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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT)

  • Tue, Apr. 28, 9:59 PM
    • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) plans to increase its investment in China, according to CEO Doug McMillon.
    • The company aims to open 115 stores before 2017 and upgrade more than 50 this year.
    • Wal-Mart has a mixed history in China with the preference of consumers for local tastes making national distribution a challenge.
    • During the company's last earnings call, execs noted Wal-Mart's China comparable-store sales fell in Q4, due primarily to deflation in key categories.
    • Earnings call transcript
    | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Apr. 27, 7:43 AM
    • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) filed a lawsuit in Texas in an attempt to gain an entry into selling alcohol at its stores.
    • The legal action against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission seeks to overturn rules that prevent public companies with more than 35 shareholders from selling alcohol as well as mixing grocery and alcohol sales.
    • The Bentonville giant, along with Kroger and Costco, is also making noise on the legislative front over the restriction.
    • The alcohol category is one of the stronger drivers of retail foot traffic.
  • Wed, Apr. 22, 10:25 AM
    • Wal-Mart (WMT -0.2%) is closely watching the roll-out of subsidiary Asda's network of grocery pickup centers in the U.K. to see how it may apply to a similar U.S. initiative in the future.
    • Asda is using its 592 stores and newly-acquired gas stations to build out an extensive click-and-collect network which utilizes lockers.
    • Wal-Mart is also running a small test of online grocery delivery in the U.S.
    • There's been a line of thought with retail analysts that some intriguing partnerships could emerge with EV automakers and e-commerce businesses needing more retail access points, while some apparel and restaurant chains look to downsize.
  • Fri, Apr. 17, 6:36 PM
    • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) says it plans to eliminate the position of zone managers and reassign those ~14K workers to department manager and assistant manager positions within its stores, while adding up to 8K new department heads, as part of an overhaul of its store operations.
    • WMT says the cut to the layer of in-store management is meant to reduce bureaucracy and put more power in the hands of people running the company’s 4.5K U.S. stores.
    • WMT says the cost is included in the $1B investment in wages and staffing outlined in February; the costly turnaround plan under CEO Doug McMillon also includes raising wages for a half-million employees, with hourly rates going to $9/hour this month and $10/hour by next year.
  • Mon, Apr. 13, 1:06 PM
    • Wal-Mart's (WMT) strategy to increasing pricing pressure on suppliers is likely to be felt by some consumer products giants.
    • Though larger suppliers have more leverage with Wal-Mart than smaller companies, an impact on margins could still be felt.
    • Listed below are the estimated annual revenue and percentage of total revenue derived from the Bentonville retail giant for some CPG firms.
    • Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG): $12B to mark 14% of total revenue.
    • PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP): $8B, 12% of total revenue.
    • Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT): $4.7B, 26% of total revenue.
    • Kellogg (NYSE:K): $3.1B, 21% of total revenue.
    • Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB): $1.6B, 19% of total revenue.
    • J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM): $2.35B, 30% of total revenue.
    • Clorox (NYSE:CLX): $1.5B, 26% of total revenue.
    • Hillshire Brands (NYSE:TSN): $1.1B, 27% of total revenue.
    • Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR): $799M, 17% of total revenue.
    • Energizer (NYSE:ENR): $748M, 17.2% of total revenue.
    • Tootsie Roll (NYSE:TR): $129M. 23.7% of total revenue.
    • Data compiled by the Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Fri, Apr. 10, 6:56 PM
    • After years of heavy stock buybacks, the Walton family's ownership in Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has risen to about 50% of the company -- and so the family plans to cut down its stake by giving shares to a charitable trust that will sell them gradually.
    • Walton Enterprises doesn't want to exceed the 50% mark, but wants Wal-Mart's buyback plan to continue, so it will distribute some 6% of shares (about 193.5M, worth $15.6B today) to a newly created Walton Family Holdings Trust.
    • Last year, Wal-Mart bought back about 13.4M shares (around $1B in cost).
    • The family's distributions/sales could take "a period of years."
    • Company statement
  • Thu, Apr. 2, 10:46 AM
  • Wed, Apr. 1, 8:38 AM
    • Discounters could face some increased pricing competition from Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) after the retail giant ratcheted up pressure on suppliers to reduce prices.
    • The news from Bentonville might also create some headaches for large consumer products sellers such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) which have struggled with pushing back against Wal-Mart's formidable leverage.
    • On margin watch: Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR), Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED), Big Lots (NYSE:BIG), Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE).
    • Previously: Wal-Mart steps up pressure on suppliers to slash prices
  • Wed, Apr. 1, 3:40 AM
    • Facing heavy competition from other discounters and its promise to raise wages, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is increasing pressure on suppliers to cut the cost of their products, in an effort to reclaim the crown of low-price leader and turn around its sluggish U.S. sales.
    • The retailer has been telling suppliers to forgo investments in joint marketing, such as eye-catching product displays or online advertisements, and plow the savings into lower prices instead.
  • Tue, Mar. 31, 9:08 AM
    • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) decides to end free shipping in Canada for orders less than C$50 ($39.41), reports RetailDive.
    • The far-flung nature of distribution in Canada makes shipping expensive for U.S. retailers in the region.
    | Comment!
  • Tue, Mar. 24, 9:35 AM
    • Fresh & Easy is closing stores in advance of launching a fresh-food convenience store chain.
    • 30 stores in California by F&E will be shuttered as part of the initiative.
    • Though details on the new C-store venture are scant, Apple store designer ADMI is reportedly working on the project.
    • Fresh & Easy is owned by P-E firm Yucaipa which bought the chain from Tesco after it bled money under the direction of the British retail giant.
    • Fresh & Easy has rebranded some stores in the U.S. under the Wild Oats banner and has been mentioned as an IPO candidate.
    • The success of the new C-store fresh food chain will be closely watched by a large number of retail and grocery companies which could partner, mimic, or ignore the concept.
    • Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM), Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM), Kroger (NYSE:KR), The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM), Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NYSE:NGVC), and Fairway Group (NASDAQ:FWM) all have some skin in the game.
    • There's also Target (NYSE:TGT), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) which are stressing both "fresh" and "easy" with their grocery strategy.
    • AmazonFresh (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Instacart are also looking to captivate fresh food buyers with their models.
    | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Mar. 16, 7:10 AM
    • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is giving more exposure on its shelves in U.S. stores to higher-end detergent Henkel in a move which will consumers more choices in the category.
    • Tide's dominant position in the U.S. has given Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) a fair amount of pricing power - even with the dominant retail giant from Bentonville.
    • Persil is a premium detergent brand owned by Henkel (OTCPK:HENKY, OTC:HELKF).
    | Comment!
  • Fri, Mar. 13, 5:06 PM
    • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is reshuffling management positions as it eyes making a fresh food a top priority at the company.
    • The development follows news from earlier this month on Target giving fresh and healthy food a larger presence in store aisles at the expense of some packaged food brands.
    • Wal-Mart is also testing an online grocery order pickup service in some markets to keep an edge on Target and Costco.
    • Retail analysts have warned the new grocery initiatives could pinch Wal-Mart's margins.
    • Previously: Grocery plans from Target to veer away from typical packaged food fare (March 3)
  • Thu, Mar. 12, 9:47 AM
    • Shares of Dollar Tree (DLTR +1.6%), Target (TGT +1.1%), Wal-Mart (WMT +1.1%), Fred's (FRED +1.1%), and Five Below (FIVE +1.6%) are picking up steam after Dollar General's (DG +2.7%) quarterly reports shows some broad strength across categories.
    • Despite the headline miss on U.S. retail sales earlier, the S&P Retail (NYSEARCA:XRT) is up 1.12% to outpace the S&P 500.
    • Analysts think lower-income consumer spending is gaining momentum based on the most recent reads from discounters such as Dollar General.
    • Previously: New buybacks and store growth on tap for Dollar General
    | Comment!
  • Fri, Mar. 6, 8:03 AM
    • A light bulb has gone off with some large retail chains such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) which have hiked low-level wages in order to improve employee retention rates.
    • The math as compiled by Bloomberg is pretty compelling: The average retail sales worker makes $21,140 a year, while it costs $3,400 in training costs to replace them. At a high turnover rate it becomes more economical to lift wages.
    • The development is interesting to economists pondering the future impact of Wal-Mart's (10% of all retail sales in the U.S.) new wage structure on U.S. unemployment rates.
    • Related stocks: YUM, MCD, KR, TGT, SHLD, HD, WBA, LOW, GPS, JCP, BLMN.
  • Wed, Mar. 4, 11:26 AM
    • Target (TGT +0.1%) trades higher as investors digest the information the company unveiled at its investor meeting late yesterday.
    • Though the headline items were the thousands of job cuts announced and FY16 EPS guidance, it's Target's shift in philosophy which may emerge as the biggest pullaway for investors.
    • "We recognize that we are talking about a significant cultural change, but it's driven by what the consumers want and expect from Target," said CEO Brian Cornell at the event.
    • Just 7 weeks after announcing a full exit from Canada, Target now calls digital its top priority in the U.S.
    • Janney Capital Markets thinks the +40% growth target for Target's digital business is a reach.
    • Piper Jaffray boosted its price target on TGT to $86.
    • Morgan Stanley sticks with a Positive stance on the company.
    • Some analysts think Target's digital scale is formidable enough to put some pricing pressure on Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).
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Company Description
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.