Mar. 26, 2014, 1:08 PM
- Levi Strauss says it will cut 800 jobs in a cost-cutting move.
- The private company says it will save as much as $200M in annual costs after the job reductions are enacted.
- The development is interesting in light of the stance of many apparel retailers (AEO, ARO, ANF, LB, GPS, ZUMZ, EXPR, GES) that their recent shortfall in sales and traffic is a temporary weather-related issue. A 20% cut in its work force by Levi Strauss is no ray of sunshine for the outlook on the industry.
Mar. 19, 2014, 9:22 AM
- Retail analysts are still buzzing over the 0.3% drop in apparel and clothing prices reported by the Department of Labor yesterday.
- The drop works out to 3.6% on an annualized basis and came during a month when prices are supposed to snap back from their holiday promotional fervor.
- Related stocks: ARO, ANF, AEO, ZUMZ, PSUN, BKE, EXPR, WTSL, TLYS, CACH, GPS, LULU, LB, ANN.
Mar. 6, 2014, 8:21 AM
Mar. 5, 2014, 9:06 AM
- A recent poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC indicates 63% of American support raising the minimum wage.
- Though the Republicans are expected to challenge anything brought to the floor of the House, there's a growing consensus in DC that some minimum wage legislation will eventually pass.
- Democrats argue that the current minimum wage level of $7.25 per hour is low by historical standards when adjusted for inflation.
- Related stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, CEC, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN, AEO, ANF, ARO, BBBY, BJ, CHS, COST, DG, DLTR, GPS, HD, JCP, JWN, KR, KSS, LOW, LB, NDN, ODP, PIR, PLCE, RSH, SPLS, SWY, TGT, TJX, URBN, WMT
Feb. 26, 2014, 4:33 PM
Feb. 26, 2014, 2:44 PM
- Three Senate Democrats have broken away from Majority Leader Harry Reid's $10.10/hour line in the sand on minimum wage legislation.
- Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Warner of Virginia have all tipped off that they think there could be some room to negotiate over the amount of an increase over the current federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour. The GOP likes the status quo, but is viewed as likely to give some ground in an election year.
- Federal minimum wage legislation could create higher costs in the retail and restaurants sectors as companies adjust to the new higher floor.
- Last week, Gap made a preemptive move to raise its own hourly wage in a development that stirred the pot a little bit.
- Related stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, CEC, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN, AEO, ANF, ARO, BBBY, BJ, CHS, COST, DG, DLTR, GPS, HD, JCP, JWN, KR, KSS, LOW, LB, NDN, ODP, PIR, PLCE, RSH, SPLS, SWY, TGT, TJX, URBN, WMT.
Feb. 6, 2014, 10:16 AM
- Retail analytics firm Applied Predictive Technologies notes its data indicates that retail sales fell 9.6% during the most intense period of the Polar Vortex (January 5-7) as consumers stayed home. It also pointed to soft traffic days in December related to winter storms and frigid temperatures.
- Chicago and Detroit were the two major cities where sales were hit the hardest by the Polar Vortex. Walgreens (WAG) has a sizable presence in both regions.
- The read falls in line with what automakers and big-box retailers have been reporting, but also makes the few out-performers during the period stand out even more. Costco (COST), L Brands (LB), Under Armour (UA), and Chipotle (CMG) come to mind.
- Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, FDIS, PMR, RCD, PEZ, PSCD
Feb. 6, 2014, 7:21 AM
Feb. 6, 2014, 7:19 AM| Comment!
Feb. 3, 2014, 8:49 AM| Comment!
Jan. 9, 2014, 7:16 AM
- L Brands (LB) reports a light December same-store sales tally in a period in which the retailer increased its promotions significantly.
- SSS brand breakdown: Victoria's Secret +3%; Bath & Body Works +1%; La Senza -7%; L Brands +2%; Victoria Secret's Direct +1%.
- The company says it now expects Q4 EPS of $1.60, compared to previous guidance of $1.67-$1.82 and $1.79 consensus.
Jan. 9, 2014, 7:08 AM
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. 31, 2013, 1:07 PM
- Gift cards are a bigger part of the earnings matrix for retailers this year with usage rising to 23.7% of all holiday spending.
- Companies which have their fiscal quarter end in January stand a better chance of realizing gift card sales along with holiday sales, while those with a December 31 ending date could see sales slip into the next period.
- The volume of gift card sales can also factor in to how promotional firms decide to become during the post-Christmas season.
- Previous: Gift card sales data, Starbucks' cash cow.
- Related stocks: BBY, HAWK, AEO, ANF, ARO, BBBY, CHS, GPS, JCP, JWN, KSS, LB, M, URBN, WSM.
Dec. 27, 2013, 9:09 AM
- The word "guarantee" was thrown around too loosely this holiday season by retailers, writes The Dallas Mornings News' Maria Halkias.
- While UPS (UPS) blames bad weather for falling short with some deliveries this year, the company only hired the same number of temporary workers as last year despite forecasts for booming online sales. FedEx (FDX) and the USPS also had their own glitches. The spottier-than-normal delivery record this year falls on the shoulders of the retail sector not shippers.
- What to watch: Online retail tracking firm StellaService reports that sellers such as Zappos, Amazon (AMZN), Wal-Mart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY), and Victoria's Secret (LB) scored well in meeting aggressive deadlines, although the cost may be high. Many of the firms upgraded late-ordering customers to express shipping to avoid a customer service backlash. Next year, deadlines may be earlier and holiday margins higher.
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.
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