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Jul. 23, 2015, 2:26 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has taken full ownership of Yihaodian, its Chinese e-commerce venture, buying out the 49% stake that it did not already own to solidify its strategy in the region.
- The investment will help Wal-Mart target China's fast-growing online market at a time when brick and mortar retailers are under pressure and the world's second-largest economy cools off.
Jul. 20, 2015, 1:38 PM
- A bold forecast from Cowen Research on Amazon has some deep implications for the broad retail sector if it proves accurate.
- Cowen sees Amazon nabbing 14% of the U.S. apparel and accessories market by 2020, up from ~5% this year.
- The Amazon Effect impacts retail companies differently depending on if they sell their brands on the Amazon website and at what prices. Chains that could see an impact from a higher level of apparel buying through Amazon include Macy's (NYSE:M), Dillard's (NYSE:DDS), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO), Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), L Brands (NYSE:LB), Kohl's (NYSE:KSS), Pacific Sunwear (NASDAQ:PSUN), and Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ). The trend also puts high-end sellers such as Kate Spade (NYSE:KATE) and Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) in a tighter box on how to sell through Amazon.
- A disturbing trend for Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) is that a higher percentage of their customers also bought apparel through Amazon in the first half of 2015.
Jul. 17, 2015, 6:20 PM
- CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) and Walmart Canada (NYSE:WMT) say a data breach at a Canadian IT vendor owned by Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) may have leaked credit card information from their online photo processing websites, possibly compromising data on millions of users.
- The retailers have temporarily shut down their online photo processing services and related mobile services, and urge customers to check their credit card records for any suspicious activity.
- The vendor also provides software to Costco's (NASDAQ:COST) online photo processing services, but its photo site apparently was functioning today.
Jul. 17, 2015, 11:11 AM
- Wal-Mart (WMT -0.2%) recorded some of its biggest days ever for online orders during its sale this week aimed to keep pace with Amazon Prime Day, a spokesperson told Internet Retailer.
- The company says its most same-day pickup orders of the year on Wednesday (Prime Day).
- The retail giant didn't release specific sales figures.
- Previously: Retail giants counterpunch ahead of Amazon's Prime Day (Jul. 13 2015)
- Previously: It's promotions day in retail. Who wins? (Jul. 15 2015)
- Previously: Amazon reports record Prime Day sales in spite of backlash; shares +2.4% (Jul. 16 2015)
Jul. 15, 2015, 8:56 AM
- Today's promotional battle between Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) could have two winners (besides consumers) and many losers, according to retail analysts.
- The retail machines could pull forward some back-to-school sales away from rivals and smaller chains without the online reach.
- Shopatron's John Pincott notes it's nearly impossible for consumers to miss the Amazon and Wal-Mart deals due to the broad marketing efforts and allure of a Black Friday-type event.
- Amazon initiated the promotional battle with a one-day sale celebrating the company's 20th anniversary, while Wal-Mart continues to counterpunch against the moves coming out of Seattle.
- Margin worries will continue to be in the background while the heavyweights slug it out for top-line growth.
- What to watch: Companies in the line of fire of the promotional salvos include Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Target (NYSE:TGT), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), and Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP). There's also an alarming trend in play for department stores (JCP, DDS, KSS, M, TJX) with more BTS family shopping for clothing turning online.
Jul. 15, 2015, 7:08 AM| Jul. 15, 2015, 7:08 AM | 1 Comment
Jul. 13, 2015, 8:00 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) plans to launch an aggressive online sale on Wednesday in a countermeasure to Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Day savings promotion on July 15 for Prime members.
- Sales on over 2K items will be rolled back at Wal-Mart for at least 90 days.
- The company has also lowered the minimum order amount to qualify for free shipping to $35 from $50 for at least a month.
- Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Target (NYSE:TGT) are also looking for a July sales boost with Black Friday sales planned around the timing of the Amazon event.
Jul. 11, 2015, 1:14 PM
- It has become quite a bit easier for large retail chains to go with the "Made in the USA" mantra due to the higher cost of producing goods in China.
- Chinese labor costs on average are now 61% of the level of the U.S. compared to just 17% about 15 years, according to an estimate from Boston Consulting Group.
- That 39% edge is reduced even further if transport and supply chain costs are factored in.
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Nike (NYSE:NKE) are two of the majors buying more from U.S. suppliers due as much to the economic benefit as the patriotic flavor. Target (NYSE:TGT), Macy's (NYSE:M), and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) have also highlighted American product lines recently.
Jul. 9, 2015, 12:15 PM
- The FDA says food chains with over 20 stores will have until December 1, 2016 to post calorie information on menus.
- The controversial measure will also be aimed at retail giants that serve food such as Target (NYSE:TGT), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) - as well as movie theater chains (AMC, CKEC, RGC, CNK).
- Though many fast-food companies already post calorie information on menu boards, the issue could be tricky on an operating side for pizza chains which will have to account for calorie counts for various toppings choices.
- The strict position of the FDA has been fiercely opposed by some Democrats and Republicans.
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Jun. 24, 2015, 2:42 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) will begin charging fees to almost all vendors for stocking their items in new stores and for warehousing inventory, increasing pressure on suppliers as the world's largest retailer battles higher costs from wage hikes.
- The changes will serve "shared customers" and achieve the low prices "they expect and deserve," Wal-Mart said in a letter.
- Although the chain sometimes imposed such fees in the past, they were not applied uniformly.
Jun. 22, 2015, 1:10 PM
- PepsiCo (PEP +0.8%) CEO Indra Nooyi penned a weekend op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal along with the president of the Environmental Defense Fund in support of the push by President Obama for greener trucks.
- The exec notes fuel economy for heavy trucks has improved less than a mile per gallon in 45 years to average just 6.4 mpg.
- Companies such as PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD +2.7%), Wal-Mart (WMT +0.1%), Costco (COST +0.1%), and Coca-Cola (KO +0.5%) could realize significant savings if Nooyi's stance is correct.
- She notes the fuel standards proposed in 2009 for 2014 led to an immediate 10% gain in efficiency.
- Previously: The EPA and Pope Francis strange allies on greenhouse gas reform (Jun. 19 2015)
Jun. 19, 2015, 10:45 AM
- Wal-Mart (WMT) is testing bringing back greeters to the front of its stores in a measure aimed at theft prevention.
- The retail giant lost 13 bps of gross margin to theft in Q1 and 12 bps last fiscal year.
- Reversing the sales loss was called a "key urgent agenda item" during Wal-Mart's last earnings call.
- Costco and Sam's Club uses greeters to check membership credentials at the door.
- Wal-Mart earnings call transcript
Jun. 17, 2015, 4:27 AM
- A new study researched by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union suggests that Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) owns more than $76B of assets through a web of units in offshore tax havens around the world.
- The report found that 90% of Wal-Mart's overseas assets are owned by subsidiaries in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, helping the company cut more than $3.5B off its income tax bills over the past six years.
- Randy Hargrove, a Wal-Mart spokesman, called the report incomplete and "designed to mislead" by its union authors.
Jun. 8, 2015, 7:59 AM| Jun. 8, 2015, 7:59 AM | 6 Comments
Jun. 5, 2015, 9:56 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) elects Greg Penner to be the next chairman of the board to replace Rob Walton.
- Penner isn't a blood relative of Sam Walton but married into the family. He has worked at Goldman Sachs and for Wal-Mart in executive positions.
- The company also says it will realign its board committees so that independent directors serve on at least two committees. The measure could be in reaction to criticism the retail giant doesn't elect independent directors to the chairman position (two Waltons and an in-law).
- Wal-Mart appears to be breaking tradition with employees and executives nabbing more stage time as compared to Hollywood and music stars, although Reese Witherspoon has already made an appearance.
- A speech by U.S. president Greg Foran was heavy on employee appreciation and light on strategy updates.
- Wal-Mart annual meeting webcast
- Previously: Wal-Mart annual meeting preview
Jun. 5, 2015, 7:28 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) holds its annual meeting today at the University of Arkansas.
- Shareholders will vote on a proposal calling for the company to appoint an independent chairman to head the board of directors.
- Though the proposal only received 15.4% of the votes last year, there's some speculation Black Rock might swing its votes behind the measure due to some built-up concerns on the retail giant.
- Due to share buybacks, the Walton family has actually increased its stake in the company over the last few years giving activists a larger hurdle.
- What to watch: Wal-Mart is known for throwing glitzy annual meetings that resemble pep rallies. Still, what execs have to say on pricing and the grocery initiative will be closely analyzed.
- Wal-Mart Annual Meeting webcast (begins at 8:00 a.m. EST)
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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