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
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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.
Dec. 19, 2013, 10:46 AM
- Frederick's of Hollywood (FOHL +31.2%) will go private in a deal which will see holders of the thinly-traded OTC stock receive $0.27 a share.
- The retail chain has been a disaster since hitting a high-water mark in 2009, primarily because it didn't diversify its product lines as Victoria's Secret (LB) did to rousing success.
Dec. 5, 2013, 7:17 AM
- L Brands (LTD) saw Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Limited Brands all lose ground during November with lower comparable store sales - while La Senza held level.
- A 9% increase in Victoria's Secret Direct sales kept the falloff from being even worse.
- During the course of the company' fiscal year its store count has increased by 57 to 2,933.
Dec. 5, 2013, 7:08 AM
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.
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