court agreed with an arbitrator's earlier ruling that said the move constituted a unilateral change in worker conditions during bargaining and thus violated Quebec's labor laws.
- The decision likely will have little impact on WMT or Canada's retail industry; the United Food and Commercial Workers union has made nearly two dozen attempts to organize WMT workers since the retailer's arrival in Canada in the mid-1990s, and none have succeeded.
Jun. 26, 2014, 11:44 AM
- Ikea says it plans to increase the minimum wage for its U.S. retail workers by an average 17% starting next year, a decision that may add to pressure on retailers and fast-food companies that have not raised wages, particularly the largest holdouts, such as McDonald’s (MCD -0.1%) and Wal-Mart (WMT -0.7%).
- Business opponents say raising the minimum wage would add as much as hundreds of millions of dollars to costs; Ikea is presenting the move as good for employee well-being, and says it will not raise prices to offset the new costs.
- Earlier this year, Gap said it would raise its minimum hourly rate for U.S. employees to $9 in 2014 and $10 in 2015.
- ETFs: XLP, XLY, VDC, XRT, VCR, RTH, FXG, RETL, IYK, FXD, FDIS, RHS, PMR, FSTA, RCD, UGE, SZK
Jun. 26, 2014, 8:31 AM
- Chinese authorities dismiss worker demands for additional compensation from Wal-Mart (WMT), potentially ending a three-month dispute between the retailer and union activists.
- Labor disputes are common in China, but the dispute has attracted attention because the country's labor unions are typically passive; the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, China's only legal union, is controlled by the Communist Party rather than by workers.
Jun. 24, 2014, 12:07 PM
- Channel checks from Deutsche Bank indicate the promotional cadence in the retail sector has been dialed back a notch from the level seen in Q1.
- The investment firm sees less promotional activity from retail beasts Wal-Mart (WMT +0.3%) and Target (TGT +0.2%) - while department store chains such as Kohl's (KSS +0.7%), Nordstrom (JWN +0.6%), and Dillard's (DDS -0.1%) have also shown some improvement.
- J.C. Pennney (JCP +1%) is a tougher nut to crack for DB with its radical changes in pricing strategy making the year-over-year comparison less informative.
- Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, FDIS, PMR, RCD
Jun. 20, 2014, 1:19 PM
Jun. 20, 2014, 8:45 AM
- Carl Icahn sees massive synergies if a buyer steps up for Family Dollar (FDO) with the discounter sector quite crowded.
- The quick analyst take on Icahn's full-court press for a sale is that a buyout by Dollar General (DG) or Wal-Mart (WMT) is unlikely.
- A bid for Family Dollar from a consortium of P-E firms is viewed as a more likely scenario. In general, the go-private route provides an easier path to brutal cost-slashing.
- Icahn letter to Family Dollar
- FDO +2.1% premarket
Jun. 18, 2014, 11:52 AM
- Food stamp usage has fallen off from its peak in 2012, according to government data.
- At last count, 46.1M people are using food stamps, down 3.6% compared to the 47.8M people using the program at the high.
- SA contributor Collen Roche has some analysis on what to make of the trend.
- Stocks with food stamp relevance: DLTR, DG, FDO, FIVE, BIG, SVU, KR, WMT.
Jun. 17, 2014, 12:19 PM
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats around the world. The company operates its business through three reportable segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club. The Walmart U.S. segment includes the company's mass merchant concept in the U.S., operating... More
Industry: Discount, Variety Stores
Country: United States
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