Wed, May 13, 12:24 PM
- Amherst Pierpont has a positive take on today's U.S. Retail Sales report, noting the upward adjustment to March nearly offsets the April shortfall.
- "This is nothing that could not be easily fixed with another modest upward revision a month from now," reads a note from the trading firm.
- Capital Economist's Paul Ashworth is bearish on the report. The economist says the weak monthly tally calls into question if cold weather was truly behind the soft consumer spending seen in February and March.
- The National Retail Federation points to the "anemic" growth seen in the year-over-year retail sales compares.
- Retail giants Wal-Mart (WMT -0.9%), Target (TGT -0.8%), and Costco (COST -0.4%) are all lower on the day.
- Dollar General (DG -1.2%) and Dollar Tree (DLTR -1.1%) are also out of favor.
- Previously: Retail sales continue to slow
- Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, IYC, FXD, FDIS, SCC, UCC, RCD, PMR, UGE, SZK.
Wed, May 13, 8:03 AM| Wed, May 13, 8:03 AM | 22 Comments
Wed, May 13, 3:59 AM
- Responding to shareholder pressure to improve transparency, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) said it will start directly disclosing to investors what it spends on lobbying on a state-by-state basis.
- The step would make Wal-Mart the first constituent of the Dow Jones to itemize state expenditures at that level of detail, drawing attention to spending that in some states reaches hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Tue, May 12, 11:15 AM
- Wal-Mart (WMT +1%) says it's satisfied with the early results for the roll-out of Care Clinics at 17 supercenters.
- RetailWire notes the company's program is well-timed with 17M more Americans having health insurance than a few years ago.
- During the company's last earnings call, execs said the company has a mindset that it's "building scalable profitable businesses" while driving extra traffic to stores.
- Earnings call transcript
Fri, May 8, 7:26 AM| Fri, May 8, 7:26 AM | 2 Comments
Tue, Apr. 28, 9:59 PM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) plans to increase its investment in China, according to CEO Doug McMillon.
- The company aims to open 115 stores before 2017 and upgrade more than 50 this year.
- Wal-Mart has a mixed history in China with the preference of consumers for local tastes making national distribution a challenge.
- During the company's last earnings call, execs noted Wal-Mart's China comparable-store sales fell in Q4, due primarily to deflation in key categories.
- Earnings call transcript
Mon, Apr. 27, 7:43 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) filed a lawsuit in Texas in an attempt to gain an entry into selling alcohol at its stores.
- The legal action against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission seeks to overturn rules that prevent public companies with more than 35 shareholders from selling alcohol as well as mixing grocery and alcohol sales.
- The Bentonville giant, along with Kroger and Costco, is also making noise on the legislative front over the restriction.
- The alcohol category is one of the stronger drivers of retail foot traffic.
Wed, Apr. 22, 10:25 AM
- Wal-Mart (WMT -0.2%) is closely watching the roll-out of subsidiary Asda's network of grocery pickup centers in the U.K. to see how it may apply to a similar U.S. initiative in the future.
- Asda is using its 592 stores and newly-acquired gas stations to build out an extensive click-and-collect network which utilizes lockers.
- Wal-Mart is also running a small test of online grocery delivery in the U.S.
- There's been a line of thought with retail analysts that some intriguing partnerships could emerge with EV automakers and e-commerce businesses needing more retail access points, while some apparel and restaurant chains look to downsize.
Fri, Apr. 17, 6:36 PM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) says it plans to eliminate the position of zone managers and reassign those ~14K workers to department manager and assistant manager positions within its stores, while adding up to 8K new department heads, as part of an overhaul of its store operations.
- WMT says the cut to the layer of in-store management is meant to reduce bureaucracy and put more power in the hands of people running the company’s 4.5K U.S. stores.
- WMT says the cost is included in the $1B investment in wages and staffing outlined in February; the costly turnaround plan under CEO Doug McMillon also includes raising wages for a half-million employees, with hourly rates going to $9/hour this month and $10/hour by next year.
Mon, Apr. 13, 1:06 PM
- Wal-Mart's (WMT) strategy to increasing pricing pressure on suppliers is likely to be felt by some consumer products giants.
- Though larger suppliers have more leverage with Wal-Mart than smaller companies, an impact on margins could still be felt.
- Listed below are the estimated annual revenue and percentage of total revenue derived from the Bentonville retail giant for some CPG firms.
- Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG): $12B to mark 14% of total revenue.
- PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP): $8B, 12% of total revenue.
- Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT): $4.7B, 26% of total revenue.
- Kellogg (NYSE:K): $3.1B, 21% of total revenue.
- Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB): $1.6B, 19% of total revenue.
- J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM): $2.35B, 30% of total revenue.
- Clorox (NYSE:CLX): $1.5B, 26% of total revenue.
- Hillshire Brands (NYSE:TSN): $1.1B, 27% of total revenue.
- Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR): $799M, 17% of total revenue.
- Energizer (NYSE:ENR): $748M, 17.2% of total revenue.
- Tootsie Roll (NYSE:TR): $129M. 23.7% of total revenue.
- Data compiled by the Cincinnati Enquirer
Fri, Apr. 10, 6:56 PM
- After years of heavy stock buybacks, the Walton family's ownership in Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has risen to about 50% of the company -- and so the family plans to cut down its stake by giving shares to a charitable trust that will sell them gradually.
- Walton Enterprises doesn't want to exceed the 50% mark, but wants Wal-Mart's buyback plan to continue, so it will distribute some 6% of shares (about 193.5M, worth $15.6B today) to a newly created Walton Family Holdings Trust.
- Last year, Wal-Mart bought back about 13.4M shares (around $1B in cost).
- The family's distributions/sales could take "a period of years."
- Company statement
Thu, Apr. 2, 10:46 AM
- Store improvement is a top priority at Wal-Mart (WMT +0.6%), according to U.S. president Greg Foran.
- Changes include more fresh food, better stocking, and a product mix tailored to local preferences.
- Foran is a hands-on manager, averaging 15 store visits a month since taking over his position last August.
- Wal-Mart also appears to be leaning to the aggressive side with its pricing policies.
- Wal-Mart Strategic Update Conference Call transcript
- Previously: Wal-Mart steps up pressure on suppliers to slash prices (Apr. 01 2015)
Wed, Apr. 1, 8:38 AM
- Discounters could face some increased pricing competition from Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) after the retail giant ratcheted up pressure on suppliers to reduce prices.
- The news from Bentonville might also create some headaches for large consumer products sellers such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) which have struggled with pushing back against Wal-Mart's formidable leverage.
- On margin watch: Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR), Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED), Big Lots (NYSE:BIG), Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE).
- Previously: Wal-Mart steps up pressure on suppliers to slash prices
Wed, Apr. 1, 3:40 AM
- Facing heavy competition from other discounters and its promise to raise wages, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is increasing pressure on suppliers to cut the cost of their products, in an effort to reclaim the crown of low-price leader and turn around its sluggish U.S. sales.
- The retailer has been telling suppliers to forgo investments in joint marketing, such as eye-catching product displays or online advertisements, and plow the savings into lower prices instead.
Tue, Mar. 31, 9:08 AM
Tue, Mar. 24, 9:35 AM
- Fresh & Easy is closing stores in advance of launching a fresh-food convenience store chain.
- 30 stores in California by F&E will be shuttered as part of the initiative.
- Though details on the new C-store venture are scant, Apple store designer ADMI is reportedly working on the project.
- Fresh & Easy is owned by P-E firm Yucaipa which bought the chain from Tesco after it bled money under the direction of the British retail giant.
- Fresh & Easy has rebranded some stores in the U.S. under the Wild Oats banner and has been mentioned as an IPO candidate.
- The success of the new C-store fresh food chain will be closely watched by a large number of retail and grocery companies which could partner, mimic, or ignore the concept.
- Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM), Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM), Kroger (NYSE:KR), The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM), Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NYSE:NGVC), and Fairway Group (NASDAQ:FWM) all have some skin in the game.
- There's also Target (NYSE:TGT), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) which are stressing both "fresh" and "easy" with their grocery strategy.
- AmazonFresh (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Instacart are also looking to captivate fresh food buyers with their models.
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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