Alibaba expects $5B boon from China's "Singles Day"
Alibaba expects to sell 30B renminbi ($5B) worth of goods today in celebration of "Singles Day" in China, which the online giant has managed to turn into by far the world's largest e-commerce discount event, even surpassing Cyber Monday in the U.S.
Major foreign multinationals have also been participating in the celebration - or lamentation - of "singlehood" by offering notable online bargains, including Nike (NKE), Adidas (ADDDF), Procter & Gamble (PG), Unilever (UL) and Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY).
And why is it called singles day? Because November 11, or 11/11, has four 1s, or singles.
Retail check: Amid troubling trends activewear could surprise
A new survey from Adobe Systems indicates the shorter period between Thanksgiving and Christmas could cost U.S. retailers $1.5B in lost revenue.
Though the calendar effect is dramatic this year, the convenient excuse which is likely to crop up in Q4 earnings calls masks some structural changes in retail.
What to watch: Mall traffic is down and promotional activity is higher as e-commerce accounts for a bigger chunk of total retail sales. With teenagers preoccupied with electronics instead of fashion, analysts think activewear could be the hot holiday category.
Related stocks: Nike (NKE -0.7%), Under Armour (UA -1.6%), Lululemon (LULU +0.7%), Athleta (GPS), Adidas (ADDYY), Gildan Activewear (GSX +8.6%).
A day after Nike unveiled its FuelBand SE smart bracelet, Adidas (ADDYY.PK -0.6%) unveils a smartwatch of its own. Priced at a loftier-than-rivals $399, the device will offer built-in GPS tracking, Bluetooth connectivity, and pulse-based heart rate tracking.
Unlike its competitors, Adidas' offering is a standalone device with its own flash storage for music and will lack smartphone integration, reports The Verge.
Peak Sports Products closed down 5.8% in Hong Kong trading after the giant Chinese sporting apparel seller warned H1 profit would decrease quite a bit from last year due to broad industry demand and stocking issues. On watch: Nike (NKE), Adidas (ADDYY.PK)
Beyond the match: If tennis star Andy Murray is able to become the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years, sponsors Adidas (ADDYY.PK) and Swatch (SWGAY.PK) could get a nice PR boost. Murray's quest isn't your garden-variety sporting event in the U.K. with passions running high and has put the two companies on center court with Murray into the view of hundreds of millions.
Adidas (ADDYY.PK) thinks sales of soccer-related products will rise to €2B ($2.7B) next year as the World Cup in Brazil drives demand. Nike (NKE) also is betting heavily on the global event - including a sponsorship of the popular national team from the host country. Sales of soccer apparel/gear is expected to be high enough in 2014 to also move the needle for Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS).
Puma (PMMAF.PK) warns sales could fall 1% to 5% in 2013 after the retailer saw Q1 come in below expectations. The company says it will make a clean break from the strategy of its former CEO of 18 years as a focus on fashionable lifestyle products sputtered in Europe and China. Analysts don't think the weakness at Puma is a stark warning sign for Nike (NKE) or Adidas (ADDYY.PK).
Athletic apparel sales are hanging tough despite a downward blip in last week's report on retail sales, according to Hedgeye. The key point is that pricing indicators don't show a big ramp in promotional activity in the sector. Winners and losers: Nike (NKE +0.3%) is as dominant as ever while Adidas (ADDYY.PK) and Reebok continue to work on a turnaround. Meanwhile, Under Armour (UA +0.8%) is making slow and steady forward progress.
The game behind the game: Garish uniforms will be one of the topics of conversation during the NCAA basketball tournament this month as Adidas (ADDYY.PK), Nike (NKE -0.1%), and Under Armour (UA +1.3%) keep upping the ante in the bid to catch the most attention with uniform design. Soon-to-be unveiled uniforms created by Adidas will include loud-neon prints and camouflage shorts. The end game for the retailers is to see if a new must-have category can be opened up.
Adidas (ADDYY.PK) says it lost €273 ($356M) as its Reebok brand dragged down results. A large impairment charge the company took is tied to new growth assumptions for Reebok in North America, Latin America and Brazil. Sales rose 4% Y/Y to $3.37B ($4.39M) during the period with Europe still sputtering. An improved forecast for 2013 by Adidas for mid-single-digit sales growth and margin improvement could bode well for rival Nike (NKE).