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Jul. 3, 2014, 9:38 AM
- Keep an eye on specialty retailers, advises Topeka Capital's Dorothy Lakner.
- A nice pickup in retail demand in May could be followed up by more strength in June with the economy stable, says the analyst.
- If the stock market keeps moving higher and a potentially-disruptive West Coast port lockout can be avoided, the sector could be set for gains heading into the back to school and fall season.
- Looking for a comeback: EXPR, RUE, ZUMZ, PSUN, ARO, AEO, ANF, CACH, BODY, CHS, CWTR, NWY, BEBE, ANN, CBK, GPS, GES.
Apr. 11, 2014, 5:05 AM
- Coldwater Creek (CWTR) has filed for Chapter 11 as it looks to "facilitate an orderly wind-down of its operations."
- The women's clothing retailer listed assets of $10-50M and liabilities of $100-500M. It expects to start closing-down sales to liquidate its inventory next month.
- Coldwater Creek is the latest retailer to fall into bankruptcy over the past several months, following clothing chains Dots and Loehmann's, and pizza restauranter Sbarro. (PR)
Apr. 7, 2014, 12:47 PM
Mar. 31, 2014, 12:27 PM
Jan. 14, 2014, 5:19 PM
- Specialty retail categories are where e-commerce has had the strongest impact on brick-and-mortar stores, concludes Re/code after scanning sales charts.
- While food and healthcare categories show lower e-commerce penetration as consumers only slowly pivot away from their traditional buying habits - retailers that sell clothing (EXPR, RUE, ZUMZ, PSUN, AEO, CACH, BODY, CHS, CWTR, NWY, BEBE, ANN, CBK) , sporting goods (HIBB, CAB, BGFV), and electronics (BBY, RSH) continue to lose market share to online sellers at an astonishing pace that shows little signs of slowing down.
- Demographics aren't working in the favor of the trend reversing itself either as more teens show a tendency to favor online upstarts such as Nasty Gal or Stitch Fix over former mall rat favorites like Gap (GPS), Aeropostale (ARO) or Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF). The younger set is also attuned to deal-shopping and buying used products online which are margin killers in the electronics category.
- Re/code sees at least two companies that don't mind the e-commerce evolution: FedEx (FDX) and UPS (UPS) could get busier and busier.
Jan. 6, 2014, 8:58 AM
- Winter storms which dumped over ten inches of snow in a large number of U.S. cities (Boston, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, NYC region) has wreaked havoc on mall traffic, according to retail watchers.
- In some major cities, malls were completely closed down due to the extreme snow.
- The extended bout of wintry weather hit right as the sector was looking for a bounce from post-holiday deal shoppers and gift card conversions.
- Analysts think most of the anticipated sales will be recouped, although a lag factor could in play. Apparel sellers could be the hardest hit as inventory starts to look stale.
- On watch: AEO, ANF, ARO, JCP, JWN, KSS, URBN, APP, TLYS, GES, BKE, CHS, ASNA, CWTR, ANN, CBK, NWY, CACH, BODY, WTSL, CATO, BEBE, DDS, LB, PSUN, EXPR, DDS, M, GPS, SHLD.
- Related ETFs: XLY, VCR, FXD, FDIS, RCD, PEZ, PSCD
Dec. 27, 2013, 5:28 PM
Dec. 23, 2013, 9:03 AM
- Warnings on slow store traffic at retailers are being heard far and wide from analysts as more channel checks disappoint.
- Ground zero for promotional activity in the sector appears to be mall-based apparel sellers which are throwing "shocking" deals at consumers to stoke sales and clear inventory.
- Weather has been a factor, but forward-looking insiders also see a paradigm shift. Consumers enabled with mobile devices have taken a hatchet to the amount of their holiday season impulse buying which typically helps retailers drive margins higher on select items at stores.
- On watch: AEO, ANF, ARO, JCP, JWN, KSS, URBN, APP, TLYS, GES, BKE, CHS, ASNA, CWTR, ANN, CBK, NWY, CACH, BODY, WTSL, CATO, BEBE, DDS, LB, PSUN, EXPR.
Dec. 11, 2013, 6:31 PM
- Coldwater Creek (CWTR) shares reverse gains and are now down 10.8% AH following a mixed Q3 in which the retailer continued its struggle in a "highly competitive" retail environment.
- The company closed 1 retail store, 1 factory store, and 1 spa in Q3, ending with 343, 36, and 7 respectively. Coldwater expects to close up to 10 more retail stores by the end of the fiscal year.
- CEO Jill Dean observed: "In response to the disappointing performance of our fall merchandise, we took swift action early in the third quarter to adjust our holiday assortment, and we experienced a meaningful improvement in full-priced selling as holiday product flowed into stores starting in mid-October. During the quarter we also implemented a cost reduction program, which is expected to generate $20-$25 million in expense savings next year."
- As of Nov. 2, cash totaled $6.8M, down from $31.3M in Oct. 2012, while inventory decreased 5.6% Y/Y (and 1.6% Y/Y per square foot) to $152.7M. The company burned $23M in operating cash in the past 3 quarters.
Dec. 11, 2013, 4:07 PM
Dec. 11, 2013, 10:30 AM
- Winter jacket maker Canada Goose sold off a majority of its share to Bain Capital for an undisclosed amount.
- The development follows a move by higher-end rival Moncler to list shares on the Milan stock exchange.
- What to watch: Bain isn't the only P-E firm taking an interest in specialty apparel retail as a number of other companies have been snapped up. The prospect of building global lifestyle companies off of strong brands is starting to draw even more interest. The trend could set up well for some beat-up names such as Lands' End (SHLD), L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, and Coldwater Creek (CWTR).
Dec. 11, 2013, 12:10 AM
Dec. 10, 2013, 5:35 PM
Dec. 4, 2013, 7:12 AM
- The inventory levels of apparel retailers in the U.S. stand at alarming levels, according to Nomura Equity Research.
- By most accounts, the group didn't perform well over the Black Friday weekend after entering the holiday shopping season at high inventory levels.
- Retailers such as Macy's (M) and Gap (GPS) may have an edge with their strong online fulfillment programs, but the early starts to the shopping season exacerbate inventory issues. Some retail chains will start selling spring lines in late December forcing a more promotional stance on older items.
- On watch: AEO, ANF, ARO, JCP, JWN, KSS, URBN, LTD, APP, TLYS, GES, BKE, CHS, ASNA, CWTR, ANN, CBK, NWY, CACH, BODY, WTSL, CATO, BEBE, DDS.
Oct. 18, 2013, 12:48 PM
Oct. 15, 2013, 12:58 PM
- Coldwater Creek (CWTR -28%) shares sell off sharply after the struggling retailer announced that it would conduct a strategic review following continued weak performance.
- Management expects Q3 results to come in below prior guidance due to weakening comparable store sales and despite cost-cutting efforts. (8-K)
- The company, with a depressed market capitalization of ~$28M, no longer sees the need to be public, The Street reports, and P-E firms have expressed interest in the distressed retailer. The holiday season will be pivotal to any turnaround effort, according to a source.
Coldwater Creek is a specialty retailer of women's apparel, accessories, jewelry, and gift items and it sells its merchandise through premium retail stores across the country, online, and through its mobile applications.
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